Now, let’s look at the horse you have and make a list of all the things he does that you would need to change to have him be your dream horse. Most of us would say “I don’t like it when my horse ………” When we look at behaviours most of us tend to focus on the things we don’t like.
I want you to take all those don’t likes and rephrase then into the positive statements on your wish list. For example: “I’d love my horse to stand still when I get on.” I’d love my horse to run to me from the far end of his pasture.”
Now, take all those “I don’t like to….because” statements and change them into positive statements. Change the “I don’t like to ride alone because I’m afraid of my horse running back to the barn” to “I like to ride alone because my horse behaves so well.”
How about some different wishes? How about: “I will try to see only the good behaviours. I will notice and reward the smallest try. I will break my training goals into small pieces so we are both more successful. I will stop being so goal oriented and enjoy the journey.” But remember to ask yourself, What skills does my horse need to do the things on my wish list and how do I teach them? You can’t ask him to do something that hasn’t been taught. (Read that sentence again and think about what it MEANS!)
Relationships are a journey. We need to remember how to enjoy the journey, which in this day and age of the faster the better is often forgotten.Enjoy the process, live in the moment, give up expectations that are either yours or perhaps someone else’s about what you should be doing after all it is your wish list, your dream horse! If you do you will find that things go very quickly and that you are having great success, with no stress to either one of you. Now, who wouldn’t like more success and less stress?
My wish for you and your horse is that you have positive, fun interactions for the rest of your relationship. Try clicker training and see where it takes you. It could be your best adventure ever. If in the past the relationship hasn’t been so good what have you got to lose? If I can help you get there, by helping you make your wish list, or figuring out where to start, well that is one of the wishes on my list. Please email me if you would like help (I’m available for video coaching). My wish is to help more people enjoy their relationship with their horse and for their horse to enjoy their relationship with their person. My wish is for everyone to smile, laugh and enjoy their horses half as much as I do each and every day.
Are we going to tackle your wish list right off the bat? Probably not. We need to rebuild the relationship first. The foundation lessons will help you with this. Right now you don’t have any of the tools of clicker training in your tool box to help train these behaviors you want but by the time you are done with the foundation lessons you will have a good start!
I thought I’d share another of my dream horse behaviours.
Until next week… keep it positive!
For the keeners out there…*check out the Poisoned Cue DVD from Alexandra Kurland with Jesus Rosales-Ruiz of the University of North Texas to learn about ven and punir and the poisoned cues that we all have. This is a very informative lecture for anyone, not just riders. Quite an eye opener! Put it on your wish list, too!