Friday, September 23, 2011

Learning from bad days

I appreciate the supportive comments about my escapade with Smokey.


This horse journey for me is about learning from my mistakes. I'm not beating myself up, I just need to learn what I shoulda'.

In the event that these lessons are helpful to others, here is what I would have done different.

1. When I learned they were running late I should have had a plan B. I have noticed that horses know the minute you don't know what to do. I did take him to the street to do some work, and if I'd kept doing some deliberate work, that would have helped.

2. I should have changed him into his working halter. The web halter was not sending a message, it just became a tug of war. He never pulled completely away, but it was harder than it needed to be.

3. Correct the rear immediately. Nuf said.

4. Not spend so much time in the water. He is a good water horse, but we should have cut our time there in half.

5. Someone asked if I was lunging him. Not in terms of mindless circles. More like giving him a chance to move since that's how he releases anxiety. And refocusing. Yes he goes in a circle, but it's about turning ear and eye to me, not wearing down. I'd like to have a longer lead line for these moments.

6. Check my emotions more to not let my frustration build. Shake it off quicker. I'm going to get aggravated. But I can work on getting back to balance sooner.

I did many things right. Most importantly we ended in a very solid place. The next two days we had terrific rides. We will see what's next.


Deanna said...

Good attitude!! Well done!

Kate said...

Good perspectives we can all learn from.

Margaret said...

How does one correct a rear? I would have NO idea. I think I was the one with the lunging comment. Seems like you were doing that correctly as well, I just questioned as "mindless" lunging would have not been a good idea if he was already worked up. But you already knew that :)

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Good for you. Life is learning from our mistakes.


Fetlock said...

I think some horses do indeed find it necessary to release tension by moving around, and I much prefer longer lead ropes for this reason. There are places where you can order custom lengths so you don't have to carry around 20' of line.

Plus, horses find it more difficult to move in circles than a straight line, and it's nice to have enough rope to make that point (either you walk with me in a straight line without barging, or I will ask you to walk in tight circles around me).

I've been told that it's better to ignore a horse acting up while tied than to correct them, as long as they are not destroying property or hurting themselves... but I'd be interested to see what other folks said about this.

As far as not having a plan, if other people are late, maybe the plan is that Smokey gets some time practicing being tied to the trailer!

Not many people would be brave enough to trailer somewhere with a green horse by themselves, you know--that in itself is asking a lot from yourself as well as S-man.

Maia said...

Hey girl you and your horse fed off each other. He got spooked, then you got spooked. Then the whole thing headed south. You did what you had to do to end it on a positive note. There's a whole lot I could've said, but I don't know you and I don't know your horse.

He's a little guy and he needs a combination of direction and affection. Don't give up on him you guys are on the right road, even if you now and again make a wrong turn.

Hugs to you and a kiss on the nose for your boy from the east coast.

samihob said...

Come along to a new central Equine Blogging Network for others to follow your work.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Yes ma'am, we do learn from those bad days and when you keep working at it like you have been does the horse.

Lord knows I had to haul that silly buckskin of mine all over the country this year, spend time lunging him, wait for the right moment so I could ride him without too much going on, but still give him the opportunity to get used to new places and things and put up with a couple of embarrassing spazz-outs on his part before things got better.

More often than not, that is just the normal process. Keep doing what you are doing and both you and Smokey will get seasoned. ;-)

achieve1dream said...

Yeah, I let myself get frustrated sometimes. It is so useless, but so hard not to occasionally lol. I'm reading backwards so I have no idea what you're talking about lol, but I'm glad it all worked out. :)