Equinamity-A Revolution in Horse and Rider Training

Equi-note 9 Matching Principle helps working with good harmony

Source: author


Equi-note 9


Matching Principle helps working with good harmony

You need good Inputs to start the process of working with good harmony.

It is essential that you start with good Inputs. And this is even before starting to think of getting any harmony at all.

But apart from that what proof do you have that your choices have been good? How do you recognize if the Inputs are satisfactory?

It is only natural for you to think that you have done a wonderful job of choosing your Inputs. But how do they compare with your own real, deep-down wishes, as well as the expectations of friends and family?

Of course you will soon have impressive photographs which are alway helpful. But more importantly, do any objective measures exist against which you can compare the quality of your choice of Inputs?

Yes! These are the Outputs. They will be looked at in conjunction with the Inputs in the next section. 

A good match of Inputs and Outputs
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Good Inputs are essential for working with good harmony

The range in the variation in Inputs could also be described as suitable vs unsuitable. And so, irrespective of the quality of the Inputs, Outputs also have every chance of ranging from good to bad.

Outputs are very different from the Inputs as was described in: Equi-note #7 Success with horses needs realistic inputs and outputs.

An immediate example is one that is well known and often causes a great deal of jealousy. The example is that of wealthy individuals, buying expensive horses and tack for a spoilt child. Frequently wonderful horses are acquired for them even if they have minimal experience.

This often occurs by parents buying the best horses, equipment, stabling and training available for their children. This is usually done with the best intentions and as such should be applauded. However, this situation often creates a mismatch of Inputs. And in spite of numerous disadvantages, sometimes great partnerships come out of it. but not always.

All too frequently, the mismatch of Outputs causes the relationship to fall apart. This is because Outputs are very different and cannot be bought. They depend on you! On nobody else.

The horse is your willing servant. And reacts to you and your instructions. Consequently, you are the one responsible for determing what happens. How the relationship develops is entirely your responsibility. You are in charge of the training. You are the key to working with good harmony.


Your approach determines whether you and your horse are able to work with good harmony

Both  in good times and bad!

They are the inevitable outcomes of such an involved relationship. It is only right that you are able to enjoy the good things. Otherwise you wouldn’t be around horses, right?

But it is not only about weekly visits, taking pretty photographs and showing off your new breeches and boots. Developing your relationship with your horse takes time and effort. Your progress around horses can be  very time-consuming. And it usually is.

As the new horse owner, you must be ready to work hard to improve those areas where more skill is required. Sooner or later there will be a crunch time when your progress will be measured.

You will be expected to show what you are able to do with your  choice of Inputs. Most (probably all) horse owners automatically believe that their judgement on these issues is excellent.

However, there is always a crunch time. This is important for many reasons. The first is that you need to prove that you have made progress to yourself. Secondly, you must be able to demonstrate your progress to your family and to stable-mates. And thirdly, you will also have the opportunity to increase awareness of your skills to friends and in due course to competitors.

The main difference between Inputs and Outputs is that the latter are mostly subjective. There are a number of them. And it is significant that this is where working with good harmony jumps to centre stage.


Working with good harmony

Harmony is one of the hardest qualities to achieve. And this applies to everyone, so don’t feel that you are being discriminated against. It is a magical characteristic that goes far beyond good technique.

When activities that are complicated look very easy there is usually a good reason. And that reason is because they are being done by someone who has probably spent thousands of hours training. And many, many years. For many of the most committed individuals it involves the dedication of a lifetime.

You can only achieve good harmony if good technique and skill co-exists with dedication. It is revealed instantly through ease, energy, skill and willingness. These qualities are not only exhibited by the rider they must be shown by the horse as well.


Good harmony usually overshadows all the other qualities

Once a gifted athlete reaches the highest standard, they exhibit this key extra quality. This quality goes beyond skill and condition. This is when harmony emerges through technique and reveals itself in all its spendour.

An example of good harmony is shown in the photo above. It shows a horse being long-reined in a working trot. This image has been chosen because it is accessible for everyone who deals with horses. It is not some fantastic achievement which can only be realized by the world’s best, even though it might be admirable.


Why does it show working with good harmony?

There are a number of reasons which explain why it is demonstrating that it is working with good harmony. It is not necessary to show the horse performing a complicated movement. Just a simple movement done well.

It is not showing resistance or tension. The horse is balanced and on the bit without being over-collected. The horse is trotting well, freely and forward. It is leaning into the turn and has good bend in the body. It is also stepping “under” its body with its off-hind. This is needed for balance, impulsion and turning.

In addition, this horse is expressing other good Output qualities. They include:

      • Understanding
      • Confidence
      • Conditioning

It is likely that all equestrian enthusiasts will wish to improve their technique. These are qualities being shown by the horse that they may wish to emulate. A big problem is finding the right tools and also knowing what the outcome should look like. Tools to help with this improvement will be shown in the Outputs.  

The next photo shows the joy that winning can bring. And as mentioned above, this happens when you have got good Inputs and good Outputs. With them, you can achieve success. And it can come at any age.

Three children winning prizes. Matching Principle gets good results
Source: author

However, not all horses and riders are so lucky.

This is not always the outcome for many horses which are subjected to different training regimes.

There is often a negative risk.

What is it? Conditions which lead to it are looked at next