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Ever see someone riding a horse and the horse is so responsive that it appears that the horse is practically reading the rider's mind? Well of course the horse can't read a persons mind, he is just totally focused on the rider and always waiting for the next cue. Here is an exercise that you can do that will have your horse paying attention in no time at all.

This exercise is done from the saddle and is a great warm-up for any riding activity. First, you must understand that if you want the horse to pay attention to you, you must pay attention to the horse. The better you concentrate, the better the horse will concentrate. After tacking up and climbing in the saddle, ask you horse to walk straight forward two or three steps and then stop. Immediately ask your horse to back two or three steps and then stop. Ask your horse to move off to the left for two or three steps and then stop. Back two or three steps and stop. Right two or three steps and stop. Back and stop.

Repeat again. Forward, stop. Back, stop. Left, stop. Back, stop. Right, stop. Back, stop. Do five repetitions and stop for a few minutes and just sit and praise your horse. Begin again and repeat the exercise five more times.

Notice that after each forward or side movement we ask the horse to stop and back. This gets the horse focused on us and waiting for the next cue. He gets very responsive as he knows you are paying attention and he is anticipating the fact that you will ask him to do something. 

This is a great exercise for a couple of reasons. When the horse is paying this much attention to you, he is much less likely to be distracted or frightened by other activities around you. It also teaches the horse a good whoa. To back up, he must stop first. and when you do this exercise, you are constantly stopping and backing after each forward movement. This gets his mind thinking he will have to stop when you ask because the next thing you will ask is to back.
This is a great exercise to do everyday. It's also helpful when your horse is fidgety around other horses on the trail or leaving the barn or leaving his buddies. Because the exercise gets his attention on you, he will pay less attention to the other circumstances around him. 

Remember that your horse will only give you as much attention as you give him. If you want him to concentrate on you, concentrate on him. You will only get what you give, but it's worth every second of the effort. 
Have fun with your more responsive horse!!!!