What do you do to keep yourself upbeat and motivated?? :)
even though I don't usually post much on the forum, I am on here almost every day reading what everyone else has to share and comment.
I was just wondering what everyone does to keep themselves motivated and not crumble with stress and disappointment on some days? My young saddlebred cross gelding is the most persistent horse I know. He is so incredibly smart, talented, stubborn and persistent.
I have been doing so much work with him (and I mean HOURS every day since they live on my own farm) and I know he is improving, but I feel like it's not enough (does that make sense?)! Everyone that sees him from time to time is amazed on how much better he is getting, but in my moments of frustration, I just don't see it.
He is so dominant and the most bully youngster you will see out on pasture, but he has a good heart. However, sometimes (actually quite often), I feel like I am failing, even though my objective mind is telling me I am not. I suppose at times I am just too emotionally vested - but honestly, I have worked with so many different types of horses over the years, but he is something special.
Anyway :) Sorry that I vented, but my husband is tired of hearing all of it :D
I get where you're coming from, I'm like that with my gelding Walka.
What I did for him and myself, was attend a training clinic at a local trainers with a few friends and their horses. Got to see my boy in a new way, and it helped me see the progress we've made and where we need to go.
Just a thought. :wink:
Sometimes we get a horse that is a lot of work and it's not as fun as we thought to school them. When I first got horses I bought a small herd--6. I bought "Corporal," (1982-2009, RIP), as a 4yo the next year and another 4yo, a QH, "Dandy Silver Moon," the same year. It was VERY frustrating to work with them, but both of them had good temperments and I worked through the bumps in the road and finished them. I was SO happy that I had other finished horses to ride. Yet, "Corporal" was and still is now my favorite horse. He finished out very well.
Though a problem horse can be a chore, a finished horse is a joy. Is there a finished horse that you can ride periodically? Perhaps that will rejuvinate you. =D
P.S. Parents with young children have the same complaints!
I do have my others to ride! They keep me sane! But really, from all the horses I have trained and ridden, he is something different!
He has a good character, and a good soul, but yes - the parenting thing sure seems hard ;)
Maybe sit down and write out a list about him. The title is,
"At least my gelding doesn't...
Keep going backwards to figure out what foundational material he doesn't grasp. It was amazing to hear a former USET eventer and USET coach say recently that Americans are cutting corners with talented eventing horses and not teaching things like: standing tied quietly, square halts, trailer loading and having to be constantly ridden with more and more powerful bits bc they don't understand the bit. IMHO I'd like to strangle the inventor of the gag bit!! that's just ME...
You may need some physical perspective. Horses are bright and sometimes they can't get their bodies to do what they understand you want them to do. I remember that Corporal would shake his head when we were working on his right lead and he didn't pick up the correct lead. He was very left-handed, he knew what I wanted but he had trouble executing it.
Perhaps you might take a 6 week course in ballroom dancing. (It's pretty easy at the beginning.) You'd be SUPRISED how unbalanced and "left-footed" people are and you can become aware of how long it takes to train yourself to shift weight and break down dancing to little, short steps that get strung together.
Just a suggestion. Keep us undated. =D
Ballroom dancing he... :D I was taking classes when I was in grad school and my very very British instructor (who was trying to have a very dry humor) told me I danced like a plotting machine!!
Yes, I agree.. gag bits are a disaster! Every horse should be able to be ridden in a snaffle!
I also go through all the good things in my head a lot! Fast forward 5 years and he will prob be the most amazing horse with great stamina and desirable persistence when it comes to his task!!
I drive my other half nuts with my horse chatter too! But he should have known you saddle up with a horse woman you saddle up with the lifestyle too :)
I spent the last year training my mare sable, she is wonderful, smart and bossy. :) my bestie also is training her mare and we found the the best thing for us was just some 'undemanding time'.
If you're stressed or tired have a little fun. Take the night off riding and just let your horse in the arena and do some fun things. Me and major, we sit on chairs and gab away for a few hours while the girls scope out the arena and enjoy themselves too. Other times we've set up a trail course, logs, tarps, trees, tires and gone through that with them.
Anyways if you're struggling to destress about it, just go sit on the fence and let your boy come hang out with you for awhile, some of my best destressing of any kind has been done on a fence post.
I win lots of ribbons.
LOL JK, sort of. It's always nice to win the ribbons but.. I don't know - I stopped showing my paint and I just showed Miniatures last year. The people are awesome, the shows are well organized, and it's just way better than the stock horse show folk. Kinda burned out on the riding horses right now lol
Edit: Just read the 'All horses should be able to be ridden in a snaffle' post. My horses CAN ride in a snaffle, but every horse I met HATES the snaffle with a passion, unless it's a three piece snaffle. I don't buy two piece snaffles anymore and got rid of the ones I do have. I had one pinch the crap out of my little guy when I started ground driving him, and I felt so bad about it. There was no reason for it to pinch, despite it having been the first day with a bit, his mouth was PERFECT and soft. It just moved wrong. I swore off two pieces then.
What I do? Well I find things he can improve on. Like if he has trouble staying on the rail (hahaha... he does) then I break it into steps. First I'd make sure he responded and moved away from pressure. Then I'd lunge him and ask him to be on the rail (without tack) making sure to switch directions and gaits often then I'd add tack on and once he has that down, then I'd ground drive him, then I'd hop on and ask him to move over with my leg and leave him be once he was on the rail and make a huge deal about it. Then once he could do that, we'd go through the paces w/t (we're still learning about canter) and practice leaving the rail (what he's comfortable with) and going on the rail. Changing directions, etc. I'd just incorporate it into without him getting all wrapped around the axle. The more you focus on it, the more anxious your horse will get.
That's what motivates me.. just helping him get through stuff by breaking it up into bread crumbs.
Also I seriously love my horse.. even when he pisses me off I love spending time with him. He drives me crazy, I drive him crazy.. we just love being crazy together :P
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