Murdochmethod.com - Full Article
December 9 2014
Mugsy Dehere is a 6 year old OTTB and a SURE FOOT junkie. As a racehorse Mugsy was very, very girthy and had to be tacked up while walking. He reared whenever someone attempted to saddle him while he was tied or standing still.
When Cathy Gulick started using Mugsy as a horse for her husband she had to figure out someway he could be safely tacked up on crossties. Cathy knew about the SURE FOOT Equine Stability Program because she was my demo rider for the (soon to be released) DVD. She decided to give it a try with Mugsy.
Cathy did a few SURE FOOT sessions with Mugsy to introduce him to standing on the stability pads. Then she tried standing him on the pads while being tacked up. He stood very still and actually relaxed even more as she saddled him. Since then Cathy has been using the pads every time she tacks Mugsy. He has not even come close to having any issues since she started using SURE FOOT. In addition, he is moving more freely in the shoulder and going better under saddle.
What is the SURE FOOT Equine Stability Program?
Quite simply it is an opportunity for your horse to become aware of his habits and change his own behavior and movement. This may seem quite astonishing at first when you consider that your horse can reprogram his own brain. But that is exactly what happens. You offer your horse an opportunity to experience the way he stands habitually by placing an unstable surface under his hooves. Beginning with one foot at a time the horse chooses whether or not to remain on the pads.
The experience is an offer not a requirement. It is imperative that the horse can choose to stand on the pads or not and for how long (although I will at times ask the horse to walk off). This is quite different from training, which is when we impose our ideas on the horse. Even if the training is “good for him” it is still something we decide we want the horse to do rather than something the horse wants to do.
An experiment with a surprising outcome...
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