Read His Eye Before You Mount

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A horse’s eye is a window to his soul—or at least a good indication of how he’s likely to behave under saddle on any given day.

The eye of a horse.

The soft, relaxed eye pictured indicates a horse that’s calm and ready to obey his rider’s cues. If, as you prepare to resume a more regular riding schedule this spring, your horse’s eye looks a good deal less acquiescent than this, consider a little extra groundwork to help him relax and dial in to you. The time you spend on groundwork invariably translates into a calmer, more focused mount under saddle.

Improve your groundwork skills by using a longe line or lead rope.

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