Wednesday, December 2, 2009

taking it easy

Well the Thanksgiving weekend is over and we are all back at it. I have been trying to get a rental back in shape to rent out in the next few weeks. Heads up to anyone who wants to buy property to let out to others. It is, in my humbles estimation, a money pit. On a lighter note. I have been able to ride a couple times in the last few days. I learned something I think is really valuable in life. Sometimes you have to take it easy. What do I mean. Well, sometimes we can get so caught up in the everyday things that we miss the opportunities/privileges to just relax and take the time to get refreshed. With me in the daily things I do it is just being able to sit with my Bible and a cup of coffee and just read to read. Not to study or examine a passage, but to just enjoy the Words coming out of the mind of God to me.
Now with a horse it is the same way. As a trainer I can get caught up in getting the job done and pushing my way through, and if you know much about horses you know you cannot just push through. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just stop trying to push through some lesson and relax and let the horse be a horse. What that looks like is what I was reminded of on two occassions with both of my horses over this past weekend. First, I took Raven out and worked on freedom/liberty lunging and desensitizing her to a few things. Then I got on her, went across the road to a big field and worked on softness and leg yields, and shape. We probably did this for about 20 minutes or so. Then I just went down the road playing a game with her. The game was to see how far I could go without using a rein. I just wanted to use my seat and legs to guide her direction and foward motion. So I left the rein loose. Oh, I had to use a few times, but you would be surprised at how relaxed we both were when I wasn't pulling on her mouth and I concentrated on my seat position and leg pressure. It was just a nice easy gentle walk a 1/2 mile down the road an back but by the time we got back it like fluid motion we were both relaxed. I only wish we would have had more time to ride.
In the second episode I was working with Jake last evening and went through my same routine of desensitizing and working at liberty with him. I used my lariat to sack him out a bit, 'cause he doesn't like things dragging behind him. I want him to get used to dragging a rope or whatever. But I didn't stay on it very long, only about 5 or 10 minutes. Then I took him out and worked him across the road as I did Raven. Then we went down the road playing the same game of not using the rein unless I had too. Now it didn't go as smoothly with him as it did Raven but by the time we were back it was alot better and we were both relaxed. I also understood more with him the need to be in the right position with my seat and using my leg when he is picking up the corresponding foot in order to get him to move over. For example, If he is drifting to the right and I want to stop that and keep him in the center of the road, I need to block him with my right leg and even push him with it when his right foot is being picked up and his shoulder is dropping. Then I can move that foot over. So I just time my leg pressure for when he is about to pick up the right foot. When he moves his right foot over that forces his left front foot to get out of the way and subsequently he moves over. So I just played that game with and the entire ride was one of relaxation. I wasn't bugging him and we had a good ride. So I learned that often times less is more and you get more done in less time.
So whether you have a horse to work with or not take the time to relax and enjoy the time you have. It might only be 5 minutes to step outside and breathe the fresh air or do something different that you enjoy. But change it up. You might find that you will be more productive the rest of the day.

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