Tuesday, June 18, 2013

SONY DSCi have been having a lot of anxiety about the program and succeeding in my level 4 online and at liberty.  there are days that i feel there is too much.  too much to learn, too much to teach.  just too much.

and i'm tired.

today is one of those days.  billy and i have been addressing a few issues in our circling game.  he would canter, but not maintain gait.  he will maintain direction so we had half of the equation, "maintain gait and maintain direction".  david lichman gave me some wonderful insight into how to teach that maintain gait and it's been working wonders.  without making billy tired. which was ultimately the key for us...

then i think about all the things we need to accomplish for level 4 online, 10-20 laps at the canter, jumping a barrel halfway (this one is the hardest things for me to teach!!!), long reins; walk, turn and back up, stick to me with a simple lead change (what!? eeeek!), flying lead change with a change of direction, flank rope on the 12 foot line, spin and go, jump upright barrel or double down barrels (according to ability of horse), backwards under a tarp.  these are just a few of the things we have to work on to complete our level 4 online.  i haven't even touched on level 4 at liberty!


my brain gets all clogged down with the pressure of getting all these things.  understanding them myself so i can break them down and teach them to billy.  then i start to feel panicky.  after all this is just the beginning of our journey.  we still have to start the riding part of it!


then i'll have a whole other list of things to stress me out.

but at least i have a purpose.  i have a goal.  not an end goal because this is a journey of never ending self improvement, but a goal.  that goal will change depending on what i need to get accomplished.

for me it's about more than being able to check off a skill on a list.  it's about really truly understanding WHY i need to be able to check that skill off.  then making sure it's a skill that we can return to over and over again.  knowing it's solid.  i don't want to rush the process.

i do want to ride soon, but i set a goal for myself to pass level 4 online and at liberty before i ride.

maybe i should just go spend some undemanding time today :)  give my brain a little time to decompress...  or should i just keep pressing on, slogging through the muddy marsh of information and tasks until i can tick them all off with confidence.

sigh.  just one more question for me to answer.


  1. Whenever I feel like that, undemanding time is always such a big help. Just remember, it's about the journey not about the destination :). The more pressured you feel the more he is going to feel, which is only going to set you back. If you are anxious to pass them before you ride, maybe you should experiment with some riding things. Like saddling (if you haven't already?). Sometimes when I key in on something, I find that trying something else that's new will point out my flaws and once I fix those, the other things fall into place.

  2. yes i constantly remind myself that it's about the journey... sigh. i think i just wrote about that last week! LOL and when i start to feel pressured i usually do just step back to UDT. it just makes me feel better and feels like a reset button to me. billy doesn't mind now that he's home because that means that he gets to go out and graze in the evening AND the morning ;)

    we have played with the bareback pad, english saddle and western saddle extensively. i can saddle him at liberty. we have been playing around with him coming sideways towards me while i hold the saddle up. i've been up on him about 20 times last summer... just sitting and allowing him to wander around. the other day when i tried his rope hackamore on he just looked so handsome and rideable :) made the itch to ride almost unbearable! i haven't ridden a horse, actually ridden one in about 10 years. so i'm certain i can wait one more year ;) i would really love him to be 4 before i get up there and start asking for a lot.

    i would also like to go to pagosa springs to start working on my instructor course, but billy has to do a little more maturing and be able to do flying lead changes with me in the saddle first. i believe that is one of the criteria... i plan on asking david lichman about that when i attend his clinic in august!!

    i've just been going through the check list for level 4 online and there are so many that we can't do at all, or can do but are pretty sketchy at. i was hoping to pass my level 4 online before the david lichman clinic in august, but that is starting to feel like too much pressure so will have to let that one go. there are so very many things that we are really good at that i want to focus on that and then pepper in the new things and continue to fill any holes i find along the way! there aren't many anymore for which i am very grateful.

    i just had to get this post written as my worries were starting to keep me up at night! once i get them out on paper (or computer screen) they don't stir around in my brain as much, or at all :)

    onward and upward!! thank you so much for your supportive comment! i LOVE it when you comment as you always have something wonderful to share or say :*