7: Rope Handling

lesson7taichiropeT’ai Chi Rope Handling

by Alexandra Kurland

Do you know what your lead feels like to your horse? Can he trust your hand? Or are you inadvertently poisoning the clicker training experience with too much force? These t’ai chi” rope handling exercises will improve your balance, help you develop a more secure riding position, and give you a better understanding of the lead rope as a communication tool.

Alexandra Kurland says:      “This DVD covers the morning ground work that I include in my clinics. In these sessions we leave the horses in their stalls while their owners work on their mechanical skills. These sessions are extremely valuable. We work out the details of how we are going to ask for something before we involve the horse. This lesson looks at what I refer to as “t’ai chi” rope handling skills. 

We begin by experiencing what the lead feels like to your horse. How much can you perceive when you are tense versus relaxed? Are you balanced and how does that effect your horse. Do you know how to use the alignment of your bones and bone rotations so you can be powerful and effective without being forceful or aggressive? I use a series of Laing Gong exercises which I learned from James Shaw (“T’ai Chi for Equestrians: shawtaichi.com) to help explain the rope handling skills I incorporate into clicker training. This DVD will be especially useful to all of you who are using the Riding book and who cannot get to one of my clinics.