Moments of Brilliance

it’s so easy to get frustrated! I’ve seen it a million times, and I’ve experienced it probably more than that. Despite your every effort, strict attention to ?how to,? listening to your trainer, and communicating with every aid imaginable, still, you cannot get the horse to do what you want! For me, it’s getting Sally?s head nicely vertical, as it should be. For others, it might be picking up the correct lead the first time. Or sustaining the canter. Or getting a few steps of piaffe. Maybe it’s finding your spot as you approach a jump. It can be anything! But, while it’s easier said than done, you need to let it go! Tomorrow?s another day. For me, the harder I try, the worse things become, and the more irritated, frustrated and downright angry I become. Just the other day, I was struggling with Sally to get her head where I want it, all the while being reminded by my helpful riding buddy to half-halt, half-halt, do this, do that. I was trying everything when Sally began to prance and shake her head, saying on no uncertain terms, ?You figure out what the heck you want me to do and let me know, otherwise, I guarantee we’re going to ?part ways.?? Whoa! Message received. Sally is an unpredictable firecracker few others will ride, and I take her threats very seriously (I probably shouldn’t be riding her either, but I love her and after nine years we ?get? each other). To be fair, she had a point. I had so many things going on and was holding her with everything I had that she absolutely became confused and . . . you guessed it . . . frustrated! Sadly, though, those few seconds she was incredibly connected, paying total attention to me (albeit not in a responsive way) and felt awesome! But I relaxed the rein and gave her a break for the rest of the ride. The next day, things went much better. Thank goodness horses are so forgiving. When you’re trying to improve your performance or your horse’s, remember that life?s too short to go overboard. Tomorrow?s another day, and it is better to simply enjoy whatever fleeting ?moments of brilliance? you can get, those times when you feel a collected, responsive?and happy?horse working perfectly with you. I try to remind myself that I’m training, not breaking, my horse. ?If I’m patient and consistent, she’ll give me an increasing number of those brilliant moments, and neither of us will be frustrated.

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