#59 Preventing My Wreck

Aug 25, 2022

It's been almost 2 years since the wreck that changed the trajectory of my life. I'm grateful for most of those changes now. It's what catapulted me into a new journey of learning and led to a new purpose in life: shining a light on other horse professionals and bringing their work to you, virtually.

I've spent quite a bit of time replaying what happened that day. You can read more about it and the lessons I learned here.

There are 3 main mistakes I made:

1. I didn't adjust to fit the situation. Suede needed more guidance that day and I treated him the way he'd been on previous days- more relaxed and confident. But that day he was tense and tight and needed me to adjust. 

2. I didn't heed the accumulation of warning signs (yellow flags). Each time he let me know that he was not ok with what was going on, I helped to improve his state of mind. But I didn't put enough value into the accumulation of these warning signs- each time I'd get an improvement but he was letting me know that his level of tension was high enough that little things kept bothering him.

3. I hadn't prepared him for if things got BIG. I had spent A TON of time using approach and retreat and rhythm to build his confidence with energy or pressure coming on and then going away. Pretty soon he was totally ok with the pressure coming on- he'd learned it would go away, he'd learned to depend on the rhythm, the predictability and the retreat. These are all great things- it's the beginning but I'd treated it more like the end point. 

There is so much more to helping to build our horse's confidence than just approach and retreat- this is a key piece but NOT the ONLY PIECE. 

In an upcoming Virtual Workshop I'll be hosting with Lillan Rome. She'll be sharing 2 other stages of building confidence to explore AFTER approach and retreat has helped our horse's relax. These stages help them with what to do if the pressure doesn't go away. OR even more challenging- what to do if it gets bigger. It's coming up Oct 8, 2022. If you're reading this after that date, you'll still be able to access the recording.

If I had prepared Suede with these 2 concepts- the wreck wouldn't have happened. Like I said in the beginning though- gratitude awaits us in any situation- even the toughest ones- they lead us to new understandings and possibilities if we let them. They are the rain that provide the rainbow.

Thank you for reading!! I'd love to hear what you think and if this reminds you of times in your own life that have been tough but that have led to new possibilities. Our private FB group (A Learner's Journey) would be a great place to share! 

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