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“Internal softness is exactly what the words indicate: becoming soft from the inside, and then allowing that softness to extend through the rest of the body, both inside and out” - Mark Rashid When we think of softness within riding most people jump to the hands and finding softness through the reins, but if we ignore the rest of the body and just focus on the hands we are effectively ignoring 98% of the aids/signals that we are applying to the horse as our hand is equivalent to 1% of our body Softness starts from within, with our mindset and emotions, you cannot separate the body and its emotions they are one of the same things, we physically feel our emotions hence why we label them feelings, and so these emotions are transmitted through the body, these signals are picked up by the horse. So if we are hard in our mind, negative or forcefull no matter how soft we try to be in the body we will always have a hardness attached, our mindset has to be one of open softness, allowance and understanding, it needs to feel positive and patient and genuine, from that point we can then start to allow the ripples of softness to spread through body As the softness not only enters the hands but the arms and legs and torso our senses become more open to receiving, we feel more and become aware of more, leaving us able to hear our horses at a deeper level, as we soften our beings with that comes a willing to open and therefor the signals our horses are sending are much easier received Instead of missing the soft cues from the horse we hear them, feel them and can respond with a soft signal ourselves and the whole process becomes less of a struggle So start with the mind, soften and open your own thoughts to what is possible without pressure of succeeding and allow that softness to expand outwards 

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