I mean what is a bad day after all? How do we define a bad day? I think most of us would define a bad day as a day in which things goes wrong and so would I. Either because the horse is in a bad mood or because I am in such a bad mood myself that none of my ‘expectations’ seem to be fulfilled no matter how things are.
Years ago I had many more bad days than I do now. Not because they doesn’t occur anymore, but because I see them in a different light. Or I try to at least… I know that the horses only act from their instincts and if things goes wrong it is often because I haven’t been clear enough or have too high expectations to them. Of course it also happens that one of them is in a bad mood on the given day and in such case I usually allow them to have a day off if it is just for a single day. I might spend some time in the pasture with them as well. Otherwise I usually try to persuade them to do something they like and then they often seem to become quite happy anyway when they are cheered up a little bit by playing, going for a walk or whatever they like…
Now you see… I have always been and still are one of those persons who is really good at blaming myself. Whenever something goes wrong I believe it is my fault. Sometimes it is, but very often I haven’t actually done anything wrong at all or only half of what I blame myself for. This of course relates to the horses as I tend to blame myself whenever things doesn’t work out for us.
The way I have tried to help myself is by lowering my expectations. When your expectations are low it seems harder to become very dissapointed and thereby the bad experiences will soon become a rarity. Another thing I have tried to teach myself is to always focus on the positive things. It is damn hard sometimes but so much worth it.
I have experienced days going all wrong. Days where I just felt like sitting down in the grass and cry because I felt like a terrible trainer or friend. Again because I have been blaming myself and focused on everything that went wrong. That is NOT a very good way to handle things.
The way I try to handle it these days are more like this… On bad days I refuse to go home before I have had just a single moment of ‘success’. Success is not like a big thing in this case, but just the slightest thing that goes right. It could be something like a moment of closeness or quietness together with one of the horses and then that will be the only thing I focus on from that day. This is not about denying that things can go wrong or forgetting about everything bad that has happened. It is about choosing to focus on the little things that went right!