Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Frustration Station - All Aboard

 
  Frustration.  "A common emotional response to opposition. Related to anger and disappointment, it arises from the perceived resistance to the fulfillment of individual will. The greater the obstruction, and the greater the will, the more the frustration is likely to be. Causes of frustration may be internal or external. In people, internal frustration may arise from challenges in fulfilling personal goals and desires, instinctual drives and needs, or dealing with perceived deficiencies, such as a lack of confidence or fear of social situations. Conflict can also be an internal source of frustration; when one has competing goals that interfere with one another, it can create cognitive dissonance. External causes of frustration involve conditions outside an individual, such as a blocked road or a difficult task. While coping with frustration, some individuals may engage in passive–aggressive behaviour, making it difficult to identify the original cause(s) of their frustration, as the responses are indirect."


  This is what I feel at this moment.  You know that feeling when you are working with a green horse and you take two steps forward, and take one step back?  I hatttte that step back.  I am taking a few steps back.  I decided to go back to square one with William.  I thought long and hard about his scootie butt - try to buck move and decided there was a training block missing somewhere.  He goes great once he gets going and does not do the scoot nor attempt to buck, but getting on and starting off is always a bit sketchy.  I don't like that sketchy.  I don't like being the most nervous that I might die at the beginning of the ride.  Kind of takes all the joy out of it. And trust me, I am NOT a nervous rider.  I just stress a little bit over whether or not I am wrecking a perfectly good baby.  Perfectionist some may say.  Neurotic, I say.


  By chance - or fate you may say, my old John Lyons book - Lyons on Horses appeared the other day.  I started reading and realized my thoughts were probably right, that William is missing some key building blocks in his training.  He is flinchy, he is insecure, and not trusting.  He is a good boy and stands still but I can see nervousness in his eyes.  I am taking the steps back and following the John Lyons way.  I have been sacking him out for the last week and it's been going pretty well.  I can rub him all over with many things; towels, saddle pads, coats, and even giant plastic bags (you know the kind horse blankets come in).  


My western saddle concoction. 
What IS this thing?!?
Alright I will accept this...for now.
  We graduated from the sacking out and moved onto the saddling.  I decided to go western for this and have been using the western saddle.  I have been saddling and unsaddling, saddling and unsaddling.  Standing on the mounting block and saddling and unsaddling.  Saddling and tying scary things to the saddle and making him walk around the arena with all this contraption on.  Things were going really well.  I had not seen the scootie butt - almost buck in 2 weeks....that is, until tonight.
I stand perfectly by the mounting block now :)
  Since he was being such a good boy I planned on moving onto the mounting and unmounting - repeat - portion of the training.  My mom was riding in the arena while I was in there tonight and I think that gave big Willy an opportunity to pretend he forgot all about his special training.  I started him out how I have been with rubbing him all over with the saddle pad and letting him relax.  I put the saddle on and let him relax.  I tightened the girth and let him relax.  I asked him to walk forward and BOOM!  Bronc horse wanna be scooting his butt and almost running me over.  I stopped him, reassured him, and repeated the process.  He did it again the second time but much less effort.  By the third time I unsaddled him and saddled him he just walked away completely relaxed and no bucks.


Who me? I'm a good boy :)
  I guess we aren't quite ready for the mounting - unmounting portion.  It is so frustrating when you think you are improving so much and then you have a night like this.  I just keep telling myself that last spring I couldn't even get Archie to go over a jump, and look where he is now.  I need to whip out the patience and take as much time as it does to make sure William is comfortable and confident before I get on his back again.  There is no rush, and no need to ruin a perfectly good horse.  If we do it right, it will be great when we get there. :)


 Patience, forever! xx

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