Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Get the log out!

I know it has been a while since I have said anything. I have been extremely busy. I just partially finished bringing a 4 year old quarter horse to the point of being ridden. He is going to be a good horse. This experience showed me again how important a good beginning is when it comes to training a horse, or for that matter doing anything in life. My own two horses need a lot of work to get them where I want them to be too. That is as much me as them. However, I didn't know how far along Raven was until after Hunter (the 4 year old) left and I had some time to work with Raven. She is eons farther than I had thought. Its like driving a car without power steering then driving one with it. It was refreshing. If only I had started her like this when she first arrived 15 years ago. But I can get her to improve more. I need to improve myself. It is like Jesus saying in Matthew 7, 'take the log out of your own eye before you try to take the speck out of another persons eye.' That is not the exact quote, but in applying this to horses, I have found that I need to be harder on myself than my horse. Raven or Jake want to work. They want to understand what I am trying to tell them. I can tell because they lick their lips, throw their head around, or just move trying to find the right answer. so when they don't find the release it is because of me. If they don't move their shoulders over but move their back up or mover forward it could be that I am not giving them the right release or cue. It has to be taught to them. Much of the time I have discovered that when I want a turn and they side pass it is because I am giving them mixed signals due to my own inexperience. My seat position is wrong, I'm not riding balanced myself. So when I recognize that and am harder on my own mistakes then theirs the session is more relaxed and we learn the move faster. One thing I have noticed is that they don't hold my mistakes against me. Whew! that is a relief.
So in the future when I ride (which is always an occasion for training) I prepare myself be remembering that they will try to find the right answer. I need to know what I want and how to ask for it before I ask it. And I need to remember to be harder on myself than the horse. I need to get the log out of my own eye before I try to get that speck out of theirs.

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