Seems like I'm stuck reading about riding more than riding right now, and one of my favorite blogs is Retired Racehorse.
Having fallen somewhat unprepared into the role of Thoroughbred re-trainer, it has been extremely gratifying to find people like Natalie. She not only loves and accepts Thoroughbreds, but has a calm and reasonable way of treating a horse that has lived a life only on the track, introducing them to a life that holds so much more than racing at high speed around an oval.
This post about softness may be one of my favorites.
The training tips are uncomplicated, and having long noticed that Bar does not respond to jumping up in his mouth, learning to be as soft as possible when asking him for something is certainly a good goal. And having practiced this very thing, I know it is indeed effective.
"Really?" he says, "You aren't going to hang on my face and haul my around by my head?" Yeah, buddy. I'm going to reward you for your very first response, as slight as it may be, to encourage you to keep responding, keep giving whatever it is you want to give. Because I know that means you'll just keep giving me more.
Reading is great, but I really (really) can't wait to ride again.
Oh, and by the way, Final Call is for sale. He looks like a fine horse and I know he's gotten the right start off the track.