Are ‘feel’ and ‘connection’ teachable?

In the past few weeks, I’ve been talking to you about the pieces and the parts of riding.

We talked about sequences a little bit. We talked about developing feel.

It all got me thinking about the definition of ‘feel’ and ‘connection’, what that means, and how you can develop them.

That’s what this video is all about.

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Heh, it’’s Barb. Howdy!

In the past few weeks, I’ve been talking to you about the pieces and the parts of riding.

We talked about sequences a little bit. We talked about developing feel. Plus I have a Core Confidence class that I do twice a year and we’ve been doing some cool things in there.

It all got me thinking about putting together a sequence of exercises that you can do to develop feel and connection with your horse.

Now, I want to talk about feel and connection first and define those terms. Those concepts mean different things to different people. I have my own definitions which are not the holy grail, of course, (-: but I want you to know how I think of feel and connection.

Also, some people think you can’t teach feel, but I don’t totally agree with that. Yes, having ‘a lot of feel’ requires experience, but there are ways to expedite the learning process.

I think of feel as the ability to be on a horse and be so grounded and loose that you feel your horse in your seat and in your legs. You just have this ‘feel’ (sorry for using the same word to define a word!)… you know ahead of time what a horse is going to do so that you can be responsive to the horse. You can so feel your horse underneath you.

I think the traditional way of thinking about feel is that you have to ride a million miles in order to ever develop that skill.

I do think it takes a lot of time in the saddle. I’m not disagreeing with that. But I also think there are skills and habits you can learn to expedite your learning.

Next… when I think of connecting with a horse, I think of the relationship you have with your horse.

You’re the leader of the relationship. You’re the one who’s going to determine what happens. You decide how to guide your horse; how you ask him for what you want; and how you respond to him.

When you have a great connection as a leader you give clear guidance. Your horse understands and feels confident because he trusts you. You speak the horse’s language. You’re consistent.

So, in my definitions of the terms feel and connection… feel is a close experience with the horse in the saddle… connection is being a clear and responsive leader who builds confidence.

I’ve been diligently working on a new project of late. I’m excited. I’ve developed 12 sequential and very simple exercises that can help you develop feel and connection.

What I’m going to do next is a free workshop that explains more about how I see feel and connection and how these exercises work. You’ll learn more about my whole approach as well as some of the exercises. The free series will have a ton of value.

That Free Workshop is called Well-Connected.

If you’re interested, just click this link or you hit the button below this video to sign up.

These lessons are based on what I know to be true from my personal performance background, from my riding background, and from all I keep learning.

If you’re interested in that… if that sounds like something you’d like to do… please join me. I’ll let you know when it begins this week.

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One Comment on Are ‘feel’ and ‘connection’ teachable?

  1. Carol MacGregor on Sun, 6th Sep 2020 3:13 pm
  2. Hi Barb, Well, you are just “the very best” for this 6 min. video, and for the up coming video series that you plan to do this week. Thank you so much. I am in Cal where it is extremely hot right now, and we have very smokey skies because of all the large fires that our burning our state up—so very sad as I have relatives who had to turn their horses out to fend for themselves as they escaped the flames themselves–good news –their house was spared (unlike many in their “ranchy” neighborhood) and they found their horses mostly unhurt. Another friend who is a cattle rancher with her husband have lost the whereabouts of most of their 400 head in another fire in central Cal. It’s just been devastating. So your work shop is very very much appreciated. Thank you!!!!

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