Too much motivation?
Motivation is a gift, but too much motivation can easily be a stressfactor. It can be exhausting to keep going on all the time and never take a break. To keep striving for success and never allow yourself to breathe for a moment. Actually it not only happens to be relevant to humans, but indeed horses as well! This discovery came to me after I started working with Torrin.
You see… Torrin is the most motivated little creature I have ever crossed in my life. He is always extremely enthusiastic and willing to do his best at all times. He really wants to do something! I tell you that is a lovely quality, but too much of something is rarely good. In this case he tends to become a little stressed when he is not asked to do something, and instead he starts doing a lot of things on his own. Things he knows he is good at. Of course that is kinda sweet, but I don’t believe that it is something to take advantage of. I actually believe that it would cause me to end up with a very stressed horse, because he thinks he has to do something all the time.
What I would much rather like, is to see him being able to relax. To be peaceful and calm. To enjoy the silence and allow the breaks. Taking breaks is training as well and in Torrin’s case that might be the most important kind of training he will ever receive.
My agenda is not to take away his initiative and enthusiasm. My agenda is actually the opposite. I want to strengthen him and make him trust and rest in himself. He doesn’t have to prove something to me all the time. Actually I love being with him even more when he is calm, relaxed and pleased with himself. My greatest task is to help him become the best version of himself – and so he helps me becoming the best version of myself as well.
Giving Torrin the needed guidance on his way to be calmer and less focused on doing right has actually brought me a happier and more grounded horse. There is still a long way to go, but we have finally reached a place in which he allows us to stand quietly side by side and do nothing at all. That is what I strive for at all time. Calmness…
… Understanding the quality of life when doing nothing …