• Erin Long

Keep Yourself Accountable

The last few sessions with Sid I have found a sudden struggle with turning in hand. I kept trying to steer him with my hand, and we’d crash into each other end up just going in opportune directions and nearly pulling my shoulder out of place - ouch. He’d also rush off, snort, root, swish his tail, etc. I continued to get more and more frustrated with him, and less and less patient with my cues.

This morning it occurred to me that I am an idiot. So today, I decided to figure out where I was going wrong, rather than projecting the issues onto my horse. I put a loop around his neck (to avoid bopping his nose in the inevitable diversions lol) and headed to the outdoor. Within 20 minutes we were making gorgeous figure eights and transitions because, what do you know, for some reason I had developed a habit of looking in the opposite direction of where I was turning. Sid wasn’t “disobeying” or “being naughty”. He was saying “HEY DING DONG LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING.” By taking away my ability to “make him do it” or cover up my own mistakes, I had to figure out pretty quickly what I was doing wrong.

Was he in perfect self carriage the whole time, or even most of the time? No. Was this work the best thing I could have done for HIS body? Probably not. But did it get my rear end in gear to fix some issues that will make our work moving forward more productive? You betcha. What is one thing you’ve done in your riding or training to keep yourself accountable? Did it work? What did you learn?

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