CFN – This Column of “Spirits in Unity” is being published by CFN for the community of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry.
Prepare: Set Yourself Up For Success
Gaining mastery in any skill is about getting ready for the journey. You need a roadmap to get to your destination. It is all about preparation, preparation, preparation.
When you are prepared you will be successful. Many people tell me that sometimes things happen because of luck. They are confusing luck with chance. Chance is what you take when you buy a lottery ticket. But you have control over luck, because luck is when preparation and opportunity meet.
To be successful it is important to choose a program that has a step by step sequence of well planned skills for each level of skill you want to achieve. Horsemanship savvy comes when you know what it is going to take to do those things. There is a natural sequence or progression to achieving your goals.
For horses your first goal should be to improve the quality and feel of your communication. Then you should develop skills to improve your leadership and improve your horse’s trust.
By learning to understand the nature of your horse’s personality you will learn how to read your horse at a deeper level and adjust your style to match your horse’s needs for you to slow down, speed up, give him time to think or stimulate him and so on.
As you progress you may learn that there are times where certain skills need to improve. These are areas that need to be stepped up because you are preparing for higher level of skill.
For horses this natural progression happens through progressive patterns and not as a drill.
For each skill you want to ultimately develop, every step in the progression is a preparation for the next step and the next and so on. You need to focus on the ingredients and as the quality of each ingredient improves you will get closer to you’re ultimate goal.
In our ‘instant pudding’ world we tend to want things to happen quickly. Like every good recipe, though, you can’t leave out any ingredient or the quality of the baking will not taste good.
In watching the many horse masters that I have seen through DVD’s or in person, I have discovered that they rarely put themselves or their horses in a situation that has the potential to fail.
What Does it Mean to Be Ready?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when working with your horse. To a certain extent they can apply to yourself too.
Before you ask your horse to do something, check that he is: emotionally calm, confident, willing, physically ready, mentally ready.
Are you: in the right environment to complete the task, emotionally calm, feeling confident, balanced when riding, prepared to put your horse’s confidence and trust before the result, prepare to back off and change your plan when your horse has trouble, and are prepared to reward the slightest try?
Do you: know what the ingredients are for the task you want to accomplish, have the right tools, know what to do, know what might happen so you can reward every try, know when to quit, know how often you have to repeat the process according to the horse’s personality?
Have you: done the training sequence before or know how to do it in your own body, completed each element to a satisfactory or excellent standard, got your horse ready to take the final step?
Preparation is knowing what has to happen before what you want can happen.
Next week our series on confidence shifts to the next 6 steps in developing confidence, but this time we will focus more on the horse.
Be sure to click on the ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ buttons to let us know that you have read today’s column. It is an honour to have you as a reader. I welcome any comments, questions or topics you would like me to discuss. I hope you enjoy reading about the wonderful world of horses and the impact that natural horsemanship can have in making it a better world for both horses and humans?
In our ‘Spirits in Unity’ program we believe in developing a trusting relationship and a true partnership with a horse before even thinking about getting on his back. He probably prefers it that way too.
Whether you are just a horse lover, have dreams of owning a horse someday, or already have one, I hope these columns will give you some insight into the true nature of these magnificent creatures. I hope you will find them both informative and inspirational.
Until next time…
May all your dreams come true,
Garry “Horsetalker” Meek