Patience is a word that we hear a lot, probably.
Patience, patience, patience. But what does it REALLY mean in the horse context?
The rider/horse-person should adapt themselves to a patient mindset. This is not something that I've come up with on my own, as you are all aware of. But I believe that this is something I need to hear from time to time, so I am writing it here to share with you and share with myself.
Basically, I'm breaking my green horse. When I do something wrong in my riding (incorrectly ask for the canter, for example) or if my horse does something wrong continuously, I need to remember to remain patient and not get frustrated with myself or my horse. I'm a perfectionist -- I get frustrated, it's natural.
I have been in instances where I think patience is necessary and alternative thinking. For example, if my horse is not doing something I want, I need to analyze the situation in full. I need to ask myself, as I've read elsewhere before, "Why exactly is this situation happening? Is my horse being a goofball, is she hurt or aching, is she uncomfortable for some reason, is she afraid?" For me it is most common that my horse is just young and uneducated, very smart but learning the ropes of what it means to listen and be obedient. For those of you who read my post about my barn experience last night and my ramble on about my issue, I should have been more patient with my horse. Instead of getting frustrated (not frustrated in the sense of AHHh, I WANT TO TEAR MY HAIR OUT, but frustrated in the sense of THIS IS FRUSTRATING AND I NEED TO FIX THE ISSUE) I just need to remember that my girl is young, she doesn't know everything yet, and that there are alternatives to getting frustrated... which is being patient.
I think patience is challenging, especially because we in the human mind often seem to expect outcomes rather quickly. We think "Okay, derr, leg means go, why aren't they just going then?" Sometimes horses get distracted, sometimes they are lazy, or maybe they are in a certain situation where they tune out leg (I think that might actually be part of my problem).
But I wanted to emphasize the importance of patience in riding. Patience doesn't only apply in each individual ride, but over a course of years, months, days, whatever. The horse improves with constant training and effort, and this requires patience.
My horse was kind of a rescue. Not technically but sort of. I'd have to explain the situation for you to really understand it. Anyway, when I first got her, she was not well-trained. She had basic training, but she has a long way to go. She is doing so well and is an absolutely outstanding mount, and my best friend. So, patience comes into play here. I couldn't have gotten my horse to be more educated and had our intense bond overnight. It takes patience.
So I probably just reinforced a lot of the things that you guys already knew.. Maybe there's a couple of you who don't know that for some reason so now you do... But you know what? I just felt like this was something I knew but needed to hear. So I wrote it down. TA-DA.