The power of pressure and release, and particularly of well timed release, never fails to amaze me. I know a lot of times my timing is not perfect and thus my results are less than they could be and my horse is less sure and happy than he could be too but other times it works out pretty good. Sometimes I get a whiff of that feeling I used to have of knowing exactly what to do.
I feel pretty good that the horses I work with tend to come for me when I go for them. Yeah yeah yeah it helps that it is winter and the grass is not green and succulent and their bellies would especially welcome a bit of grain and I could make caveats for myself forever but the fact is that if I go to Jin's field and whistle and she sees me, she'll walk to me from just about anywhere. And I play with CC and Blaze and Lily in their field about every morning when I check water and so they'll pretty well always come too. Not always down from the top, but often. And even Zip and Whiskers, both newer rides for me, are curious, receptive; Whiskers more skeptical but then, he's been ridden more before me too. Sometimes it takes them awhile to get over that feeling that there is nothing in it for them.
And then there is Brat. She isn't my horse but my daughter rides her some, learns with her some. Brat knows everything but Brat is a very shut down horse too. And Brat will almost never come, even for her "mother".
But the other day I went for her. And I knew she wouldn't come and I was mostly just relieved when I walked out there that she wasn't at the top of the field. I walked toward her with purpose and Blaze was like, "Me? Me?" and I rhythm-ed "no" to him and said aloud, "I am not here for you Blaze. My intention is for Brat," and I held the intention strongly and walked. And she raised her head. And I stopped and cocked a leg and though, "hmmmm." And she put her head back down and I continued to walk toward her with purpose and the next thing she did surprised me so much: She raised her head and took a step toward me in one motion.
I stopped, cocked a leg, laughed, and got a treat out of my pocket.