Sunday, October 23, 2011

Patience and

...determination. From the archives:

28 March 2004. She's gonna blow!

This Wednesday L and I will have been together for 8 years.

I think everyone should enjoy their horse like I enjoy L. She's a complete delight to hang out with and every trip is just about the best ride ever.

I have however, on a couple of occasions, said something about challenges in our "early days".

I wasn't a beginner when I brought L home. I wasn't an expert either. But I did have the supervision of a talented professional with 35 years experience. Thankfully.

L, being a smart, bold, dominant horse, was a tough nut starting from day one. For a very long time, years in fact, I thought I'd never get it. After months of ground work, showmanship and lungeing 5 days a week, she still thought I was an idiot.

Oh crap

I was determined to make things work. Day after day I just had at it. I tried to be observant and find what worked and what didn't.

I learned 2 things I feel are paramount in all aspects of horsemanship.
  • Timing. Your horse lives in the moment. Work with your horse in the moment. You can't stop and think about whether your horse just did the right thing or the wrong thing. By the time you think about it the moment is gone - along with any opportunity there might have been with it. That was a huge problem for us for a long time. I had to think about what was going on. That was disastrous when we started under saddle. Nothing really bad happened but clearly I needed work.

  • Subtlety. There's a little timing here too. L is a very smart horse. I found with her you better notice things. That is to say, if she tests you then you're already at a disadvantage. If you didn't notice her thinking about testing you she'll think you're a moron. If she thinks she's smarter than you she's going to take over.

    In contrast to that I know a horse that can get a little flighty sometimes. With her she'll look to you for reassurance. She needs a lot of reassurance. But it's really meaningful only when she looks for it. And all you have to do is notice she looked for it and make sure she knows you noticed. That makes everything right with her world.
Oh and I'm still not an expert.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...