One of the things I have focused on lately with Nootka is not taking a great moment and asking for more and more great moments. What do I mean by this?
Nootka is a pretty green horse. Before she came to me, she had a very limited amount of training. Now, she has the basics of walk, trot, canter but that’s it. I’ve started teaching her to move laterally with several short and sweet exercises. I get really excited that she seems to get it much faster than my other horse.
Honestly, she is the smartest horse I’ve ever worked with. I’ve noticed that I get in this mindset of ‘oh you can do that easily so that means you can do this’. The ‘this’ is always harder. Plus I want to keep at it which is what I’ve seen many people do with horses. I’ve seen so many examples of horses pushed too hard. They either shut-down or become explosive. Neither of those is something I would ever want to create in any horse or human!
My mantra with Nootka is when she does something well and gets it I take that moment for what it is. I love to just think wow that’s good and stop. I’ve stopped thinking that I need to keep pushing her. Since I have taken this attitude with her, she actually seems to enjoy working with me.
Last night the hubby and I were trying to finish an important user interface design for our iPad application. It was late and the hubby was starting to get a bit frazzled. I really wanted to take our great design and get it to the programmer asap. I keep pushing and pushing him to get it done before we went to bed. Even though we had done good work on it, I felt myself wanting more and more. Then I thought of Nootka. Didn’t I make a pact with her to take the moments and not do the push/push thing? So..I laid off cajoling the hubby and you know what happened? The hubby rallied! I took the pressure off of finishing. As soon as the pressure was released he got his stride back and we finished it!
Lesson: Take great moments and feel how great they are in that very moment. Release the pressure of pushing too hard for too much.