Oh how my perspectives have changed. What bought about the shift in me? Growing older maybe, also meeting Noo noo I loved her spirit but there was a point where I would have happily crushed it in exchange for obedience. Thankfully she was sent to help me grow, not to be crushed. I share this dreadful thing I felt because I see so many riders who just want control they don’t care how the horse feels and they want a quick fix and performance. I also read a quote that helped me know change was needed ” If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”
My desire for control was caused by fear, I didn’t know the skills I needed for this particular horse, other horses might have kept their heads down and allowed me control. I wasn’t cruel or harsh but I didn’t show leadership either. I needed to develop my character, I had to learn how to listen to her, see how she felt, she certainly didn’t see me as a leader, or trust me.
Our horses are communicating with us all the time, the more we tune in to this, the more we can hear and notice. Developing relationship brings about harmony and that can only come with two way dialog. Its the same when riding as well as in the liberty work we do.
It seems often there is a lot of conflict between horse and rider the human rushing and missing the basics, resorting to tight flash nose bands when the horse opens his mouth instead of finding out WHY? he opens his mouth. Us humans love our sticky plasters, using them to cover over problems instead of addressing the problem. They come in the form of dominance based training, gadgets that we spend huge sums of money on and instructors who get on our horse and ride him like a dressage star without imparting any knowledge to us about how they did it, these are but a few! they are our sticky plasters to give us a quick fix with minimum discomfort for us. Excuses are another sticky plaster, ” my horse is difficult” “He/she is being naughty” ” Iam too old/ill/poor/ short of time/money” The list goes on….The trouble is they don’t work!!! Sometimes the route that seems alien to us, the one that goes against the ‘norm’ the one you worry onlookers might laugh at, that might take too long, THAT CAUSES YOU DISCOMFORT BECAUSE IT REQUIRES CHANGE is much faster than a sticky plaster. It is also more fun and brings about a result far more beautiful.Throw your plasters away and listen to what your horse has to tell you, then look for the solution. Its usually within us. There are many solutions out there and your intuition can guide you to the one for you.
For me throwing away those plasters gave me a wonderful sense of freedom to follow my own intuition which lead me to Carolyn Resnick who showed me a magical relationship with my horses.
I am always learning and its knowledge and continuing to be a student that also means you don’t need your sticky plasters.