Check out these six simple things that will help you identify the right time to move on to a new task.
1. Is the horse's response jerky or too quick?
2. Is the horse heavy on the hand?
3. Is the horse heavy on the leg?
4. Is the horse moving without precision?
5. Is the horse showing a lack of consistency?
6. Is the horse spooky or resistant?
If you answer "yes" to any of the above...don't do anything else. Stick with what you're doing until it begins to feel good, otherwise your horse will remain emotional, distracted, or confused. He or she will ever learn what true partnership is.
Mastery is not just doing high level stuff... its doing each step, even the beginning steps, with excellence in mind. You want to be able to answer "no" to the above questions to prove you care about excellence. You want to be able to say, "My horse truly understands what I want, and looks beautiful doing it."
Let's put this into perspective. Let's say I'm riding my horse and asking for a trot, but it doesn't feel right... Should I forget the trot and move on to the canter?
Nope. Definitely not.
Instead, I should continue working with the aspects of the trot (stopping, steering, and speed control) until it all feels good. Then I can move on to canter work. And how do I know when it feels good????
Use the six questions above to know for sure. When it feels good, even if it takes days or weeks to get there, the next step will be 20 times easier.
Be careful. Be safe. Be masterful.
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