Today we rode in the field, which is on a gentle slope, so a great chance to ride somewhere outside of our well surfaced and level arena. We rode up and down through all three paces, which was a great opportunity for Flash to find her own balance in a less than perfect footing, and even rode through a few dressage test movements. The gentle hills also helped Flash to work more from behind – win win!
We are getting there slowly but surely with the flatwork. I feel like we almost have the walk and trot nailed, and our upward transitions through all three paces are getting there. Downward transitions and the canter still needs more work, but we have both come such a long way from where we were a year ago.
My own mindset and attitude towards training has really changed over the last six months. I used to be so focused on the things we couldn’t do, or things we were getting wrong. I’d spend my time thinking about the mountain of things I had yet to improve, or the ways I was letting my horses down – and chastising myself for not being capable enough to unlock their full potential.
Looking to what you can improve, and always wanting to do and be better is a good thing – but not to the point where you’re beating yourself up and shattering your own confidence. That’s the line that has to be drawn.
Now, I’m still focused on what we need to work on and improve – but in a productive way. I break things down into smaller chunks, and chip away until they get better – like leg yielding or transitions. And I look at how far we’ve come, all the progress we’ve made, and celebrate all I’ve been able to do with my horses as an amateur – and use this as my motivation to keep me going into the next thing I need to improve.
I will always want to be better, and there is always room to improve. But needing to be better doesn’t mean you’re crap now. It’s so important to differentiate between the two.
Oh, and the good news is – my horses have no idea how much potential they have. They both already think they’re absolutely fantastic