When do I stop?
I get asked this question a lot, and to tell you the truth it’s the hardest one for me too. When you are training for a living you get to thinking that you have to get so much done is so much time. And that’s true. There are things that the owners expect you to get accomplished. But to tell you the truth sometimes I let that get in the way of what is best for the learning of the horse.
I was working with Leo the horse yesterday. He is a very reactive horse. He is getting much better for sure, but he has a long way to go before I will get on his back. Anyway, we were doing some ground work. He was doing it pretty good, so I thought it would be a good time to add another piece of the program. We did. He was pretty scared about it the first few times, but the gentler I got at it the easier he did the exercise and before I knew it, way before I expected him to get it, he was doing it like he had done it for years. I thought how cool is that and got to thinking what the next thing I could add to his program, when I tapped my self on the shoulder and said, “This would sure be a good place to stop”. And I was right. I could have gone longer or added more but it was a perfect time to stop. So we did. I tied Leo to the rail and told him what a good boy he had been and let him alone.
It’s not easy to walk away from progress like that, but I think it is the best thing for the horse. It won’t take long for him to figure out that if he will relax and try, his day will be over soon and he will be able to just relax the rest of the day with out me always asking him for something. It’s hard to do, at times, but it’s well worth it… try it and see for yourself.
Casino had his first really big day at the office yesterday. We did some ground work and I thought it was a good time to put a saddle on him. When I got the saddle cinched and asked him to go in a circle, I’m not on his back yet, he came in to. He bucked around the round pen for awhile and then finally settled down. We did a little more ground work and then I let him stand the rest of the day.
Worked with Thunder in a new bit yesterday and he did fine. He likes to play with the bit a lot. Don’t see anything in his mouth that is causing him discomfort so don’t think there is a problem there, just think he is a busy horse.
All in all a very good and safe day…
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.