Situation 2: New scared horse won't stop and runs into fence:
Conscious Incompetence: I know the horse is new and make sure he stops in the arena and around barn. I know my riding is not that good to stop a runaway horse, so I don't take horse anywhere that is not comfortable for me or him until I can read and control the horse better. I realize that my horse or I can get hurt if I go too fast or push too hard, so I go slow and set my horse and myself up for success.
Conscious Competence: I know new horses can get nervous and scared and I am aware of his behavior. I pay close attention to him so I can read him before he bolts and redirect his nervousness before the horse reacts. I am constantly looking and reading my horse for "tells" about what he is seeing and thinking. I am actively aware of my surroundings and my horse's demeanor. I pay close attention to his ears, tail swishing, speed, how high his head is and other things he does before he runs off, since I have worked on this and know it is a area we are still learning and dealing with. I know if I put the horse in a situation and he runs off, it is my fault for not seeing it or preventing it and it is never the horse's fault.
Unconscious Competence: I am always expecting the unexpected with new horses or any horse in a new place. I look for and unconsciously feel when my horse is about to react and I redirect him to a place of comfort and safety, so he will not react. I do this without thinking about it since I have done it a 1000 times before, I have trained my body and eyes to read horses without thinking about it, it is second nature and I know horses are always communicating and telling me what is going on around them. So even if I am talking to someone else, I can feel if my horse is excited, nervous, anxious or not comfortable. I can sense this without trying or thinking about it, since it is second nature. Then I do little things, that most people would not even notice, to bring the horse mentally back to me.
Situation 3: Picking a horse's feet and he kicks at another horse and hits me by mistake:
Conscious Incompetence: I am aware that my horse does not like other horses or that he may kick if provoked, I am on guard and make sure I am aware of other horses that may be approaching. I don't get into conversations since I have seen my horse kick and know that all horses will kick, so I am actively thinking and aware so I can move out of the way or try and be ready to react and warn others. I realize I don't have control over this so I just try and avoid it.
Conscious Competence: I know my horse or any horse may kick and I look for signs that he is not paying attention to me, I keep his attention on me, I give him direction when I see him paying attention to other horses, I secure his foot and prevent a kick if he starts to kick. I may warn the other approaching horse or owner to prevent this. I know if my horse kicks, I know I can get out of the way or prevent it. I make sure I am in a position to stop it or correct it and give my horse direction so the kick does not happen or it is stopped before a second or multiple kicks happen.
Unconscious Competence: I move around the horse with confidence, the horse sees me as his leader and knows to pay attention to me, the horse will not kick since I have made my position known and that I am higher in the herd and my horse will not kick when I am holding his leg. I am reading my horse without thinking about it, I can sense what he is thinking and what is about to do before he does it. At the first sign of trouble, I am confidently moving to a position of advantage where I can prevent it, stop it or correct it. My body position becomes more dominant and my horse sees this and pays attention to me and not the other horse. My horse and I are constantly talking and communicating with our bodies, so others may not see or know what is happening, but my horse knows. All of this happens without much thought and almost instinctive and it all appears normal and most people (even people who have owned horses their entire life) will never know it is happening.
Situation 4: I put up hotwire and the horse runs through it:
Conscious Incompetence: I know that horses are reactionary creatures that flee from pain. I ask advice of others, I do research about the pros and cons of hotwires, I may try other things to stop the behavior so not to get into trouble or get my horse into trouble. I know if my horse gets hurt and scared he will react and I may not know how to handle it so I try and go slow and prepare as best I can.
Conscious Competence: I know horses don't react to pain well and have learned that horses stop learning with pain. I may try other methods, that don't involve pain, to stop the unwanted behavior. If I decide to use hotwire, I will introduce it slowly and help my horse understand. I will put it up and teach my horse to move back from it when it gets shocked. I may try and set it low so the horse can learn at a low shock and then turn it up as the horse learns. I won't allow the horse to be set up for failure and allow him to run through it and learn a bad behavior.
Unconscious Competence: I have seen too many horses get hurt due to hot wire, they get trapped, they stuck, they panic, it normally creates more problems than it fixes, half the time it does not work or breaks or grounds, so I know horses learn to test it, horses get bored and will try and go around it and get caught and react to the shock and it will cause more problems than it will fix, so only use it as a very last resort and in an open area where if it causes a reaction, there is less chance a horse will jump, roll, fall or get trapped (like in a small stall). I know hotwire is cheat that is easier for me and rougher on the horse, so as a horseman, I don't use cheats to set my horse up, I take the time it takes to fix the problem in other ways. I know how a horse thinks, I know if I was a horse how I would want to be treated, so I try and do what I would want done to me.
Situation 5: I let a horse run over me while getting my horse out:
Conscious Incompetence: I know that I am not that good at backing up horses. I know that some horses intimidate me and that I lack the confidence to control multiple horses at a gate at feeding time. I approach the situation with the knowledge that this can go bad, that horses are going to try to get out and I have to be ready to stop, to close the gate or to try and get aggressive and back the horses away from me. I may take someone with me it looks too bad or wait until I have help. I know if I get over my head that I can't blame the horse since I caused it.
Conscious Competence: I know horses will be horses, I expect horses to try and test me at the gate. I am confident that I can back a horse away so I approach the situation with an expectation that this will happen and I have a plan that will work and has worked in the past. I am thinking of different things that can happen and which horses will be more aggressive and which ones to do I need to concentrate on. I enter the gate and pasture with authority and confidence and I know most horses wont' test me, but I am ready with my plan for the one that does. And when a horse tries, I know it is not personal he only being a horse and I have to be smarter and not blame the dumber animal.
Unconscious Competence: I am fully aware that all horses like to come in to eat, I expect it, I understand it and I would do it if I was a horse and knew I had fresh hay and grain waiting for me. So enjoy watching the horses be horses. I approach the gate sending clear body language that I am the herd leader and I have a mission. I enter the gate confidently constantly sending non-verbal (body language) that I am the herd leader, give me space, don't approach me, I am giving stern looks to horses that are overly excited and wanting to approach me, I am ready and may move aggressively or swing a rope to make a point, I will not focus on any horse that is being respectful and not pushing or trying to approach me. I do all this without thinking about it, it is almost natural and second nature. People watching will not see it or know I am doing it, but will make comments that "horses like me". If a horse gets out, I take full responsibility for not preparing or being aware enough and for letting it happen and never blame the horse.