But there are some thoughts knocking around my head about fresh horses and cramped indoors and training theory, and while I apologize if that bores you, it's really important to me.
A week or so back, I talked about my light bulb moment of throttling my horse back so much at the trot that I was literally creating my own monster. That's important--A horse can buck you off standing still but he can't (should be able to) buck you off at a gallop. Forward MATTERS.
I had the lesson from hell the other night. Courage was distracted and leaping and spooking at LITERALLY EVERYTHING. Instead of working on steady contact and correct balance, we mostly worked on staying on and not dying.
Which is something we have to do from time to time.
|cherry picked shot that is less-terrible from lesson|
But that's my other important theory tidbit--don't let the horse change the conversation.
This is something that Izzy (the Hellbeast) used to do All.The.Time, until my old trainer called her on it. Don't let the conversation be about the scary thing or the weird noise. If you're talking about the right rein and the left leg, keep on having that conversation, even if it means having it somewhere else for a while. YOU decide what to talk about, not the horse.
But with Courage, that's not the problem. He's seen it all. He's not afraid. If I keep reacting to him, then all I'm doing is riding defensively and guaranteeing I'll always be a step behind him. I'm letting him choose the conversation. I'm setting us both up to fail. I need to stay proactive. I need to ride through his spook and keep on riding like it never happened.
I'm not punishing him for being afraid. I'm not rewarding him for losing focus. I just keep repeating "right rein, left leg" (out loud, because dorky) and keep riding.
It's not the most fun thing ever, but it's working.