Nearing the end of my session with Hope, my mom and I started talking. She was telling me about Karen Rohlf’s Module 2 video in the Sweet Spot course (which I have not had the chance to watch yet). It gave me an idea: To take the little steps to yes moments.
As we go along, this is in everything we do. Even more now than ever, I realize that I need to be setting everything up with this intention. I want to be happy, and have happy horses that are progressing at a rate that they are happy with… which means I need to take the steps that will set them up for those moments of “Yes! Look how wonderful you are! Thank you so much.”
This means, for the moment, slowing down even a little bit more with Hope.
I’m very happy with how Hope has been improving! Her trot is such an improvement for her, and while it is not always consistent, we are beginning to develop it more consistently… but her expression is tight. She’s not happy – she’s tense, braced, and has a tense/cranky expression… and this doesn’t change very often.
So, I tried less. A lot less. I asked her for a walk, with very light phases, and just allowed her to respond the way she wanted to. I got three very slow, drawn out steps of a walk that looked like she was ready to lay down and fall asleep.
This is what she was willing to give me.
I accepted it. I said a short thank you, touched her neck, and asked again. Just give me whatever you’re willing to give me. I allowed her to show me.
There was a little more this time, but not much.
We played with this for a while. My goal was a medium walk off of a very slight suggestion (we already have very light phases built in). Each time we got a little better, I stopped and thanked her, gave her a moment, and asked again. After about three to four minutes, I got that medium walk, with a happy, relaxed expression, from a horse who was willing and happy to do this with me. Do you know how good that felt? I loved on her and rubbed her, and told her how wonderful she was and thank you.
Do you know what the difference was? Yep. It was all me, my intention, my allowing, and my setting it up for little steps to yes.
So now, we’re going to be setting everything up for little steps to yes…
Little steps to confidence:
(and yes, those are a couple of stacked kiddie potties on top of a garden post)
Little steps to curiosity and asking questions:
And little steps to physical wellness: