Usually there are many things that come to mind when making New Years resolutions. I am choosing to keep it simple this year.
Stay neutral, open and observant in each ride. That’s my mantra for 2014.
I have gone through stages focusing on technique, and micro-management.
I must now let my horse do his job.
I can be there for him when he needs me, but I cannot carry him.
I cannot focus on perfection only strive for it.
By staying neutral and observant I can improve my feel.
I’ve noticed a certain impatience to my warm up.
My expectations of how long it should take to get ready to work have no impact on the horse’s readiness.
Patientce is a virtue…so I will choose to stay open and neutral.
I’ll ride correctly and let the patterns and exercises work for me and my horse. I realize that some things you can’t hurry.
The virtue is in the comming together of the horse in a good frame on his own. I’v been guilty of “framing” the horse….before he was ready to yield. I think it now better to ride an extra 15 minutes or so and have the horse come into you.
I also realize that having a talented horse that may give you 20% effort on any day must be asked to perform, demanding his attention leads to resistance. Some horses must be brought into work with more finesse, I will try to be more open to that.
The neutrality means not to judge the horse as lazy or unwilling to give over the back. I think some horses need convincing that the work will be fun and challenging. I believe giving the horse something to look at or something to ride over (cavalletti) may stimulate him and improve his work ethic. I enjoy fun new things and challenges, why not our horses.
Observant means not to overface or overstimulate…there is a balance of what is fun and what is scary…don’t judge…be observant and creative in problem solving. A good observer can monitor feedback from the horse more effectively. Good riding is working through that infinite feedback loop.
I hope you find my musings interesting.
Happy New Year…from Kimberly Cox and Roderick
Here’s to a great 2014 full of hope, success and growth through CalgaryDressage.com