Making the switch to R+ was a slow and painful one filled with uncomfortable emotions. Filled with guilt, thinking if something like this really works then there was no justification for what i had done previously. Self doubt thinking i wouldn't be good enough or smart enough to understand all the nuances of the science of learning (some people thrive on making others feel stupid, which doesn't help encourage those learning). I was consumed by fear, fear it would make my horses worse. Fear that if it didn't work what other options were there? Anxiety about being able to make the change completely and quickly, but my horses couldn't change their trust in my new communication. I had no way to tell them that punishment won't happen now in a way they could believe, not without time. Learning anything that goes against past belief is bound to create discomfort, but it's always worth it if what you're learning is truth, not opinion.

These emotions bubbled up to nearly unbearable points every time things didn't go according to plan. Everytime i made a small mistake it felt earthshattering and i desperately wanted to go back to the comfort of the language i understood before. In the end though, my desire to provide greater comfort for my horses and clarify our communication and clean up our relationship won over all the fear, guilt and self doubt. It was worth every ounce of discomfort.

I just want to say, despite how difficult it can be, it will be and is worth it to open your mind and continue learning. Don't let yourself be discouraged by people with bad attitudes or by mistakes and bumps on the road. Bumps happen on every new road, but they smooth out over time and it is worth it. That relationship you end up with, based on communication, clarity and understanding... worth every bit of it.

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