Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bad Habits

As I struggle through life, I search for ways to make it less of a struggle. I am the one who is always overthinking things and spazzing out. I do hope that I have properly portrayed that in my blog posts. One of the ways to make things a bit easier would be to get myself under control. When things start going wrong, I sometimes begin to panic inside. I begin to get so hopeless and believe I will never reach my goals and everything I have done heretofore with my horses has been completely in vain. The whole thing is just a bad habit, and I am very concious of it.

I read something today about making new habits. If I can remember, worry, and tie my shoe, then I can remember to tie my shoe in a new way and break the old habit of tying my shoe like I usually do. If I can realize the road I am going down, I can do something different. I just have to realize that I have a choice.

So, when Blu was having comeback issues with the yoyo and I felt that foreboding dread at the back of my skull and the heaviness in my shoulders, I sought to do something different--to tie my shoe in a different way. I may not be able to force myself to feel better, but I can do something different that causes me to feel better. I knew that one of the wrong choices would be to continue on with my plans and do more complicated things where the lack of draw would cause more problems and throw me into a vortex of failure and feeling horrible.

Another thing I might have done that would not help me feel better would be to get upset. I could have thrown a tantrum or something dramatic. I could have pitched myself onto the ground and gone blank. Any number of options are imaginable that would only lead to a melodramatic onslaught of tears or cussing or stomping off or otherwise. Obviously an incorrect option for this situation.

I decided to ask Maggie for help. I knocked on the window and asked her to watch Blu and me for a moment. Now, Blu had been freezing up at the end of the line. I asked him to come back, he went to sleep, I waited there doing nothing for a moment and then he suddenly came to me after several minutes. I went back to the porch and asked her what I should do.

"I don't know." And the door closed. I sat down on the porch. I wasn't crushed, I was just thinking. Blu was watching me and asking me questions. Then he climbed the steps and stood in front of me. Talk about draw. He just can't do it during the yoyo. . . Maggie knocked on the window--telling me to get my horse off the porch, I am sure. Should have told her I didn't put him there.

I went back to the driveway and began talking to myself. As I'd been performing for Maggie our poor little yoyo, I had made a realization of my own. That is why I was not upset when she told me she didn't know what I should do--because I knew. Not only did I know, but I was already doing it. I just needed to keep doing it.

I complicate things by second guessing myself. What needed to happen today was for me to accept that I am right. I am my biggest critic, I think, but I am often not a helpful critic.

Needless to say, I began to solve my puzzle without second guessing myself. I stood off to his side and drew him to me several times. This is not a respect issue, so I can move away as much as he needs. I began positioning myself straighter and further from him until he was drawing straight to me.

Then I went to zone 5 and drove him in a figure 8 around the two buckets. I started with the walk. I was very clear and slow with my signals. I saw when he reazlized what we were doing and what the cues were. Then I asked for the trot when it just felt appropriate--like not asking for the trot would be incorrect. I did my figure 8 of 1/2 trot, 1/2 walk. He got every transition smoothly and his turns got much better. I stayed light, and when the end came, I exhaled and he stopped thoughtfully. I asked him to come to me and he came. I took off his halter and asked him to come to me. Then I let him follow me away.

Is this a silly horse, or did I make a difference, here? What I believe is that I followed a pattern of natural progression. Everytime I moved on, it felt like the natural, proper thing to do. I just need to accept my intuition.

I find quite frequently that when I go to ask for help, I had the answer already and just wanted to believe that I was inadequate. I have to believe that I am capable. I am capable. I usually succeed when I attempt. I am capable of being friends with a horse.

Natural Horsewoman Out

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About Me

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I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

What We Are Currently Playing With

  • Moving Close Circles at Liberty
  • Soft, Balanced Canter on 45' Line
  • Zone 5 Driving