Butch and Cowboy!
Yesterday Butch had his first lesson horseback. I gave him a lot to work on, not sure he can, or will remember it all, but I won't be riding with him or giving him many lessons. I'm giving him the lessons as a favor, as neighbors will do, but I think he will be fine if he will stick with the program and work at it.
The program that I have used and developed a bit is designed to build on what the horse learned the lesson before. So if you leave out one of the exercises, you can get by, but it will come back to bite you down the road. So when I do clinics I take my time and make sure that those attending have got their horses doing the exercises, at least to an average level. They don't have to be doing it perfectly before we move on, but they have to understand the concept of the exercise and so do the owners. When we get on our horses the same is true. We will use the exercises that we learned on the ground to get the horse to perform in the saddle. We do that one step at a time, and try not to rush the process. It's that magic pill thing again. TIME. The better you get at your horsemanship the less time it takes to get things done. When I was working with Butch on the ground with his horse he, Butch, was having a hard time getting the horse to do the exercise. I asked if I could give it a try and when I worked with the horse in just a few minutes he was side passing down the rail. Why? Because I have had more practice then Butch, it was much easier for me to see where I needed to be to get the job done. My timing is better cause I do it more... and really that's all there is to it.. If Butch, or anyone else, stays at the process long enough and really wants to be better they too will be able to do the same things I do... It's not magic, you won't lick it off a fence post, and you won't get it from reading books or watching dvd's. You have to get out there and work at it. Practice, make mistakes and learn... You can learn tons from reading and watching dvd's and people work, but it won't matter how much of these things you do if you don't get in the pen and work at it yourself.
It is great to have someone with experience watch you and work with you. It will speed up the process for you. That's why we offer private lessons for persons who are really serious about their horsemanship. Someone with experience can help you see when you are out of position or when your timing is a little off and help you to fix it... It can be a little hard to ask for help, especially if you have worked with horses all your life and think you have it pretty much figured out. It sometimes is hard to ask for help. But I try to remember that my horse does not care about my pride. All my horse wants is for me to be a good leader and he does not care how I become that. He does not look at me and think "Why can't you just figure this out on your own?" It's my job to be a good leader and if I need help in becoming that, then I owe it to him, and to me, to be that good leader...
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.