Take Your Time

“Slow down, you’ll go faster”, this is my favorite quote from the wonderful Shawna Karrasch 🙂

I have been reminded this a few times lately. I’m the type that once I’ve taught something I feel like “there it’s done” then if the horse slides back for any reason I have a tendency to push to get the full behavior again. For example, our baby mustang, Oro, has been great at putting on his halter for a long while now, then all of a sudden he wasn’t. My first reaction was ugh just put it on and to push for the full behavior. But the more we pushed the more upset he got and the less we are able to get the halter near him. I should know better, I know the truth, but it’s so hard to ignore those instincts of “just do it”. Finally we were all frustrated and the halter was no where near on him.

Then we decided to slow down. Gave him a little jackpot then started again. This time we started from the beginning like as if he’d never seen the halter. Have him target it, have him slide his nose it, have him lower his head. Oh here’s the problem, his ears. Out of nowhere he’s become “ear shy”, I think either his ears were pinched sometime when putting on his halter or it has to do with his loose baby teeth bothering him. Either way we broke down the steps. Practiced reaching over his neck, grabbing the halter strap, bringing it over his poll. Clicking and treating each baby step. In the end it only took 2 minutes to have him calmly putting on his halter again. As opposed to 15 frustrating minutes of him wanting to bite us and us getting more and more worked up. I was reminded “slow down, you’ll go faster”. It’s true.

Next time you are faced with a situation where you think “just push a little to hurry this up” remember to slow down. It’s actually faster. Neither yourself or your horse get worked up or frustrated. You may also help diagnose the problem, where in the process is the problem. Start again from the beginning you’ll slide through the steps, until you reach the sticking point, then you work through that, and you’ve solved your problem. But by trying to force the issue you create a problem where there was none. Now the whole situation is a problem, not just the little piece that was causing the issue to start with.

So, Slow Down, You’ll Go Faster!

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