22) The Importance of Going Slowly
In order for the horse to participate in the process, you must allow him to do so on his own time. Let go of the element of time or the horse won’t respond. Throw away the clock. You are on the horse’s agenda. Go slowly in the Search, watch of the Response, and when you get one, Stay, Stay, Stay until you get a Release, or until you are sure there is nothing there.
Review: Search, Response, Stay, Release
You use the Search, Response process to find tension or stress within the horse’s body. When you Stay with the horse, using the correct level of touch, it allows the horse to bring awareness to the tension. Staying in this space with the horse helps facilitate his Release of tension or stress in the body.
Search softly with a light touch, closely watching the horse’s responses.
The horse Responds to your touch as you go over a spot or area of tension.
Stay on that spot or area—continuing to watch the horse’s responses—at a level of pressure that doesn’t trigger an internal bracing response. This may take as little as a second, or as long as several minutes.
Your horse shows a release response that signals Release of tension in the area.
Note: Different horses have different personalities. Some respond more readily than others. Some are more guarded and give you hardly anything, then after you have walked away, they will show the release. But there is almost always some kind of response, and soon you will get good at recognizing even the subtlest change that signifies progress.