Thursday, December 9, 2010

Get my head back in the game

I have been spending way too much time whining about the fact that I am cold (I am) and the wind is blowing (it is) and I already want winter to be over (I do and it isn't here yet). 
I need to pay attention to what this horse needs to keep moving forward with her training.  She goes really nicely for a few days and I forget how neurotic she can be and start pushing her to the next step and the next and the next and she can't handle it.  So I give her a few days off.  When she has had a few days off I am a little nervous and tense when I get on her because she is a little explosive and she is nervous and tense because of her history.  I realized yesterday that I was riding with my shoulders hunched and kind of shoving and pushing at her when she was spooky.  So she got stiff as a board and resistant. What I need to do is ride every day or as close as possible, but not train every day.  Or at least not train anything new or push her along. 
Today I made sure of my own position, was extra aware of my hands and legs and worked her for about an hour... all at the walk.  I gradually asked her to bend more and turn better and walk out more and she did.  She gradually relaxed and ended happy and with no resistance.
I know that it is tiny little steps that keep her moving forward and I forget because when she is going nicely she is as nice and responsive as any horse I have ever ridden.  She just can't maintain it yet because she starts to worry.  I can't just zone out and take a mental day off and expect her to carry on.  She has come a long way, I don't want her to get stuck now.

1 comment:

  1. I know that feeling. When I first started riding and training Arty, I'd primarily ridden schooling ponies. While I'd worked with some green ones, they were still schooling ponies at heart. So when I started riding Arty, I had to adjust to him and retrain myself to an extent. He was extremely nervous and required a calm confident rider, but more importantly he required a rider that knew when to push him and when he'd had enough. That was definitely a hard thing for me to get.


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