Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Precision through Patience

That's a quote from our trainer.  I really like it, especially on days like today.  It's cold with a strong, even colder, wind blowing.  Honestly, I don't know how some of you live in this kind of weather all winter!  I figured if you guys can ride in the snow, I can ride in a bit of cold wind.  So, down to the barn I went with a million layers, my fleece lined breeches and a windbreaker.  Jackson was NOT pleased when I took off his blanket.  Fortunately, he was clean so I just saddled up and went instead of engaging in the usual leisurely grooming session.

He was WIRED.  Hellooooooo horse!  Are you there????

Jackson: " Huh???  oh, yeah.  Maybe NOT."  Then he would imitate a camel.  You know: head high and back hollow and brain far away in Africa.

I told myself that this was okay.  This was show behavior.  This is what he does in the dressage court.  This was an excellent opportunity to work on his confidence and listening skills.  I played the soundtrack of my trainer saying "patience" and "ignore the behavior" and "keep asking" and "wait for him."  It took 30 minutes but it did work.  I had a focused horse by the time we finished and I was fried but happy.  Instead of my usual frustration leading to bridle wars I just patiently worked through it with focus and consistency.  ...which is HUGE for me.

Maybe Jackson is in the pasture telling Flash what a great lesson he gave me.... 

The apricot tree buds have burst so spring is on the way.  Yes!  I'm in an optimistic mood.  (big grin)


  1. That sounds really good - and it sounds like you have a great trainer!

  2. Well, I'm a total wuss when it comes to riding in the cold. So much so that I forgo any riding at all between October & April. Good for you for getting out there in it.

    Love the apricot blossoms. They remind me of the cherry blossoms that come out in full force in the spring here and literally turn the city pink.

    Won't be long now!

  3. What a productive session you had. I often imagine our horses having just such conversations about our rides ;) Lovely photo of the apricot blossoms!

  4. I just might steal that mantra, precision through patience! I often get frustrated when things don't work out (fast enough).
    (My current mantra is "Gefüüüühl, Schätzchen" ("Feeeel, darling") as my trainer told me with a wink as I was battling with a new horse and asked for his help...).

  5. Blossoms?????????? We are so far away from that happening!

    Sounds like you and Jackson ended up having a very good session. By the way...I really like your husband's blog. He is the exception, taking dressage lessons and even writing about it. Kudos.
    Our farrier was here a couple of days ago, and I told him about Brett. Jon was a mounted policeman in Rochester for about 24 years and has that same love of horses.

  6. I love this idea of working through it and still asking even in the high-headed, hollow backed camel phase - keep asking. Great!

    Oh, please send spring our way! The wind is whipping and the ice is coating everything and it is going to be 19 tonight. We need spring!

  7. I can't believe anyone on this continent has blossoms right now! :)
    Sounds like a great lesson. Good for you and Jackson.

  8. I must be living in the wrong place!

  9. Thank you for the beautiful picture of the blossoms! We are blanketed in snow here and seeing those blooms reminds me that Spring is not that far away!


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