Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oh Snap!

I wrote a long post and deleted it because it just went to all sorts of places I didn't need to go.  I am going to put a rubber band on my wrist and snap it every time I think I need to do something different.  I know some folks get stuck in ruts.  My problem is that I have a hard time staying on track.  I have a young, green horse and am a returning rider.  Training takes time.  Confidence takes time.  Relationships take time.  Thinking I need a new trainer?  SNAP!  Oooh, I should ride Western!  SNAP!  Maybe she needs trail training.  SNAP!  I just need to find a clinic to go to.  SNAP!  I just need a truck and trailer.  SNAP!

All of these things are fine things on their own, but for someone who's looking for the magic pill they are just band aids over the gaping wound picking at the scab that is "I need to allow a relationship to develop between my horse and I where I am the leader."   See, I made it to the peak of the mountain.  And now, rather than enjoying the view I'm taking those last few steps and wondering if I climbed the right mountain and how am I going to get down and did I remember my chapstick and what if I had used a different kind of boot, would my feet hurt less?

I had a lesson on the pony today that was not about fear.  It was not about attention (mostly...c'mon, she's a young, green will ALWAYS be about attention) but was about training.  What?  Training?  What's that?  Oh, yeah.  That's things like controlling the shoulders when they bulge on the corners.  It's about using outside leg and rein to capture.  It's about rewarding Tessa's tiny little tries as she learns something new.  Let me repeat the end of that so we can all hear she LEARNS SOMETHING NEW.   Yes, internet horse buddies, my horse and I have graduated to actually learning some skills.

Years ago, there was a time where with the help of a trainer, I could easily teach a horse things.  Nowadays, not so much.  And so part of my discussion with Laura was about her putting some time in on Tessa.  The hard part about teaching your horse things when you don't know them yourself, is it's hard to know what right feels like.  So we're going to do a combination of Laura teaching Tessa what *right* is (talking about shoulders and turning and using less opening rein) and Laura teaching me what *right* feels like (when you put your leg here and move your hand here, this is what *should* happen) and then I'll get on Tessa and we'll try to combine the two.

As I was riding my pony around the indoor, asking for her nose to tilt slightly outside while I push her towards the inside with my outside leg and rein, I realized that the trail training can wait.  The Western saddle can wait.  We have many, many adventures coming our way and adding in too many solutions just makes the problem harder.  Sometimes it's just easier not to have too many choices.

Now I'm going to take my winning $2 ticket and go buy an apple for my pony.


  1. ! : ) Seems like we're all standing at the top of that mountian today!
    P.S. Can I borrow your chapstick? I forgot mine... ; )

  2. I have such a hard time focusing, too! I want to do everything and in the end it usually leads to me doing nothing. I so much wish a trainer or coach was in the budget right now. Even a little guidance can go a long way.

  3. One step at a is sooo hard, though!

  4. New reader. Really enjoyed that post. As a newbie I am struggling more with the confidence in myself as a rider. But I am climbing that mountain slowly but surely.

  5. It always feels so good when you guys finally get something! i am so glad you guys are on the same road and it seems like you are going the same pace. Good for you!