Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Monday, January 25, 2016
Thank You for taking the time to read this.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
For us. We tend to have self projected images of what we want things to be. This tends to effect our perception of reality. Its great to have a goal, but we need to realize what is needed to get there. Not just pretend we are there already. There is a big difference and many stages in between. We even tend to do it with our own self image, pretending to be who we want to be, not who we really are at the moment. We have all seen the children who are not very well behaved, but the parent only wants to believe the best in their child so they ignore the truth. WE ALL DO THIS. Whether with Ourselves, Friends, Spouses, Children, or Pets. Its not a bad thing to believe and expect the best, but it can be a problem if we are missing out on the truth. Sticking to the facts of what is or isn't can help us see the real picture.
So stick to the facts. Understanding simple facts will lead to understanding more complex facts. Done in a proper progression it can lead to an unimaginable understanding.
Thanks for reading along.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Hello. Glad you are taking the time to read this. Most often a greeting or conversation starts off by getting someones attention with a simple, Hello. A simple greeting which can be said in so many ways. Such as Hi, Hey, or even What's up. All around the world there are so many different ways to say Hello. In France = Salut, Germany and Netherlands = Hallo, Italy = Ciao, China = Ni hao, Israel = Shalom, Brazil =Ola. This is just a few, there are literally thousands of ways to say Hello or to get someones attention in a greeting.
You might be asking why I am writing about this. I have noticed how things are done or spoken about a little differently depending on where you are and who you're with. For some, this can be intimidating.
Just as every Culture, Country, and Location has their own way of saying Hello. And it can be different even just walking into a different neighborhood. Everything else in life is the same way. We all have our ways of doing things. Sometimes it is the same way as many others, but not everyone does things or says things the same way.
In many ways we learn how others do and say things on a daily basis. Sometimes we make fun of their ways. But even so, we learn from it even if we don't want to. What we learn from it depends on how we think of it, how well we can relate to them, and how well they can relate to us. Negative thoughts bring poor results, and trying to understand brings positive results.
In Horsemanship, it is the same way. I have studied so many great Horseman, Trainers and Instructors. Though they have different methods and techniques. They are all very much the same. They start with an introduction to the Horse, a simple Hello. Though there are many ways to do this. Some try to mimic another Horse, some rope them out of a herd for a face too face conversation, and some will just watch and wait till the Horse introduces them self. These are just a few of the more common ways I've seen, there are many more. Now. A true Horseman would never talk down about another Horseman's method or technique. Instead, if they notice a problem in the method or technique, they would look for insight on what to be aware of if they chose to use this method. In this way, their thoughts stay on building up and improvement, not on discrediting or destruction. There is always something useful there. Horsemanship is about improving ourselves and our horses understanding and capabilities. The better your ability to help, (you, your horse, or others) the more of a horseman you become.
Just like you would understand someone who speaks your language better than someone who doesn't. If you choose to learn from someone, it should be someone you can relate to. Or, someone who can at least relate to you. Some times we don't know what we want or need. Sometimes we think we need one thing but really we need something else. Finding someone who can help us figure this out is very helpful. The best example I can give to this is if you have a horse that won't go in a trailer, over a tarp or walk by something (you can fill in the blank). The trailer, the tarp or whatever, is not the real problem. Most of the time its things like, They don't trust your leadership, they need help with their leading skills, or they simply don't understand the task. It can be a bunch of different things. Knowing how to ask all the important questions and listening to the answers, as well as hearing and answering their questions, will help you get to the real issues and provide for them what they really need. This all has to start with getting their attention. A simple greeting like Hello. For the Horse and the Human.
Sometimes we need to go back to square one and start from the beginning again. Most problems are caused from holes in our foundations. Kinda like jumping in on the middle of a conversation and missing out on many things that can help us understand better. So many times the problem is just that they don't have their horses attention. Many people who have been doing things for a long time, forget to go back to basics. Just because we have been riding for 25 years doesn't mean we don't need beginner level refreshments. In fact, Every time I have a new Horse or Student, or I study a new Trainer or Horseman, I start with their entry level. The main reason is that I am starting a possible new language. Just like if I wanted to learn a new verbal language I would start with a simple greeting like, "Hello"
My reasons for studying any and all Trainers and Horseman that I can are many. I want to learn as much as I can, I am always looking for motivation, and I want to be able to get the attention of a horse or a human by knowing all the different ways to start a conversation in ways they understand. This will help me hold their attention. I work with so many different people and horses its very helpful being well versed in different methods, techniques and philosophies as well as being able to apply my own take on things. It allows me to relate to the people and their horses. I can tell what methods a horse was trained with almost as soon as I start working with them, Just as you can tell where someone is from just by the way they talk and act. It all begins with how they respond to "Hello"
So many people never get started into something because they don't know where to start. I have had so many people come to an event or clinic where they feel more confident to approach me to say Hi and tell me they have been meaning to call me. Most often I can feel their reason for hesitance. I promise I don't kick or bite, I've been trained well. So for anyone who reads this, just know that you have an open invitation to contact me any way you know how. Even if you just want to say Hello, or to tell me a little something about yourself and your horse. As always I welcome all of your questions and would be more than happy to answer them for you.
