Today I learned a new lesson about trying until you succeed. I was working with our lesson horse Gypsum. We were working on stopping, a simple enough concept that most horses should understand. However, she loves.to push through the bit and keep moving when you ask her to stop occasionally. That leaves my students learning how to use the emergency stop in real time. It is good practice for them, but as an instructor, I would still prefer my horses stop when asked. So we were having a bit of a training session this morning to work on that.
What is different today?
This isn’t the first time we have worked on this concept and she is getting better. However, as part of a riding instructor master mind group, I received the advice to lose the bit (we have tried several bit configurations too) and try a hackamore. A hackamore uses pressure on the top of the muzzle rather than using pressure on the inside of the mouth from a bit. It seems a little counterintuitive to take a bit out of the mouth of a horse that won’t stop, but I was willing to try. I was in an enclosed arena, so the damage could be minimized.
Guess what? It worked! It was amazing! This horse was so responsive and stopping on a dime. Wow! Finally she stops and she is good at it.
This just makes me think of all things in life that need improvement or change. Do we give up at the first resistance? Do we keep trying? Do we keep studying, asking for advice, researching etc. Or do we throw up our hands and say “Well, that is just the way it is.” I hope you will keep trying, keep finding solutions and never give up. Because I am telling you, when you break through that barrier, when you find the perfect solution after so many tries, the feeling is amazing. This example is just a horse learning to stop, but imagine more life changing discoveries you can make if you never give up.