Have you ever gone out to catch your horse in rush, because you have an hour to groom and work him before heading off to your next task, and he decides that nothing you do will convince him to cooperate and come in? Then if you don’t give up and finally catch him, he is the world’s most difficult horse to work with and absolutely nothing about the ordeal goes even remotely right?
Yeah, I know the feeling well.
Horses sense impatience. They sense when our minds are already on our next task. Maybe an old schoolmaster can tolerate it, but most horses can’t. They want our full attention, they want us to be present with it. If we aren’t, well then why should they work for us? If we can’t be present, why should they? At least, that is what I imagine they are thinking.
Another thing, most horses dislike being rushed in the ring. Sometimes they need extra time to learn a new skill, or look at a spooky thing. And sometimes we, as riders, need extra time too. We don’t have to ride them through every spook. We can pause and let them look at the thing as long as they need to in order to realize that it isn’t that scary after all. I have found that this actually works really well. We also don’t have to ride through all of our fears, but rather take our time getting over them. It takes time to get nerve (or get it back), and sometimes we need to just take that time.
I guess my whole point with this post is to encourage you to take your time with your horse. Don’t let other people rush you. Don’t let your goals get in the way of your horsemanship. Don’t let time restraints keep you from giving your horse your full attention. You don’t have to rush and power through everything. In fact, that usually never works out well anyway.