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kimc

Met With The Trainer Yesterday....wow Reality Check

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04-03-2010

A Trainer was out yesterday to evaluate Tinker & Indie to see where we stand and what we can work on until she has a space for Tinker in June, then she will take Indie for a couple of weeks to begin to lay a good foundation for when we start her under saddle work next year when she turns 3. Wow - nothing like a real trainer to show you ALL the holes in your training. What an eye opening experience. We've had a really nasty winter here, so they have all had way too much time off and have gotten a little disrespectful. I was ashamed, and embarrassed. But most of all I was so sorry that it was my fault that I allowed my horses to get that way. I felt like I had let them all down. They had become pets instead of the wonderful partners they should be. I felt like one of those parents that ignores their screaming, disruptive children in a restaurant and I had never realized it until yesterday.

As horse owners we owe it to our horses to make them the best horses they can be so they can live up to their fullest potential. Why? Because you never know when your personal circumstances might change and you might need to rehome them, so you need to give them all the skills possible to be able to match them up with the best possible owner for them. You never know what situations you might encounter along the trail, or in day to day life, that you might have to ask your horse to do something new in a situation that they might not be comfortable in and there is not an option for refusal - like a hurricane, tornado, barn fire, encounter with an aggressive dog, etc.

Good news is after about an hour of work with each of them, they were back to being mindful and not pushy. They were back to respecting our personal space and staying attentive to see what we wanted to ask of them next. They were standing ground tied, and not trying to eat grass. We had two eyes, and two ears on us, as we stood around talking to each other about what had taken place. No one was pawing with impatience. You send your two legged children off to college because you want to give them all the skills they will need to better themselves and to survive in this world. Why should we want any less for our four legged kids?

I was told today that my horses are beautiful, fat, and very, very smart. I was told that I should expect more from them, because they have it already in them to give it to me. But I have to be the one to remember to continue to ask, ask, ask. In turn, I will receive, receive, receive without hesitation. My horses want to please me. They want me to lead them. I can still love on them, give them treats and all of that, as long as it is on MY terms, NOT theirs. They need to be ?Yes, Ma?am horses? Not ?gimme, gimme, gimme horses?.

I?m making a new commitment to my ponies and to myself. We are going to have a kindergarten session every evening for a minimum of 15 minutes to remind us why we love each other and how to respect each other. It will do us all a world of good. And it will better prepare them for when I send them off for their first days of Grade School (a/k/a Boot Camp) around June.

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Don't be so hard on yourself!

I do agree with you that it's in our horses' best interest for us to keep them well behaved and get them trained...but as you saw, yours HAVE the basics, they do KNOW better, they just need more regular handling/work to reinforce that stuff.

I could've killed Chey yesterday...she would NOT stand ground tied for me while I trimmed her. She was distracted and just not paying me attention. She just needed a very quick CTJ meeting....this is not normally an issue, but for the last few weeks, she hasn't been ASKED to do anything except lead to and from the stall and paddock. Can't blame her....that's on me. So I get it. But you know what you've got to do to resolve the issues, so just take it one step at a time!

Good luck!

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Ouch! That really smarts! I hear you, talking clearly and directly to me. I have been singled out, and walk with my head held very low. I feel like I have been in denial and someone has finally gotten my attention.

Now, how can I make this a reality for me and my horses.

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What a neat opportunity to have the trainer come out and evaluate your kiddos. This is such an exciting time for you as well as Indy and Tinker. Broo is right though, don't be hard on yourself. Owning horses is a continuous learning experience. Heck, more often than not I find I learn the most from my mistakes and become a better horsewoman because of them. Just ask Cloud. ;)

Be encouraged though and listen to your horses. They will give you feedback and a report card so to speak. They'll tell you through their behavior where you need to improve whether it be on the ground or in the saddle.

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