Friday, November 19, 2010

The Making of a Hunter Horse.......Wendy Potts....Tools for the Ring....

Part 1

Wendy Potts made it clear that she trains her horses so that she can make whatever adjustments she might need in the ring. It doesn't matter if the changes she wants to make have to do with the specific specs for the class or maybe the preferences of judges. Wendy Potts has cues in place to deal with any of these.

By doing a lot of work with in and out lateral movement, Wendy Potts' horses are well equipped to negotiate traffic and she can use either direction to remind her horse to get back deep underneath itself. The more difficult work of lateral movement will also help to keep the horse's mind on the rider instead of worrying about the horses in proximity. If she wanted she could weave them in and and of traffic just like you might with a car on the freeway.

Because Wendy Potts works her horses at different rates of speed at each gait, she has the ability to adjust their gaits in the ring to accommodate the preferences of a judge. It can only take a few classes to see a presiding judge's tastes in hunter pleasure horses. Being able to speed up or slow down a horse can be quite useful in such circumstances.

Wendy Potts also teaches her horses to raise their heads or lower them depending on which she wants at any given time. Again this can be useful for judges who prefer their hunter horses to be higher or lower than Wendy Potts' normal way to ride them.

At the clinic there were a number of horses that needed to raise their heads to get them off their forehand. Instead of lifting up to cause this (as I have been taught) Wendy Potts goes straight back to the hip with both hands. At the first sign of elevation from the horse, she gives the horse the big release. Eventually she ends up with a horse that will raise up as soon as she uses this cue.

To lower a head, Wendy raises up. I have to admit even though I was taught that lifting the reins would raise the horse's head, I think more often than not my horse wanted to drop down. Makes me want to go "DUH......." for all those times I got the opposite reaction than what I wanted yet I continued with that cue. Now I'm thinking I have a much better chance of getting what I want.

With these skills Wendy Potts can do about anything she wants with a horse in the ring. She can shorten up a frame, change a head set and adjust her rate as well as being able to keep her horse together. It's no wonder with her arsenal of tricks that Wendy Potts wins as much in the hunter arena as she does.

To be continued.....................

One More Thing.........Before Geting to Storm

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  1. I have to admit that I too was kind of confused about the raise your hands to lower thehead , but it does work! Looking forward to reading about Storm

  2. wow those sounds like they would be useful skills in any class! and a very versatile horse as well.