[This belongs here in this blog, not in my clinic notes blog. But it is from my clinic notes, February 2007 in AZ with Harry Whitney.]
Talk with Harry in evening: I got stuck wanting to finish something I started, doing it my way. Talking about my narrow mindedness that showed up with Cajun in the afternoon and my insistence on him doing what I asked regardless of what he could understand today, and regardless of how he was feeling. I forgot to think creatively about how to help him feel better!
Feeling a bit haunted by what Harry and I talked about and facing my issues. He asked something like would I expect a kid to know it all right away. And my answer was 'yes', because my expectations are way off! Today I forgot how little Cajun knows because it had been going so well. I forgot that just because it was going well in the arena, it didn't mean we had enough time and repetition so he would be able to "listen" under stress.
On the trail at the end Cajun was stressed, feeling too separated from the herd. It never occurred to me to notice that and take that into consideration creatively. It never occurred to me to give up my idea and try something else. Like Harry said, after the fact about the reins: either the horse gives to them or they're not there. I didn't have to try to use what worked with Belle with Cajun, especially when I felt it's not working and I was just "shouting" through the reins and he wasn't with me. I expected too much of Cajun. I failed to think creatively about how to help him feel better. I forgot how little he knows about how to let go of a thought. Argh at me! For applying what worked with Belle on Cajun.
Why couldn't I access some creativity or even some other solutions? Where had my brain gone? Ideas Harry suggested were: take a short cut to catch up; trot up to group; simple stuff. At that point I was focussed on my little plan of how to deal -- STUCK!
And it makes me feel so sad!
How can I dare to be creative? How can I remember that Cajun isn't Belle? How can I hone/fine tune the balance between helping the horse let go of their thought so my thoughts have room, and going along with their thoughts too much and letting them take over? I want to be better at this!!!! More fair and understanding to the horse!!
This amazing gap between what I can mentally grasp about horses and how I perform when with them. OUCH.
Amazing what can be learned when one is willing to face the septic tank of the soul...