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This exercise (“Exercise 5”) allows Les to find out if his zones will work together. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t; if they don’t you have to fix it.

Lots of signals in different directions

Aim for no resistance and good energy flow

What else is exercise # 5 good for? Develops muscles, tendons and ligaments for stopping on one side at a time

Making a horse relax

When you have control of all four zones, especially the head and neck, you can use this maneuver to take any tension out of the horse.

How much should you use this? 20–30 times a day is not unreasonable. If you’re getting stuck, identify the problem part and then work on it by itself. Then sneak from that exercise back into #5; the Columbo approach.

Horses don’t have egos

They love:

• Being rewarded
• Understanding what you want.


It’s caused by lack of knowledge on the rider’s part

You have to get control of the neck

• If the horse throws a tantrum, kick him forward into the bridle
• Make it really nice for him, or darn sure difficult

Make an issue when he lifts

• Don’t just ignore it; make sure he knows it’s not right
• Make sure you get after him right away so he knows what he’s getting in trouble for
• Gallop him out and make him put his head down
• When he starts to relax, let him mellow to a stop as long as he stays soft in the neck
• Really reward him when he mellows

If a horse thinks that he can get away with things when there is spee

• Use it as a tool to punish him; when he’s bad make him go fast and put him in the bridle until he wants to stop

There are times when you need to bargain

• Make sure you win; but you may only get one step
• Then reward him like crazy so he’ll remember

Don’t tolerate any attitude

• As soon as you feel him tense up, go at him with both hands and legs
• Your horse might be just trying to see what he can get away with
• In anything you try, if you don’t like the feeling in the neck, ABORT
• Don’t steal a maneuver; earn it
• If it’s wrong, fix what’s wrong. Don’t mask the problem or hope it will go away on its own

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