A few weeks ago I posted a blog called "BEST Intentions." In the post I used the word "BEST" as an acronym for clearly answering the natural questions that arise in the horse's mind about why we ask them to do things.
B: stands for Balance - We ask our horses to balance
E: stands for Endurance - We ask our horses to grow stronger
S: stands for Sensitivity - We ask our horses to be responsive
T: stands for Trust - We ask our horses to trust
There are more details in the previous blog post: click hear to read
This post, however, is about you. It's about training you to FOCUS! And I'm not using capitals to illustrate another acronym. I'm just trying to explain how important it is to focus. Having clear outcomes in any endeavor gives you so much more power.
Tom Dorrance would say "Don't pick up the lead rope until you see a picture in your mind of what outcome you want."
What I want to encourage you to do, is use the BEST model for focusing your own endeavors. What I mean by that is:
Say to yourself, before you walk out your door, "What you're going to work on today?" Are you going to work on balance exercises today, in which you don't put the emphasis on maintaining gait because that's an endurance task? Or are you going to focus on sensitivity, which also doesn't have anything to do with maintaining gait, but is more about responses to your signals? Or are you going to work on trust, teaching your horse to love what you do and be brave, in which case you won't focus on consequences as much, and add many more rewards?
Once you get to a higher level of horsemanship, you can often focus on two or three things at once, but I usually recommend focusing on one. Clean up your signals to your horse. Be clear! Decide to focus B or E or S or T, but not usually on two or more at once. That way, you'll be truly heading to mastery!
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