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.
LOL -- Winston taught me to ride every stride. Like Carmen, if my attention wandered he would take matters into his own hands. I think Carmen is much sweeter than Winston, though. And mares are fair -- it is what I love most, I think. Lucy and I have a relationship built on trust -- that comes from us both being fair with each other. You are very fair with Carmen. I think she will mellow with age into something similar to Lucy -- who is sensitive, smart, and a bit reactive. She's learned to hold it together most of the time. Carmen will get there too. I'm not sure I could have handled Lucy if she were Carmen's age (not at my age anyway). And, having a plan is always good but don't let the plan drive you; listen to Carmen and make sure it is the right plan for her that day. Lucy has taught me not to push my plan but to listen and adjust. And be tuned in. LOL.ReplyDelete
I totally believe that she will mellow. She's already showing signs of it. It's a whole new ball game with mares.Delete
It sounds like you are figuring each other out. That's a perfect example of how horses shape our personalities. My mare Gabbrielle is so in tune with me that if my attention is elsewhere, she starts looking around, trying to figure out what is distracting me. She always know when company is coming, because I glance up each time a car comes up the street, and she'll focus on the driveway.ReplyDelete
they are far more tuned in then we often give them credit for. Now that I have them home I see that all the time.Delete
She sounds like such a sweet heart. I think she will be better able to handle a bit of distraction on your part as she gets older and matures. Have you ever thought about taking her out hiking with you? I have found that it is a great way build confidence and trust.ReplyDelete
I agree. As she gains more understanding and confidence she'll be more tolerant of my wandering brain. :)Delete
Her bedhead is adorable! :) Sounds like you are learning a lot from eachother!ReplyDelete
Sounds like a good start! As with all relationships, both man and beast, it takes time to learn about each other, and to grow with each other to the point of trust. I think you have a good willing partner there!ReplyDelete
yes- time. I just need to be more patient (says the woman who was engaged after 6 months of dating). :)Delete
The smartest of my horses, the ones with whom the connection is strongest, made me work for our partnership; they didn't give me anything for nothing. They are worth every extra effort I've ever made for them, & our partnerships reflect that to those who stand around watching.ReplyDelete
I couldn't agree moreDelete
I identify with what you say about being driven, lol! And having to learn to add patience in to that drive to become disciplined... it's hard work, but they are good teachers! ;)ReplyDelete