What I learned through my horse week is that I must slow down. Even though I know I need to and I am trying to, I have to do it for real. No short cuts, and with each correct footfall from Trax I need to reward reward reward.
If it takes 30 seconds to get the right step, then I need to reward with stillness for 90 seconds.
It was very cool watching MK ride Trax. I saw my horse in a very short time become soft and relaxed. I watched him give a right lead with out hardly any work at all from MK. I saw him trying so hard to be a good pony, and I saw the look in his eye when he knew he had done something right.
MK and I talked about the different classes I want to enter in May. Color Breed Halter, Ranch Riding, and Trail.
I said, "I don't know that he will stand still for halter."
MK says, "Sure he will. Just spend a little time having someone pretend they are judging him."
Then I said, "I don't think we will ever get past the rope gate for trail."
He says, "You can move his body parts and he is getting better about ropes, he can learn this."
So next lesson I am supposed to bring my rope gate along, so he can help with that too.
The main thing he stressed to me, is to not give up on my horse. He told me several times how much he is enjoying working with him. He says it is so nice to have a horse that really enjoys learning and has the energy to keep up the pace. It seems that when ever I feel like we aren't getting anywhere, MK says the opposite.
I showed him my video (Click here if you haven't seen it yet) and he was very impressed. I was pretty impressed too, because 2 days before that we attempted it, and he was doing it but hitting the poles. On the day I filmed this, I stepped him up to it, and then we did one practice run which was perfect. Then Simon got the camera and he did it again perfect. Never once touched the poles. I gotta say, when he gets it....he gets it!
So I learned to have faith in my horse and faith in myself.
The other thing we are going to do one day soon, is go on a trail ride with MK. The place where we do our lessons borders, BLM land, so he wants to take us out and see if we can't deal with that running away issue.
So for now its a big breath out, and one step at a time. I have got to remember that!