13 March 2009

Ray Hunt 1929-2009

• Notice the smallest changes and the slightest tries.
• You direct the life in the horse’s body through the legs to the feet to the mind.
• Slow down so you can hurry up. In the end, it’s a good way. Speed ahead of accuracy is no good.
• You think you’ve got to hold the horse, but you don’t have to. You’ve got to have a feel – a feel following a feel, not pressure against pressure. That’s what happens in the starting gate, pressure against pressure. We don’t really think about it in that manner, but the horse does because he learns what he lives. He learned it the way he lived it.
• There has to be firmness and discipline. I’m responsible for running the show, and the horse is going to work for me. He’s going to go where I want him, but he’s not a slave. You make him want to do it. First thing you know, he’s your partner.
• "If I was going to dance with a lady, I wouldn’t just grab her and say ‘We’re going.’ I’d get slapped,” Hunt said. “A lot of people don’t understand that you are trying to get the horse to turn loose in the same way. There’s a place in there where he turns loose and then you give. I feel of him, I feel for him, and we both feel together.”
• I’m trying to get my idea to become the horse’s idea. It’s not like turning a dial that is going to work today. It’s what led up to today that you need to change. It’s the little things that make the difference.
• Keep in mind what you are working toward you might not get him in (the starting gate) today, but when you feel he tries – which is a plus toward that – you can put him away. Quit on pluses, don’t quit on minuses. That’s negative; always quit on positives. He will never forget it. Build on positive things. When he finally wants to do things for you, that’s building confidence in him. By doing too much, you can take that confidence out. You’ve got to work from the horse’s point of view.

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