i 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.