Monday, February 29, 2016


Motivation is really just energy in the form of desire. If we can build energy and convert it to desire or even inspiration, We can create Motivation. Whether it be we are motivating ourselves, someone else or our horses. Many of us have no problem building energy. That's the easy part. Making sure it doesn't turn into anxiety or inhibition is where the difficulty is. Energy that is misunderstood causes worry or concern. This causes anxiety and inhibition. Even massive amounts of energy, as long as it is clear and understood, will guide and encourage and lead to desire. Inspiring desire with guidance is very strong motivation.

I chose this topic for my own personal reasons. I write this Blog to help others but for me its a way to dig into a subject to find facts and better understanding on things that have come up with me or someone I am working with at the time. Sometimes, I use it as a way to keep things fresh in my mind during times that are slow and I don't have as many customers coming for lessons and classes to keep things fresh. This time of year things slow way down, so I have to work hard at Motivating myself. Motivation is something we all need to help keep us going. It is an important factor in life. Without it we feel as though we really have no purpose. We become lazy. Its important for us to find motivation daily.

Everyone is slightly different when it comes to what motivates them. For me, my biggest motivator is knowing I am doing something worth while. If I get to feeling like its a useless cause, or nobody really cares, then I lose motivation. I am sure I'm not alone. Just by writing this I feel like I am doing something worthy for myself and anyone who may read it. therefore its motivating to me. I hope it is for you as well.

Other motivations can be from expectations of others, we may be financially motivated, we can be motivated by fear of something happening, we can be motivated through inspiration, wanting to finish something, or being a part or something may motivate us. I'm sure there are many more.

In Horsemanship, we not only need to be motivated, we need to find ways to motivate. For me to motivate is to inspire and encourage. To inspire creates desire and drive. To encourage builds confidence. If we are confident, we are more motivated to try. If we have desire, drive and confidence, there is nothing that can stop us from doing whatever we are trying to accomplish. I said above, doing something worth while is encouraging for me so this is how I like to motivate. By offering a task that has purpose to the horse, it will motivate them and encourage them. I feel it builds desire. This example may have a half a dozen or more stages to it before it gets to the end result. Mainly because they may not understand it all, they may not have confidence, or have a low self esteem in the beginning. But having a purpose and a reason for being is very motivating. So be sure to give purpose to your tasks, it will surely help with motivation.

There are many ways people try to motivate a horse. They fall into 2 simple groups. Positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Basically positive reinforcement lets them know when they did something right and negative reinforcement lets them know they did something wrong. There are many techniques out there. Some of them use both positive and negative at the same time. Some times, if your not aware of all the variables, Positive reinforcement can have a negative effect and negative reinforcement can have a positive effect. Having a better understanding of things will help you through this.

Positive reinforcement is the preferred method and by far the best use of motivation in Horsemanship. Done properly it is a great way to work. Its encouraging, its builds trust, confidence, and understanding for what we want. But I have to say, I see a lot of positive reinforcement that really makes a mess of things. What many people don't understand is, that we can positively reinforce the try right out of a horse. Or in some cases, positively reinforce bad behavior. I see it all the time. We need to be careful of this. If we reward a try, that's positive reinforcement. If we never advance, holding them to a higher standard as we progress, then they learn to just do the bare minimum.  Any time your horse gets nervous and you try to reassure them, you are reassuring their nervousness. Every time you use food as a positive reinforcement to trick your horse to be caught, you are reassuring that they really can't trust you. Treats as reward if done properly are fine, but as trickery you lose points. Even though it works.

Asking a horse to do a job is a form of Positive reinforcement and a great way to motivate. It gives them purpose and reason to respond once they know what its all about. Knowing they are doing something worth while puts their mind towards a worthy cause and away from fear and inhibitions. As I said above, they may not have the confidence at first. But with encouragement and guidance their confidence will come.

Negative reinforcement is commonly used as well. Even though it has some benefits, I think it should be a last resort use. Example. Some people will instantly whack a horse for trying to bite them. Understandably I guess. But there are ways to do this positively without whacking. Like, ask them to do something that gets them to move their mouth away from you, like side pass or turn on the haunches, then reward them for doing it. If you are clear about how close their mouth can come to you, they won't try to bite. You maintain leadership and gain respect. A real persistent horse may not get it and then, "Last resort" you whack them. But give them plenty of time to learn what you do want first. Negative reinforcement works but just like tricking with food, you lose trust. If you have to do it more than one time, you need to reevaluate your process.

