Today I took a Vaquero Horsemanship style riding lesson. It was interesting and hard…for both of us. The focus, at least at our very beginner stage, is on how well the horse yields its nose. Tucker actually yields pretty well, however, not well enough for the vaqueros. It is not just a physical response that they are looking for. They want the horse to yield in the mind (which apparently starts with the nose) and eventually gets all the way down to the entire body…especially the feet. We eventually grew the nose yields to hindquarter, forequarter and sideways yields. The one we really had a hard time with was yielding the nose in a soft bend while still moving in a straight line. My horse does not really understand (at least at this point) that his nose and neck can do something independent of the rest of his body.
I am not sure if this is something I will continue with. I saw a lot of value on many levels in the things we were learning. BUT…At the end of the lesson instead of feeling excited and empowered about new things, I felt like we had a lot of “work” to do. I already have a job, so I don’t really want to turn my horses into one too. But maybe it just felt that way because it was a new way of doing things. I do know that after the lesson we had to hit the local bridle trails as a way to decompress.