Barbie Doll Riding
My trainer introduced me to this idea when I was riding a horse that used to pull a lot of shenanigans in order to distract me from whatever we were really trying to accomplish. He was young, wiggly, and a bit bull-headed, and would take off or dive this way and that, or shake his head - you name it, he tried it.
My trainer said "Just ignore all that BS. Get in your position and ask for the same thing, and only that thing. Ride like a Barbie Doll. Just sit there and don't change. Show him that you're not getting caught up in his foolishness."
This is working well with Phil. When he gets nervous, or takes off in fear, or gets speedy at the trot, I just ride like Barbie. I just sit there, quietly, and wait until I have enough of his brain and his attention to work with. This is more of an exercise in my patience, rather than a pattern that I ride, but I find it really helpful to be nonreactive at times. I just keep asking for the same thing, and ignore the reactions I get that are the wrong ones.
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