If there is some way of getting a person to think of the horse first, then he could figure out what the horse’s problem is and take it from there. So many times people think “This is what I want done,” and they dont’ give the horse a chance to figure out what is being asked of him and why.
Fridge and I had ride #15 Monday, and when I was done the very handsome cowboy in my life, Zach, climbed aboard to see where he is at. This is some of that ride and you should seriously watch it because it will make you laugh. This is what I “deal” with everyday. It’s a challenge, I tell you!
When he went to move him out Fridge wasn’t as willing as we’d like. Now in following my horsemanship journey, you know, that that is one area in which I struggle. I tend to nag my horse, and I lack the confidence to do what is necessary to get the change. When I climb on to a colt the first time and am asked to move them out, I literally see my life flash before my eyes. Now, that’s not how world-class athletes, or horseman, have much success. They believe in the work they’ve done, and they visualize what they want to have happen. I know I can do it, because when I was rodeoing in High School and College I’ve been in that “zone”. I just need to get there with riding colts. I feel like I’m making progress (one day at a time, right), but my inner control freak still feels the need to scream occasionally and say, “well what if this colt runs off with you? You don’t have any control”.
My response should be, “Sure I do. I can ride as fast as they can run for one (and I like to go fast, for crying out loud), and for two, my horse is soft and supple and I can always roll the hind around to help them come back to me”. Further, I’ve done the work at tuning my horse into my seat in downward transitions so I know I can stop riding and have him come back to me.
In learning to go this way with horses I think there’s a line to walk in getting your horse to do what it is you need him to do – in this case, move out, freely – and still take his feelings and thoughts into consideration. One of the things I’ve struggled with in learning this, and adopting this “way of going” if you will, is that prior to riding like this, while I loved my horses and thought I was doing the best by them, I really didn’t care what they thought – of anything. I was on a schedule: I had things to do, places to go, barrel races to attend, goals, futurities, etc. Now, I care, and I don’t want to upset the applecart, so to speak, so I’m trying to find that “line” and take my horse’s thoughts into consideration.
What are you working on with your horses, or life in the way of self improvement?