Dealing with your own moods in the stable - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Dealing with your own moods in the stable

I guess we all agree that our mood influences our behavior and that our behavior influences our lovely 4legged friends. Now I guess everybody has some days or periods in his/her life where he/she is annoyed/angry/unconcentrated when coming to the stable, because you e.g. keep thinking about some conflict at home or at work. When I am like that, I'm impatient and get annoyed easily, when a horse makes a mistake or behaves in a way that I don't like. I assume I'm not the only one who is like that. Do you actively do something about getting in a better mood before you approach your horse? Or do you just try to be aware of your own mood, before you go to the stable, so you don't "blame" your horse for your own feelings?
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 01:12 PM
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Honestly, my horse is therapy enough that I can forget the other frustrating assets of my life.

One thing I do to ensure that is the case, is I turn off my phone and either leave it in my car or in my tack trunk. That way I can get away from parents and boyfriends and work and deadlines, and focus on why I'm there and what I need to accomplish for the day. For me, just entering the barn is a breath of fresh air that I just can't get enough of.
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 02:26 PM
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My horses are stress relief! Usually I differentiate between what's causing me the emotions and the horses (though sometimes if it's my horses I allow myself to be upset lol). About the worst I've ever done when I'm frustrated is to tack up quickly so that I can ride and relax and I've not really had a horse be worse for that. When I apprentice under my trainer if I'm having a stressing moment (due to whatever be it home or young horses who act completely stupid) I'll go out into the back lots and spend time with my horses or I'll just take some extra time grooming the training horses I'm preparing for her. Usually there's not much emotional conflict between me and the horses, whether it's them having the bad day and acting out of character or me and the trainer we seem to read each other well enough to work around those rare incidents.
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 03:16 PM
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My boarder called me in tears the other day. She'd come over to visit her yearling colt and he was being difficult about being caught. She's the type that feels guilty if she can't come every day and also puts some human emotions on the horses that they just don't have. She was also......indisposed in a female way that day.

I went outside and found out what was going on, chased the little booger down for her and then showed her some things she can do to get him focused on her and more willing to be caught. This little guy is sweet as he can be, but like any young thing, if he hasn't seen you in weeks, he's kind of forgotten who you are and the he trusted you. She's learning not to take things like this personally and to just take a deep breath and refocus HERSELF, and slow down and become very deliberate and detached with him. He responds very well to slow and deliberate, doesn't do so well with rampant emotions.

So, I think we all need to learn to take a deep breath and exhale fully when we find we're getting on edge around the horses.
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 03:52 PM
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If you bring your emotional baggage to the barn, you're going to wind up in the ER eventually. Around here, once you pass the gate, the rest of the world doesn't exist.
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 04:26 PM
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I feel the same way as Zexious and Incitatus32. I forget the world when I am with my horses. I have had some pretty bad luck in the last few months, but all I need to do is spend time with my girls and it doesn't seem so bad.

I agree, leave your issues at the barn door and enjoy your time with your horse.

I am her eyes. She is my wings. I am her voice. She is my spirit. I am her human. She is my horse
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 04:27 PM
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I try and put the cell phone down when I'm riding. I only keep it on me for in case of emergency. Focusing only on the goal of the lesson for that day and the horse and myself being in sync. If I get frustrated with my horse, which is bound to happen, I close my eyes and take deep breath before I take the next step and remind myself that most issues are the riders fault and everything takes time. It's really important to have your emotions in check. I've seen too many people get frustrated and yank the reins way too hard or storm off mad and end on a bad note, which you never want to do! However as a whole, I think the saddle is one of the most relaxing and "zen" places to be! :)


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post #8 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 04:29 PM
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My horse is my therapy. No matter how bad the day is I can saddle her up and all my troubles go away.
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 04:34 PM
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I've owned/trained horses LONG ENOUGH to ask this question, too. I think that you should understand that no horse has an agenda or is trying to irritate you OR frustrate you. They only know:
1) what they have learned
2) what they need to do to avoid pain
If you get frustrated and physically take it out on your horse, EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE FEW THINGS THAT WE CAN DO to really hurt a horse--like when my gelding stepped on my foot recently and I kicked him in the "shins" (cannon bone)--you should try to get your emotions under control when you work with your horse.
Horses are emotional. That is why so many women own/train/love them, bc they express emotions like many women express emotions.
Try to think about what your horse does well when you have a bad day and work on those things when you get frustrated. Leave the barn with your horse knowing that he pleased you today. Go home and puzzle through what you didn't like in his training, and then try to figure out how to fix it.
I had been thrown and broken my arm, then stupidly got on several "Alpos" looking for new horses, two of whom bucked and I slipped off, unhurt--my old herd was dying off, you see--and I was afraid of my gelding. His 16'2hh height, as a 3yo, didn't help this. FINALLY, after teaching him perfect leading-out-his-stall behavior, so that he NOW walks around the gate, puts his head and the lead on my side and WAITS for me to unbuckle his halter, he finally "told" me that he was really..."little"...and I was scaring him. Since then, we've gotten along great and the training just gets better and better.
I don't trust him well enough to remove burrs from his tail standing right in back of him bc he might forget I'm there and step on me, BUT, it's gonna be ok.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman,
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did!
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 05:31 PM
Green Broke
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some times you just have to get off and call it a day.
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