Anytime I feel that I need to make a correction, I like to do what I call "Redirect and Reward" This is a form of using Positive and Negative reinforcement at the same time. By saying, "No, don't do that, do this instead" I find this to be a great way to motivate and redirect unwanted energy and behavior. If we have a bunch of things that our horse can do and do well, even when they are misbehaving. Then we always have something we can do to redirect their energy and focus. To me its the best way to turn a negative into a positive. It gives more to encouragement and less to discouragement. It definitely keeps you respected and trusted. Every now and then you will have to make a correction, that is fact. But if we just correct, they may learn, but its negative and discouraging. If we redirect, we create an opportunity to reward, which is positive and encouraging. We create more desire to comply and less desire to misbehave.

Its nice when we get to the point that we can motivate with a simple request. When we are with our horse, riding or what have you. If we have a desire in us and the horse to help each other, then we are both easily motivated. If this is the case then each step and every move is in perfect time with needs and wants from both of us. We are connected through thoughts, needs and desires. Everything feels seamless. Motivations just happens. No need to ever think about it.

Thanks again for reading along. I hope you enjoyed it and find it Motavating.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

All The Worlds Problems

I'd like to talk about all the problems of the world. Each and every problem. Politics, Religion, Race, Sex, and the all around Social Disorder. All of it is a product of You and Me. If you can't see your direct connection in it, then your responsibility is greater than the average. Let me explain.

The main problem with everything above is, Everyone is looking to tip the scales in their favor and not looking for balance. This is everywhere. I don't care if your Republican or Democrat, or if you are one of many religions, ethnic backgrounds, or sexual orientations. We see it in special interest groups, and even in sports and activities. Everyone, no matter what they stand for or believe in, has to be right or in control of the opposition.

This is why I strive to be as neutral as possible and have always been an Independent in Politics. You may hear me praise or criticize one or the other from time to time.  But I strive to be a truth seeker, looking for balance and an understanding for both sides.

I don't care what topic you want to discus. As many sides as there may be, they are all right and they are all wrong. We need to find the balance in all things. Opposition is important to help find the balance. The problem is, we as humans, want to tip the scales in our own favor. This causes more push back from the other side. Nobody wants to be held down, and you can't blame them.

Now I don't want this to be about Politics, Race and Religion. I want people to see that this applies in everything we do in life. I work with horses, as do many people. There are many people that will knock another for many reasons. Such as, they may not want a customer to go to the other person, they may feel that one way is better than the other, or that no one should use the other way, or everyone should use this one way. Whatever it is, its everywhere, no matter what you do, or where you go. And it all seems to be linked to Jealousy, Selfishness and Control.

For the Political point of view. As I said above, I am Independent and I am so glad I am. What is going on in Politics these days is pathetic. Over the years, I leaned one way or another at times. Right now being caught in the middle of all this ridiculousness is driving me crazy. The Republicans have been doing everything in their power to hold back progress that the President has been trying to make.  I'm not saying I agree with everything the President is trying to do and I am not saying the Republicans are wrong. What I am saying is, "It is very clear to me that no matter what the policy is that's up for debate, the Republicans shoot it down just to gain the upper hand." I see it here in my own state with our Republican Governor doing everything he can against anything Democrat just because its Democrat. It is not about policy at all. Many things that the Republicans have been pushing for themselves are being shot down just so the Democrats don't get credit for it. To me this is rotten. As far as what each side stands for right now, I would have to say I am leaning 55% Republican and 45% Democrat. But I am totally appalled by the people in the Republican Party and their behavior right now. The saying is true, United We Stand, Divided We Fall. If we can't come together, and work together, WE ARE DONE, as a Nation.

The Racial problems are ridiculous as well. It don't matter where your from, the color of your skin, or the language you speak. You are a human being, and we should all act as one. The problems in this is that most of us will identify ourselves as one thing or another. That makes us feel like we need to stand up for the cause. This goes into other areas as well. Like Gay, Lesbian, or Straight, Republican and Democrat, White, Black, Hispanic, or what have you. Even our Religions and life's works. Sports fans rioting in the streets after an event. Its great to believe in things and have an opinion, we need that in the world. But what we don't need is blind faith and standing up for something with out looking at all the facts. We get sucked in by momentum and think we are helping when in fact we are just destroying the world.

For the Religious people out there. I would like to suggest that you take a look at as many other Religions that you can. They are not all that much different when you take a real close look. Yes they say things very different on certain subjects. But at the heart of them all is a God, or in some cases many, and our need to love and worship all that they created. Why is it we are not all doing just that?

