Native Americans Speak about Riding and Working with Horses

There are only three reasons horses do not travel round, relaxed, and through: Fear, Pain, and Confusion. 

As creatures of flight


is often a horse’s first response to new stimuli. Horses look to their rider to be a leader and rely upon them to communicate whether the situation requires their attention or if they can trust their rider to lead them through the event. Are you as a rider relaxed when your horse raises his attention level? Often the first place riders show tension is in their hands and subsequently arms and shoulders. Your instinct to a raised head should be first to relax and lighten the contact, to make sure the horse does not feel trapped. Once you have done this you may sit close with leg contact, press the horse to the bridle and ask him a firm yet gentle way to lower his head and pay attention to you.



is a more long term problem and can be the result of any number of issues including but not limited to poor saddle fit, poor rider position, hard hands, unfriendly spurs, bad footing, etc. while working your horse or any other general ailment. Pain is often misread as bad horse behavior. If you are having long term chronic bad behavior from your horse be sure to have your vet check him out before entering a program to alter his behavior.


is likely the most frequent equine complaint. People speak of horses becoming ‘ring sour’ but there is really no such thing for a horse. If horses are worked properly with
Think of this, if you are visiting an elderly person and they just drone on for hours about all sorts of little things of no importance which leads to nothing of further interest what do you do? Why of course you tune them out. You begin to ignore not only what they say but all of their body languages as well. This is what happens with your horse when you are not riding quietly with clear focused aids good bio-mechanics, stepping under, lifting their backs, relaxing and steeping into the contact, horses can work hours without any complaint. A horse would rather be well ridding in a “boring” circle rather than be jockeyed around a ring endless confusing aids. This is where most “bad” horse behavior lies.

As a rider of the Sioux Nation, I have been aboard a horse since before I could walk. My balance was perfect before my mother allowed a rein in my hand. I have no fear on the back of a horse. I know for this I am blessed. I meet many riders who did not grow up with horses and I see them do many things to confuse and frighten horses. After years of trying to help riders, I have discovered there is tack available that can make a huge short cut in what would be years of training and learning.

 I sewed a ThinLine pad on a piece of elk hide (which is usually all I ride with) and found it did many things for me and then I knew I could help riders learn how to speak horse and become one with them much faster than many hours of speaking and riding. The ThinLine saddle pad takes out much of the extra noise or unintentional movement (movement by the rider which is not intended to be a command for the horse and only the movements with more direct contact or press, is heard by the horse. Just adding a pad has greatly reduced all that extra noise which frustrates horses.

I have also been using the ThinLine reins and have felt much peace as I watch riders become so much softer with their hands. This happens not only in the good moments but also in the startling moments when the horse suddenly startles the rider no longer feels the need to grab because the reins will not be jerked out of their hand.

I would like for all horses to feel the oneness I feel with them and since teachers cannot be with students every minute of their lives I am joyful I have found this product which helps horses work with more trust and clarity while riders get better and better. It is always about the horse.


Wakanda – Sioux Rider, for ThinLine

~posted by ThinLine March 13, 2015