The older i get, the more i feel able to to say no to people and im able to distinguish characteristics in people and their horses and i have come to a position in my working life that i can almost choose who i want to work with, we distinguish why they want me to work with me, what they want from their horses and plan a journey of the path ahead.
One pre requisite that i have, is that we are, or can be on a similar page to our training methods, ideals and regimes.
Horses that arent hungry, horses that know there jobs and their routines and are capable mentally and physically of their job and are able to grow and develop in all areas of their training, mentally and physically, and then i offer a way that the partner ship within horse and rider / owner, can maintain that level, with a degree of appreciation for some time. Always striving for bettering ourselves can become a constant battle rather than appreciating where we are at the given times and mile stones of our training sessions.
ATTITUDE: Mostly when i train horses, especially those new to being under my care or direction, i request a calmness, a relaxed attitude to be able to work. Sometimes achieving a relaxed state, in very early sessions may be just enough, and can be done a couple of times a day, rather than all the work in one hit. One day the horse may come out jogging off, well how wonderful he can do that, as long as he is relaxed and happy to show his moves, as long as he soon comes back to thinking about me / you and the session ahead.
Other times the horse may be ready willing and able and these are the times, how ever long it takes to let the horse NATURALLY excel in his training, still no rush, no force and i start my focus, every day what ever his mood / presence of that session on posture, and effective locomotion.
Ooops: It has to be said some days i, or the horse or both together may make mistakes, some days it may feel like we have gone back 2 steps, one thing i simply do is detach any emotion from this, of course if i have a horse i really enjoy working with the theme constantly is to develop and grow, we always have a goal in mind in each stage, yet im not so hung up on time constraints especially in early stages, but by detaching emotions the horse always knows i will stay the same and mistakes, misunderstandings may occur, this is ok, a great horse person will know when to establish the same question a different way, and how to ‘let go’ of the mistake.
SPACIAL AWARENESS: One rule of thumb (and its rare) but i have a boundary around my self and i let the horse have a boundary around him i dont walk into his space, he doesnt walk into mine unless via invite or by a mutual trust respect and understanding that comes with time and patience and a consideration of the horses moods and this can change daily, but the boundary doesnt.
So every day the new conversation starts, and i try to learn all i can about that horse, that day, is he happy, moving freely, did he sleep well, eat well, where are his friends, is he bothered about the herd, does he seem CONTENT in life.
We all can gather information like this without having to do much atall but give the TIME to appreciate his being at that given time, thats why mistakes can come and go, they dont matter long term because the bigger picture is always playing. A good horse person, in my mind will always over see to the bigger objective and in any given moment should FEEL gratitude that they have the opportunity to work with said horse at said time, it is an HONOUR for me to be asked to work with any ones horse, whether my own or yours my passion remain’s the same, i want the best, SIMPLY & EFFECTIVELY in a timely, gentle, progressive manner.
SUMMARY: I guess, after writing this, to simply state, that my training, this includes massaging of the horse, will always be offered in a relaxed, consistent, encouraging environment. I would expect the same given to any horse to bring out the best in him, and understanding every day the horse teaches us something more about our selves on many levels.