Noah has been riding at Giant Steps for almost two years. He loves horses, but can be fearful of them – especially when he first started. It took Noah some time to become comfortable getting on his horse, Scarlet, but now (after petting her) he gets on readily and with no assistance. When Noah first started riding, he refused to hold his reins but he now holds them throughout each lesson. For the past couple of terms one of Noah’s goals has been to use his reins to steer his horse. With physical help from his sidewalker, Noah used the motion of pulling back the rein to steer, but without this assistance he would not do it on his own. Noah knows his left from his right, so that was not the problem. Finally, a couple of weeks ago there was a breakthrough.
While standing at the halt, his instructor asked him to pull his rein so that Noah could see Scarlet’s eye. This was just the incentive he needed! The act of steering was not motivating to him, but being able to see his horse’s eye absolutely was. So now each time Noah turns right the cue is “right eye” and each time he is to turn left the cue is “left eye”. Noah makes the turn every time as he looks into his beloved horse’s eye.