I'm leaving shortly to head off to my next, and third lesson of this set, of ever for Moon, and am a little anxious again. I'm thinking perhaps I should overthrow "Diary of an Overanxious Horse Owner", and make her blog my own. Seems we are but two peas in a single pod.
Regardless, I'm trying to still my nerves, as our practice session last week is still weighing heavily on my mind. I really am a silly duck that way, as it was one ride, it's the start of progressing towards something better, and we're getting help to improve it. We WILL get there, if only we have the patience and perseverance to get there.
Of course, I was foolish enough to google "avoiding contact" and "open mouth", leading to a rash of fears that this is going to be a forever problem, that won't ever dissipate and my poor horse will never learn to have contact, we'll never make it into the competition ring because of it, and he'll be more and more miserable every time I get on him.
Yup, clearly, I'm a worrier!
Of course, the internet suggestions, which are a plenty as everyone has an opinion, tell me to change his bit, clamp his mouth or start elaborate jaw mobilization techniques. And check the fit of everything, including every spinal bone in his body. Let me state now, that's not about to happen (though saddle and bridle fit are important to me). A close relationship with a number of physiotherapists and a lot of education makes me a strong believer in physio, stretching and the gradual improvement of ones flexibility and muscling. Snap-Crackle-Popping your way to good health just isn't logical to me, and hence, Mr. Moon will not be getting a visit from the Chiropractor. All of you are welcome to if you so wish; I never think my answer is the only answer, but it's the only one Moon gets to hear. ; )
So I'm leaving the video camera at home (forgot to bring the vaccines, dang it!), and will ride this lesson without any eyes. I'm trying to envision what I want to see, instead of focusing on what I don't want. I'm also trying to have patience, since we're what? 3 weeks in? Seriously, I need to learn that it takes YEARS to develop a soft and supple horse, not just 2 lessons and a couple of practice rides in the back field.
I love quotes, and found a couple of meaningful ones for myself:
“Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things - with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing, serene hope.”
- Corazon Aquino
This one, to me means that I have faith in my horse, and his ability to move forward and learn. It means, that even though we are struggling, we shouldn't just sit there and resolve to suffer. Instead, we must press onward, and believe that we can and WILL get where we're going.
“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”
This quote is nearly perfect to me. It just screams "Having patience for Moon to get on the bit doesn't mean showing up and riding in circles. It means ACTIVELY working on it, whenever the opportunity arises. And even though sometimes it seems like you've taken a step backwards, or it seems like you're not moving forwards, you keep on pushing yourself. Patience is continuing when others gave up.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions”
- Rainer Maria Rilke
To me, this is about not focusing on getting Moon to accept contact. That's not the focus; that shouldn't be my focus. It's about the journey we're on, in this coaching program, where we're trying to become more then we were. Yeah, we're struggling, but we need to LIVE the struggle, as that's the adventure.
“The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.”
- Ralph Marston
This one is about sticking to my goals of improving my riding, and improving how MoonSox goes. Yes, we're not perfect, but hey, everyone and every-horse has its hang-up. That's okay. What we're doing is a great thing, and we need to believe in what we're doing.
So yes. Those are my quotes du jour, and I'll probably come back and re-read them in the near future. Tonight will be good; we'll make some improvements, he'll be my special boy again, and we'll keep on keeping on. He is, truly, a special horse to me, and I know I have just as many faults as he does. Chicken elbows and all that! Only I can blog and rant about them, and he can't!
We try. : )