All it takes is to introduce yourself and say, "Hello" Starting an attentive conversation. Ask questions and listen to the answers. This applies to EVERYTHING. People, Horses and Things. Projects and tasks of any kind as well.
Thanks for reading along. I hope you found it useful.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
I write this post today, not so that we look at it as a must have before we go. But as a way to evaluate what needs improvement or what we may need to be aware of to stay safe. Also as a motivation for improvement.
There is always room for improvement. And something can always go sour. Many times you can tell if you are going to have problems right when you go get your horse to start your session. Sometimes a Pre-ride check will tell me not to ride, but to work on other things instead. This is usually on green horses or problem horses that have just come in for training. After the first 8 hrs or so, I use the Pre-ride to see what I should be focusing my attention on during our time together.
Many of us don't stay in a constant state of evaluation. I personally think it is very important. Being as changing behavior is relatively easy, (most of the time) why would you not evaluate what you have so you can make an improvement. Simple improvements in one area make huge differences in many other areas. To me, I feel I owe it to the horse. They are my responsibility. I need to be the leader they deserve.
For me, my evaluations start as soon as the horse comes into view or hearing distance. I am looking to know what their emotional state is. I am also looking to see if they are interested in me or trying to avoid me. Ideally I strive to have a horse calm but happy to see me. When they do see me I would like them to respectfully come to me and if I present a halter to them, they lower their head and put their nose into the nose band quietly for me. But I am happy to accept a horse that will patiently wait for me as long as they are paying attention to me as I approach and not looking for an escape root. I know what is possible to get without to much trouble so at every session I take mental notes of what can be improved on. Every session gets better and you would be amazed what 15 minutes a day will bring after a week.
Once I have my horse and we are going to get ready for our ride, I pay close attention to everything along the way.
Is he nervous or calm?
Is he lagging behind or hurrying ahead?
Is he crowding me or trying to stay or get away?
There are a few more examples I could give but the point I'm trying to make is, "If it isn't what you would like it to be, then make a change so that eventually it will be." It doesn't have to happen all at once, but you would be amazed at how just knowing what you want can make a difference without even doing anything else. Your thoughts alone bring mental energy. That all by itself can make changes in you, that will also make changes in the horse.
As I mentioned, I am always evaluating. So when I am grooming and tacking I am looking for improvement there as well. I expect a horse to stand quietly and patiently for the process. If they don't then I know I need to work on something. I know that without to much trouble at all, you can have a horse stand quietly for all this. I often bring my stuff into my herd and do it all with them loose right there. Having them coming to me, listening to my body language to position themselves where I want them, and they stand and wait for me to do what I need to do.
Again when its time to get on I evaluate how they feel about what we are about to do.
Will he swing over to pick me up or is he trying to get away or stall?
Does he stand still and wait once I am on or start to leave in a hurry?
How well is he listening to my seat aids?
How well is he listening to my leg aids?
How well is he listening to my rein aids?
All this is important because if we need 1 pound of pressure to get a response in a calm environment, we may need 3 pounds in a slightly stressful environment. Even more in an extremely stressful one. So if we can strive to get results with just ounces of pressure in a calm place, then you also have better results when they are stressed. I purposely put the seat, leg and rein aids in that order. I did so because if you can get results with your seat, then you may not have to use your leg or rein. If you do, it will be just to help them find your feel.
I often ride bareback and bridle less on Shea and Stoney. Most of the time I don't even need to use my legs. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I may need to touch or tap the side of their neck as well. If it happens that I do need more than my seat and energy, I know I need to work on that. Sometimes fixing this takes me back to when I go out and get them. That part and all other parts in between needs to be solid if bareback and bridle less is going to work at all. never mind on seat and energy alone.
So keep a check list even it is just mental notes. Try to have an end result you would like and wash the dirty stuff till it shines. You can't make improvements without trying. Wishing won't make it happen. You have to work at it. Even a little a day makes a big difference in week, a huge difference in a month, and an unimaginable difference in a year. If you strive to make each session better than the last and to try to end better than you started, then you will improve. It is as simple as that.
Thanks for reading along, and if you have any questions on any of this, feel free to contact us any way you would like. In the comments here or on the Blog sight, email, messaging, call or text. We would be glad to answer them for you.