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Guest Blog # 116: "The Cone of Uncertainty" by Bill Woods
The national weather service has issued an advisory complete with a mapped out cone of uncertainty for the “potential development of a tropical disturbance” which would be named Fred. Be clear: at the moment it does not exist, but there are indications that it might in the future.
This is a good model of how you should think about riding your horse. As you are preparing to perform a movement, don’t wait until the storm clouds are gathering on the horizon to think of packing a hurricane survival kit.
Let’s take turn on the haunches as an example. It’s easy to get over-focused on the aids for the turn itself and be surprised at a stiffening or resistance in the middle of it. Remember your main focus should be the basic principles of attention, connection, and throughness which must be present whether you’re riding a 20 meter circle or a canter pirouette. When you have just lost it, that’s a bad time to think of it!
Riding through the potentials of a problem before it ever crops up – testing the validity of the relationship with your horse constantly — is the way to prevent such problems from surfacing unexpectedly.