Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A level of importance

In the last post, I was going to bring up a few different things to discuss. Instead I decided that those who have, are or are going to serve their country deserved their own time and space and the appreciation in honor of their decision to offer their time and in some cases their lives. In writing this post, I was going to bring the other topics up for discussion. Problem is, I can't remember them now. Which shows how really unimportant some things can be or how we place priority on certain things and lose sight of the other stuff.

So am I turning into a crazy broad as I age and my mind is starting to fail? Is that it? Or have I learned to place a higher level of importance and priority on some things and just let the rest go?

With horses there are also levels of importance and priority, whether it is in relation to grooming, training or both. We have our goals, we know what we want, but we can derail our own efforts at times by micro-managing, nit picking and sweating the small stuff. So your horse took a bad step, what about the three other hooves? Were they all wrong too? Which is more important the one bad step or the other three good ones?

Its easy to fall into a routine with your horse, but routines can lead to ruts if you don't pay attention. Pay attention and watch out for the ruts! Routines can be good, keeping you on track and everything in order, but when you let your mind slip into autopilot as you go through your 'routine' things can go wrong. You might miss the small signals from the horse that something isn't right. You can overlook the slightest warning signs that there's about to be an epic meltdown.

When you begin working the horse, you notice the small things and decide if they are to be addressed or ignored. That's when the questions start. Do I make an issue out of this or just stop and ask again? If I keep getting the same incorrect response, is it my fault or is it the horse? Are my cues clear and consistant? Does the horse understand what I want? Are they that far along in their training? Do they know this or are they just misbehaving? Is the misbehaving a single episode or is it happening more often? Is there pain involved that is the cause of it all? Have I checked?

We all have our routines we go through and mental checklists we go over as we prepare to ride and once we are in the saddle. We go through things step by step to stay on track. At least we hope it works out that way. So how do you decide which things are important and where they land on your checklist? When do you decide to overlook things or take notice? What do you consider the 'ruts' and how do you stay out of them?


  1. My current rut:
    I haven't moved my horse yet, since I need to settle up some stuff with the current BO, and he's not getting the turnout he needs, so the old guy is HOT HOT HOT.

    The new barn will have 24/7 turnout and more outdoor riding opportunities. And no Western Pleasure nonsense to deal with. And stuff for my kid to do while we're there that doesn't involve potential bodily harm (she already learned about the electric fence, the hard way).

    I'm generally not a hard-ass with a horse - or kid. They get away with a lot of little stuff, as long as the important stuff (usually safety and courtesy) happens. When I start getting too OCD about things, is when I start losing it, myself. The hard part is being consistent with your expectations and demands - whether you're on the trail or in the show ring - and don't worry about what other people think.

  2. Choose you battles ,is kind of my motto esp working with the boys that still have "landing gear" Nothing can get you in trouble faster with a stud than nit picking . How do I decide what to correct and what to leave? I kind of try to stick with the m if they are trying and listening to me , a mistake is just that a mistake.The bigger deal is if they loose focus or are ignoring me and looking elswhere for their feedback. If I look at the behavior from that view it not only changes what I react to ,but how I react .(Like how did I loose his focus?)
    Not sure if that made sense (it did in my head LOL)

  3. Watching the pick pick pick/yank yank yank/seesaw seesaw seesaw of the WP riders these days has made me renew my commitment to becoming a tactful rider.

    Also, shameless brag: I scored TWO genuine Barbour coats for $15 from a little old Jewish guy who was JUST MY SIZE.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.