What is an intention? One definition states that intention is what one intends to do or bring about.
When you are with your horse, do you have an intention? Do you have a plan of what you would like to bring about?
Often we approach our horses with what we want to do with them, but is this intention. I was giving a lesson the other day. This was a first lesson with this person. As I do with many first lessons, I asked the person to just walk the horse. This gives me an idea of the relationship between person and human.
The owner started walking his horse around the arena. We were outside in our outdoor and it is a fairly long arena. As they got to the end which was further from the horses, the horse picked up his pace. As they approached the gate, the horse started to walk towards it and the owner sort of followed and then pulled the horse back to him.
Observing was quite interesting. Although the owner had the lead rope, you could see that he was not really leading the horse. The horse decided to make his own decisions. I'll stop here to smell this. I'll walk faster here. I'll walk to the gate now. The horse wasn't being bad, he was just taking matters into his own hands or hoofs.
I talked about what I was observing with the owner. I asked him to walk again, but this time I asked him to walk with intention.
What does a walk with intention look like? It means we are going somewhere. We are walking at this pace to the cone at the end of the arena, we are then turning left, we are then walking past the gate, we are then going to walk slowly to the middle of the arena and then stop.
There is an intention with every step. There is a plan. The owner walked around the arena with intention and the change was amazing. The horse walked with him. He didn't stop and smell anything, he didn't try to go out the gate. The horse knew what was expected of him because there was an intention.
I was riding my young horse and another horse left the arena. I thought "I wonder what she's going to do" and then I thought "Do something!! Don't wait for her to decide." So we started walking around the arena with intention and the other horse leaving was not a big deal. What would that scenario have looked like if I didn't start riding with intention?
The next time you are with your horse, think about your intention. Notice what changes with your horse when you have an intention.