Can it be done in calmness?
If it can’t be done it calmness then it is not worth doing.
I read something like this a long time ago, and I have rarely agreed more. This is so important to have in mind and yet it seems to be forgotten way to often.
Calmness is my greatest goal in being with horses. I haven’t always been aware in my mind, but my stomach has told me. I know nothing worse than doing an excerise with my horse if he is stressed or tense. That is no pleasure to me and it doesn’t satisfy me at all. An exercise could be something as simple as walking around side by side or doing a transition into a canter.
Nonetheless striving for calmness can be easier said than done once in a while. Calmness might not be available at every second, but it should always be the goal. Most times we have some kind of agenda when we are with our horses. At this point we, as humans, should have something in mind… Can it be done in calmness? No matter what we ask from our horses we should always consider if we, in a reasonable amount of time, will be able to do it in calmness. If not, we probably should approach the exercise otherwise or find something else to practise.
Maybe your horse will change over time when his self-confidence has grown from doing things he is good at. With increased self-confidence you might be able to pick up that old dream of yours and carry it out with your horse in calmness. Or maybe not. No doubts that you can do other amazing things and it is not worth pushing something through in which you can’t be happy together. Pushing rarely creates a good result and pushing is often what ruins calmness. Besides pushing often comes from impatience and impatience is no gift with horses – quite the opposite actually.
Look at your horse when you are with him. Is he able to perform what you ask from him in calmness? Or is he tense and uncomfortable?
If it can’t be done in calmness then it is not worth doing.