So many times I hear people complaining,
My horse won’t _________.
My horse was against me today.
My horse ___________________.
I am sure you have all heard people talking at horse shows and blaming their horse for the day or the ride that they had.
I want to share a very true story that just happened to me and a new horse I am showing for a client. We were at his second horse show ever this past weekend.
He is a great partner, I can always count on him to be there with me and willing. But partner is a two way street! I have to be a good partner to have a good partner.
He was amazing in the warm up on Friday evening. Soft, with me, it felt amazing. Of course I was excited to start showing Saturday to see how we did.
Saturday morning I did our normal routine, I lunged him around for a minute, got on and did my warm up. However he was a little stiff on the right side and not wanting to stay off of my right leg. So I kept warming up until I felt like he was softer, more responsive off my inside right leg, and with me.
I entered the arena for our first test…….and quickly realized he was not infront of my leg. He was not wanting to push forward and sucked back a little. He did every maneuver I asked just a little flat.
I came out of the ring, and instead of saying he was not forward off my leg enough, he, he, he…… I looked at why was my partner flat and not as energetic to be forward? I had to be the good partner on my side and ask what I did on my side of the partnership.
Sunday, I did not lunge him and did a very minimal warm up. So we trotted down towards A and I felt him “up” with a lot of energy under me. For a split second I thought, oh gosh I have to much horse today this could go badly. BUT I learned as a partner I had to make sure my horse had enough energy and strength to be where I needed him to be.
We had our best test ever, and he was forward, willing and easy to maneuver around the arena. I learned what I needed to do as his partner to make sure I found what he needed to be the best partner he could be for me.
Sometimes it is easier to blame then to ask the questions, think and try something different to learn about what your partner needs from you. But if you want a True Partnership just remember it always works both ways.