Crazy Cow Country Farm

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Light bulb moment

May 23rd, 2008 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Don’t you love discovering something and feeling that little light bulb go off in your head?  Happens to me all the time.  I was reading the training blog of a horse owner who realized long ago after having trainers scream at her to “RELAX” while riding that it’s nearly impossible to consciously relax.  When you’re riding and you’re green or the horse is green or you’re having negative visions expecting something to happen, it’s not good.  Not good at all.  What she learned is to pretend she’s riding a dead broke 30 year old gelding and just keeps a good seat to stay on, just in case.  She also had someone tell her that the horse has no idea  that he’s what’s causing the rider to be nervous or afraid.  When a rider tenses he assumes the rider has spotted a predator or something dangerous and hasn’t a clue it’s fear of him that’s causing tension. 

Wow.  Total light bulb moment for me and bang on in my case.  Doesn’t that make perfect sense?  And those of you who already knew this, please just humor me as I’m a clueless wonder and really never thought of it that way.  While at the prison last week I showed pictures of Buck to several of the guys there and imagine my surprise when they all said, “Oh yeah, I remember that big boy.  He’s the one who bucked the warden off so hard he had to have shoulder surgery.”  Little difficult to relax after learning that little tidbit, you know?

The other day I put that knowledge to work and calmly asked Buck for a canter while in the pen all by my little lonesome – it went fantastic.  It was a short distance, he was surprised, but it was smooth as glass and just beautiful so we ended pretty quickly after that.  On Wednesday I had him cantering around the pen for quite a long time and worked on getting different speeds, stopping, and really having him pay attention.  He did fantastic!  Honestly, it couldn’t have gone better.  Now after the incident last week in the pasture I knew I needed to get him out there again so Jen (on Silver) and I took him out tonight, this time in the big front pasture along the road.  We had a couple of issues with the body going one way and the nose going another but overall, it went great and I felt very comfortable.  He was trying to please and figure out what I wanted the entire time and kept trying when he didn’t get it right.  Really, he worked fantastic!  I was *this* close to asking for a canter but the trot was so smooth and nice that I hated to ruin it should something go wrong.  This will be Buck’s first canter “in the open” as the jail only had a very small area out front for the guys to ride – mostly they stayed in the back enclosed arena – so I want his confidence up and I want to ask for it when we have plenty of time to work through it.  The most amazing thing is I never once felt nervous.  Never once felt like I couldn’t bring him back or get him stopped if there was another incident and, to me, that’s really a huge milestone and a nice place to be.

Tomorrow’s the day.  He’s ready and I know he’ll do fine.

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