i wanted to re-use this picture with this quote because i think we all need to be reminded once in awhile that life/happiness/horsemanship is truly about the journey, not the destination.
i've noticed a shift in my horsemanship. thankfully, as i was getting entirely too single minded and direct line. both things that i definitely DON'T want to be!
i gave billy the night off the last few nights, but i had the feeling that he wanted to go out and play! the last couple of sessions have been so beautiful, full of learning (for both him and myself) with clear communication. small steps towards the bigger picture. me, expecting a lot, but accepting each and every try. and boy was he trying!
i absolutely love watching his face as we enter new territory. he offers what he knows, then i re-direct and his eyes will sometimes get tight. i wait or encourage depending upon what he needs and then watch as the understanding washes over his face. his eyes get bright, his ears perk and he gives me his full attention, if i've set it up for success. as long as i don't use force or make him feel wrong for trying. i have to support his idea, then re-direct him back to my idea, gently, using feel and timing. he can get so offended when he feels that i'm not listening to him...
talk about, "your horse is your mirror"!!
i've decided to slow down. don't be in a hurry. level 4 will come when it comes (or not at all) and i don't really care right now! i am still planning on riding him lightly this fall. just a few times up on his back and then hopefully hitting the trails next year. all while keeping my principles in order and utmost in my mind. all in good time. i'm ready to slow down and enjoy the journey!