Making it practical
When you look at the photographs of the different horses eyes, how do they make you feel ?
Take your time, and think about what the emotion behind them might be.
This is just a little exercise to get you thinking . Sometimes we are so busy just getting on with things, that we miss seeing what our horses are portraying to us through the little nuances of their facial expressions.
Throughout your Horse Agility practice take your time to look and see. Volumes of information is being passed to you, that when being in a hurry, or having a fixed agenda, can so easily be missed.
The quality of your practice is what matters. Letting your horse know you have seen his concern will help tremendously to connect with him and reassure him, and help build his confidence.
It doesn't matter what obstacle you build and present to your horse, the important thing is to remember that whatever the obstacle is, you are asking your horse a question about his ability to negotiate it with you - you are basically saying "well what do you think?"
Through your horses body language you will receive your answer. Keep working at developing your awareness of his emotions, and you will to be able to answer him, as his partner, and so proceed together confidently with him.
Your goal throughout your practice is to slowly build confidence, create trust and bring about understanding.
Try not to see the obstacle as something that must be done, rushing to complete an obstacle can quickly undo a horses confidence. Present the obstacle, open the conversation and ask the question. Let him know you have got his back, keep yourself centred and grounded, keep your focus and awareness strong, develop the partnership, nurture the relationship.
Use every experience with your horse as a learning curve, create positive experiences. Together you can !