Discipline is based on pride, on meticulous attention to details and on mutual respect and confidence. Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of the goal or the fear of failure ~ Gary Ryan Blair
This is the life lesson that I am learning with Carmen. She is smart, sensitive and reactive. I have always considered myself to be disciplined. And that is partly true. What I am is driven. That has worked for most of my life. Now it's time for me to figure out how to be disciplined with Carmen. I have to put my excitement aside and take it one step at a time.
I am learning to trust my instincts in how we progress and it's paying off. What I am also learning is that when I'm with her she must have 100% of my attention. She knows the instant my attention wanders and does not like it.
What I realized yesterday is that I must also ride her with a plan for every stride. Otherwise she makes decisions and then becomes annoyed if I disagree. That makes sense to me. Learning to do it in practice is hard but coming along.
I was very happy with our ride yesterday. I rode her without Irish in the ring and she was so tuned into to me that it was clear to her when my attention wandered and she made it clear to me that she did not like it. Not that she did anything bad but she would become tense and rushed. As soon as I focussed she relaxed and listened. It was so black and white that I'd have to be dim to not recognize it.
Our confidence in each other is growing:
- We seemed to have formed a truce with the trolls in Troll-Corner. While not perfect she was willing to accept that they may not leap out and eat her at any second.
- She was able to stand quietly in the cross ties without having to see Irish
- After I took her out to hose her off and she had her drink from the hose- it's quite comical to watch
So that is my new code of conduct: focus, attention, patience.