Wow, I attended a Darren Simpson Natural Horsemanship clinic at our Pony Club yesterday. There is so much to learn about controlling your horse! We each had 2 x 1hr lessons in a small group of 3 or 4. The first lesson was ground work. Reversing by using your lead rope & halter, teaching the horse to maintain your personal space & when leading not letting it run over you when you stop. We also did side pass over a pole & getting the horse to engage their hind quarters & having them pivot around in circles.
The 2nd lesson we did in the saddle, it covered the same ground except you are on the horse. Sounds easy! but believe me it wasn't. Gal was being naughty because he has a separation problem from his mother & she was catching a ride home in another float so we only had to make 1 trip back to the paddock ( we had 3 horses there) an his mother was throwing a wobbly because she didn't want to get on a strange float & leave Gal. So we also had a lesson on floating a difficult horse. And I got a lesson on keeping his attention & making him do what I wanted not what he wanted.
With the reversing we also learnt to stop. Very important. One particular rider had a problem with getting her horse to stop & had a very harsh bit on. Darren changed this to a snaffle & taught her to stop him by first teaching him to reverse & listen to her. It had also developed a habit of rearing to get out of doing things that he didn't want to. She was also taught how to turn the horse as soon as his front feet left the ground, & he soon worked out that it had no effect.
Anyway it was a great clinic to not only take part in but to also watch the other lessons. If anyone would like more information I have posted a link to his web site.