I call the eighth connection exercise “The Boomerang”. This is a very active exercise, so your horse has to be in a playful and energetic mood for it, or you have to try and spark this playful energy in your horse.
What is the objective of the Boomerang?The primary objective is to have fun! This exercise fuels the fire of your horse. This energy is what fuels running, playing, and joyful bucking. However, you must practice this exercise mindfully. If you start this game in the wrong moment, play it too long or too many times, or come across as aggressive rather than playful, the horse no longer experiences The Boomerang as a fun game but as something very annoying.
Where do you do this exercise?All connection exercises are done in a large arena or meadow. A large area is especially important with this exercise because you definitely don’t want to give your horse the feeling that you are chasing him. In a large space, you can play, be energetic and go crazy, because the horse can take his distance if he needs to. Also, you should refrain from chasing your horse or staying too close to him. This will take the pressure off and let him know that it’s just a game. Your intention is very important here: it should be “let’s play together” and not “you need to run away now and then return”.
How do you do it?Because of the preceding connection exercises, you should now be at the point that your horse enjoys your company very much and that he happily follows you at liberty. So your bond is now so strong that you can send your horse away actively, trotting or galloping. You do this with a playful intention: “I feel like playing, do you want to join me?”
So, if our horse feels like it, we invite him to actively trot or gallop, sending him away in front of us and letting him run energetically, then inviting him to return to us afterwards. The idea is similar to that of throwing a boomerang -- when you send your horse away in the right way, most of the time he will want to return. Keep in mind that it is not an obligation but an invitation to return… not a command but a game.
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