In my previous blog post, we looked at some confidence building exercises you can do with a helper dragging a tarp. Once the horse is comfortable with your helper dragging the tarp behind him, you will move to the next step: taking control of the tarp yourself and dragging it without a helper. When I have control of the tarp, I will walk straight lines and also make turns and circles around the tarp. When circling around the tarp, the tarp stays to the inside, well away from the horse, and the rope does not touch him.
As a trainer I have found that the more horses I can work with, the better I come to understand horses in general. This has been one of the greatest privileges of teaching clinics, as it has allowed me to see literally thousands of different horses. But working with other people’s horses at clinics is a different experience that working with my own, because those horses are reflecting the struggles of other riders. This is why I feel the need to always have a bunch of horses going myself, as it allows me to constantly see myself through them and continue to grow in my own horsemanship journey.