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January 03, 2023 3 Comments
Horses are obviously important to you. I bet you even have more than one and if you don't, you're planning on getting more than one. But last year, looking back, you might realize you didn't spend the time you'd hoped doing what you love. Why is that?
Now I know I'm not speaking for everyone. Lots of people got their horse time in. If that's you, FANTASTIC! If it's not you. Read on dear friend.
Owning a horse sounds magical. And it is, but only if you get to enjoy them. Otherwise, they are opposite of magical. They are a chore. Nobody bought a horse to have more chores. So why didn't last year pan out the way you'd hoped? And more importantly... WHY IS THIS YEAR DIFFERENT?
I'll tell you. See if you agree. Last year you were too busy, too scared, too tired, too lonely, or the weather didn't cooperate for long enough.
So, I'm gonna speak to each of these and see if we can make this year COMPLETELY different.
Normal... but lame excuse. Everyone is too busy. Life costs money, money requires people, people require your energy, hence... busy. I know lots of busy people that still get their horse time because they schedule time for it. So, if you truly were too busy, it's time to bring out your calendar and your eraser to reinvent this year. But chances are if you're balking at this one, it's because you're not too busy. It's something else.
This is the hidden excuse. Also, normal but totally overrated. Fear in horses causes them to run away or freeze, preventing forward movement. Same with people. Fear makes you freeze. It prevents you from pulling your saddle off the rack. But this excuse is waaaaay overrated because it's built on false ideas of what progress is. Too many people think progress is riding. I did an eyes closed experiment recently with my students and asked them to write down the first thought they had about horses. EVERY SINGLE ONE described riding their horse either on a trail with friends or cantering in open spaces. No wonder they are afraid. Those are two of the scariest things to do with horses and we all intuitively know why.
When horses group up their energy levels elevate. You have to be competent to manage that. And if you've ever opened the gate to turn out your horses into a new space, you've seen what they do. They go crazy enjoying the open space for a few minutes. It takes a competent rider to manage that too. With those two images, group riding and cantering in open spaces, it's obvious to me why you'd be scared to spend horse time. Lots of people avoid horse altogether as a result or stick to super basic chores and grooming.
But... there is something else you could do. You could change your picture of progress. Put the dream of cantering and riding off into the sunset back on the dream shelf where you can see it but don't need it to be a reality yet. You've made it an expectation instead of a direction. That's not fair to your progress. It causes you to freeze and feel bad for not doing more with your horse. Of course, it's not fair for your horse either. My new book, "Beginners Guide To Foundation Horse Training" describes in detail steps you can take to realize progress. Change your expectations and follow the syllabus in that book and never experience being too scared again.
Energy begets energy. At some point you have to stop the cycle of energy destruction and start the cycle of charging the battery. So, what zaps your energy? Certain foods, sugar, negative people that you keep going to? Joint pain? Get to the bottom of it. And start recharging with exercise, free movement, and even riding. Did you know riding will boost your energy not rob it. If fear prevents you from riding and it's not about being tired, then mitigate the fear. We can help but if it's about energy, there are things you can do. You already know them. Drink more water. Stretch. Avoid toxic things and people. And remember the feeling you get riding. It's amazing!
One major excuse people have for not riding or being with their horse is they don't have someone to share it with. They say, "why ride if you have to do it alone." But hey... it's time to stop using this excuse because you ARE with someone. A beautiful four legged fury critter that has a heart, curious emotions, playful spunk, and more. BE with them. BE present. SHARE with them. Be in the moment. It's magic. Stay safe and carry tools to communicate with the outside world but in the horse space, your horse space, just be with your amazing partner.
Really, do we really need to bring this one up? I know many people who aren't hindered by bad weather. The truth is, you need to decide just how important your horse time is, because if this one's holding you up, you're lacking imagination. There are so many things to do on hot days, cold days, windy days. I mean you don't have to be out there every day, but... if you're not out there any days you're stuck in a rut and blaming the weather. Sail out of it and take advantage of bad weather days to get the slow stuff going. You know... all the lateral work, slow flexion work, and desensitization.
In summary... whatever excuses you have been they are obviously valid, for you. But being valid doesn't make them useful. In my dresser drawer I have a validation ticket from an event I went to years ago. Do you think it will get me in the door again today? Um. NO! Maybe it's time to forget about validations and focus on the positive side of your future. What do you want today? This month? This year? Then... whenever the old limitations knock at your mind, you remind yourself, repetitively, like training a horse, that those things won't help you, and you focus on what will instead.
We can help you! We have the resources to give you motivation, clarity, confidence. All just one phone call away. Try it. See for yourself.
Comment below, share with your friends, and make this year amazing.
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