Negative vs positive thoughts. That is my choice of topic for today. You see, I have this one gelding, whom I LOVE but we have had some issues getting going. The issues were mine not his. One of my memories this week on FB were of our very first exhibition four years ago. First off, I noticed that I completely let him have his head, I didn’t try to school him to turn and I talked to him. Some where along the line, I forgot all this. And that is when the “issues” began. I got nervous. I got worried. I over thought the entire process. This horse had many months of riding as a 2 and 4 year old. He was well patterned. But he was and is still LAZY. He also had some metabolic issues that I was unaware of until last summer. All these things lead to me having a mental block. Why? Well… he bucked. And I hit the ground HARD.
Let’s back up. Why did he buck? New arena, the clover was ripe and he had his fill, super windy, I was already having a bad day…. and a stupid pop up barrel as well as a canopy that literally took flight while I was exhibitioning him. What was I doing? Clamping down on the reins, nervous as heck, over thinking and distracting him. It ended badly. I got back on and did make him walk through but I was in bad shape. So what do you think goes through my mind when I get on this horse? Anxiety. Over thinking. Negative thoughts.
It’s time to move forward. I have had him checked and addressed any soreness. We have him on low sugar/starch feed and he stays off of the spring grass. It’s time. It’s time to trust again. But for some reason, I was still overthinking. I still have negative thoughts. These thoughts were transferred to my horse. I would either be more aggressive with my hands, stop him if I felt “something” or would ride really stiff. That negative bubble has to be popped! I will say that the last several times I have hauled him, he has done GREAT for me! So what is holding me back?
I took a big step today! I had a lesson with a student that involved use of an arena and barrels! Today was the first time in a long time that the bubble was gone. I was so happy to ride! So happy, in fact, that I rode with a loose rein. I actually used my words. I actually rode him like the grown up horse he is! And it was great! He loped the pattern nice and smooth! Then I took him down the alley and actually pushed him through the pattern! He did hesitate leaving the third but I just gave him his head and told him to “get out of the pen” like I do my finished horse! And he RAN!!! And I didn’t fall off! Why? Because I was happy!
Moral of the story is simple in theory. Don’t cast your negative thoughts to your horse. Do your best to be positive. No matter the past, forgive, move on and find your happy place! It will change your world!