Give Your Horse A Want-To Attitude
If you've ever had kids, then you know exactly what I'm talking about here: Let's say your sons had waited all week to go paint balling. They'd waited all week and really had their hearts set on it. So, Saturday morning comes around and they run downstairs. They're headed for the door when you call to them and ask if they could clean their rooms before leaving. How do you think they'd handle that? They might get mad and throw a temper tantrum. They might turn and stomp their feet on every stair all the way back up to their rooms, down the hallway and slam their doors.
Now there's several ways you can deal with that. The best is to say "I understand you don't want to clean your room. But after that display you're going to do the dishes and vacuum and dust and clean the garage and fold your laundry AND clean your room. After that's done, you're more than welcome to go do exactly what you want to do.
I treat the horse the same way. If I ask him to standstill, that's cleaning his room. I say "Clean your room." He says "No." I say "Fine." Now, what can I do that requires movement? It doesn't matter if I'm in the arena or the trail. In either place I can work on change of directions. I can work on his headset. I can get the horse working better off my legs or seat. And I can always work on speed control. I could do all kinds of different things. I can work on all those things when my horse wants to move. If my horse wants to move, I say, great, let's do it. Let's work on breaking at the poll, softening up your neck or following your nose; let's work on your leg speed; let's work on you moving off my legs. Let's do all these different things, and then, when I'm done, I'm going to ask the horse: "Do you want to clean your room, the garage and the patio? Or, do you want to just stand still?" These are all things I would have wanted to work on anyway.
There's only two things that can happen. He's either going to say yes or he's going to say no. If you do this about four or five times, the attitude you're going to