Many Religions believe in a Great Plague near the end times. I feel that this Plague is our own corrupt thoughts. Poisoning our thoughts and confusing what it is we see and understand. The only commandment given in the first days. GENESIS 2:16, 17 The Lord God commanded the man saying,"From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for the day that you eat from it you will surely die."
I believe this is the most important clue to life.  And the answer for what will come through repentance, and the search for righteousness, written into every book of the bible. Old Testament and New.  One in particular is ISAIAH 35;5  Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

As it is now we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. Or so it seams. We are Misguided and Misdirected by others thoughts and opinions. You are being controlled by the masses. Being tricked into thinking in certain ways that force you in a direction that someone in control wants you to go. We don't see it because they play on our own emotional weaknesses. Knowing our minds won't fight it. Putting us right in the middle of a battle that can't be won. This keeps escalating, Therefore WE, US, EVERYONE is to blame for all the problems in the world.

In closing I would truly like to wish you all the best in life.
Peace to all.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Qualify For The Position

Have you ever watched someone work and notice right away that they were not qualified to be doing that job. We see it all the time. Some employers know they are hiring someone who is in need of training. They are giving them a shot to become Qualified to do the job. If it doesn't work out they let them go and try another. Many people go to school or take classes to become Qualified for a position they want. But the lack of people willing to QUALIFY themselves for a position is making it harder to apply for a qualified position. There are cases when people apply for a position with a resume that looks impressive. They appear qualified. Once hired the employer wonders who this person is because they are not the qualified person they hired.

Now, there are plenty of people who are qualified to do their jobs. And if it appears that I am bashing the rest of the population, that is not my intention. My intention is to show that only the ones that are passionate about what they do, the ones that really love what they do, will ever really become qualified. The rest are just working because they have bills to pay. This is a problem with society not necessarily a personal problem with each individual. But that is not what I want to discuss. 

The real meaning behind this topic is Qualifying for the leadership roll in our Horsemanship. Our horses need us to be the qualified leader that they expect us to be. This is the reason they test us. They want to know, "Are You Qualified?" The only way you could be is if you are truly passionate about, and love your horse enough to make sure you will become the leader they need and deserve. This includes continued learning and growth along with them. If you just want to ride them or feel obligated to take care of them, THAT is NOT, ENOUGH. They need to know that you are Mentally, Physically  and Emotionally strong enough if their life should ever be in danger. And we all know, a horse  always thinks they're in danger. Unless we are the leader they need. Then they relax. But only if they "KNOW" you understand and they learn to trust you.

Take this example: Many people go out and buy a horse that is already trained and doing very well. This is a good thing to do. But you can't just buy a well trained horse and expect them to be good for you. They may be doing great for their current owner, but respect is not always transferable. If you do not develop a relationship with this horse, you will not get the same results. 

Now for another example: If you buy a horse that is really advanced in their training, and you are not. How is it possible for you to be Qualified to lead in this situation. If you have ever worked for someone who had less qualifications than you, then you can understand what I mean by this. It causes a lot of friction and problems. They are trying to lead you with less understanding than you. A very difficult relationship. In the human world, people get hired for many different reasons. They are good at interviewing, writing resumes, They're a friend or family member, and so on and so on. We are good at pretending and exaggerating our qualifications. This doesn't work with the horse. They won't let us in. They will make sure we are qualified before they let us take over. 

So how do we become qualified? 
Through knowledge, experience, and practice. Gaining understanding of all aspects of the position. We can do it on our own through trial and error, or we can take lessons and classes from someone who is more qualified. Which is a great option. Doing it alone we are sure to run into more problems. The good news is, we will learn from the problems as well. The bad news is, problems with horses can be painful or deadly. Even with a qualified trainer or instructor, there is still risk and danger.  

How do we find a qualified trainer or instructor? 
This is a great question. There are many trainers and instructors out there students can learn from. Some are more qualified than others. Sometimes it will depend on what it is you want to learn. You can learn from anyone. Even if they are less qualified than you are. But if your going to spend hard earned money, then you should do your homework. Find someone who has the skills you want to learn. Not just someone who says they have the skills, but someone who actually does. Like I mentioned above, people are good at faking their qualifications. Take a page out the horses book and get proof that they are what you need. You can ask around and get references. You may have to try them out for a little while. If it doesn't work out then try someone else. See if they will let you watch them give a lesson, a session with them working or riding a horse or any way you can see for yourself what they can offer you as a student before you actually get started. Some places will even do a free introductory lesson. 

Just don't let convenience be your only reason, make sure your getting what you need and want. 
Everyone is worth looking into. They all have something you can learn. You just need to figure out what it is you are looking for, and find that person or people who can help you get it. Often times it will be in many places, from many different people. If you are going to someone who discourages you from learning elsewhere, be weary. Often times its selfishness on their part and they will hold your progress back. It is impossible to get everything you need all in one place. Talk to anyone with skills and they will all tell you, they have many mentors. 

So I encourage you to find every opportunity to qualify yourself.  You owe it to yourself but most importantly, you owe it to your horse.

Remember this as well, there is always more to learn, and there is always room for improvement. 
No matter how qualified you are.
Thank you for reading.