Working On Our Horsemanship Habits
I kept bringing up my personal goal of working towards bettering my own horsemanship, so I want to share some of the tools I'm learning and hopefully they can help you too! I think it is important to find where we are lacking and strive to improve where we can when we can. One of my most important challenges I am working on is leaving my stress and problems in the car, at the edge of the arena, or hopefully far away from the barn (I am not always able to, but think it is important). I know that making our horses help carry our own burdens or stress can be quite the load for them, so I encourage you to "leave them by the gate" or "drop them in the car" - imagine packing them into a box or bag to leave in the car, or they are attached to a fake jacket you leave, and even go through the motions of taking off at the gate. When doing this sometimes it is helpful to "pack your box" and leave it out of sight, other times it is helpful to leave it near you where you can see it to pick it back up when you are done working with your equine partner. By working on this we are working on being more present which allows us to further our bond and open up more avenues in our horsemanship journey.
Ironically enough one of the books I was listening to, Atomic Habits by James Clear, had a great visual for how small habits and changes make a huge difference over time, it really applies to working towards goals, take a look:
I think this visual helps understand how important it is to really strive for daily changes, or even moment by moment. It is okay to break down the bigger picture into smaller more achievable pieces. I can truly say this is helping me in my own journey so I hope it can help you with yours as well! I had a very proud moment in my last lesson, in that my trainer really saw a change in both myself and my horse, she saw where my horse was more willing and less resistant, I feel that is in big part of what I have been trying to practice. My moments are helping me achieve the 1% improvement, which is better than staying stagnant or accepting things as they are when I want to see improvements for myself and my equine partners. So if you are up for the challenge try what I am doing and leave your problems at the gate, in the car, or wherever you feel is best for you. This leads me into the importance of really being in the moment for ourselves and our equine partners, which is my bigger picture with these tools.