In my equitation science workshops, I show a slide with a steps and landings. Frustration’s inevitable when we find ourselves one flight down from our last schooling session. ..especially if it happens in the warm up ring at a show! (Been there).
“But he never does this at home!” “C’mon – you KNOW this, perfectly well!”
I was reading a book by renowned dressage coach, Jane Savoie. I love what she wrote:
“Be satisfied with anything that is ‘a little better’. Your horse will not go from lousy to perfect, or from stiff to supple. He will get a little less lousy until he eventually becomes a little better, then a lot better.”
These keys help me after a set-back:
- Detach from your frustration. Emotions make our aids unclear.
- Ride the horse you have today.
- Be analytical. Evaluate. Devise a logical, systematic plan to rebuild the skill.
- Progress in small increments or steps
- Reward every try from your horse with release. “Yes, you’re on the right track!”