Stuck = Help?
If you've been following our story you will recognize how easily our challenges transfer into relationships with employees, spouse, child, friend, co-worker, or self. To read the other lessons Click Here.
After having Jazz for 6 months and our unsuccessful attempts at riding, it was obvious we needed some help. A friend told me of a Natural Horsemanship trainer from Texas that held horse clinics in Northeastern Ohio and suggested I attend. The first clinic was a blur…. Just ask anyone that was with us and they'll tell you they didn't know what I looked like because Jazz & I were a blur of movement.
**Recognize when you need help and try something. For many humans, asking for help or seeking help is a sign of weakness. In reality, we all need help and we can't know everything. Be honest with yourself and seek knowledge for areas beyond your skills.
The trainer talked to me about my horse and explained to me that Jazz was in need of consistent training to help her calm down. She was 800 pounds of emotional energy with no regard for her human, me! Jazz loaded up with a few other horses and headed to Texas for 6 months of training.
**Don't be afraid to try something different because of distance or fear. You might be surprised how it came move you beyond your current experience.
When Jazz returned home I expected we'd be able to ride. What I didn't expect was the amount of time needed for Jazz & I to re-connect, build our relationship and I was shocked that her training didn't automatically transfer to me.
**Relationships are built not transferred! Skills can be learned but trust must be developed. Just because Jazz (an employee, spouse, child, co-worker or friend) response to one person in a specific way, does not mean they are going to respond to you in the same manner. The skills they learned were under the instruction of someone other than you, now they have to learn your method of communicating and you theirs.
We continued working with the trainer when he was in Ohio and we spent thousands of hours developing our relationship and working on our lessons. Many times I felt like I was going in circles and we weren't making much headway. I quit working with the trainer. I was getting discouraged, but kept working hard. I expect with enough hard work Jazz would change and we would just ride into the sunset. Instead things seemed to get worse. Jazz became more timid, less aggressive with the herd and allowed the geldings to push her around more than ever.
**Doing the same things over and over expecting different results is my definition of crazy. I couldn't get outside of the box to try something different. I saw Jazz's behavior with the herd change but didn't understand what could be causing the change. I was sure my determination and hard work would pay off.
We found another trainer who noticed some issues with Jazz that the first trainer hadn't noticed. When trotting Jazz was off balance and when she cantered she became very emotional. Picture a horse whose back feet kick her front feet when running and you get the idea.
**I'm not a trained professional with horses, just an amateur doing the best I can with the tools I have and I missed some things. We can't all know everything and beating myself up for missing something wasn't doing either of us any good.
The new trainer gave us some exercised to do to help create balance when she trots. We worked hard and I could see Jazz becoming more balanced. Along with achieving a balanced gait she gained self-esteem (she started pushing the other horses again and kicking up her heels) and she became calmer.
**We learned from both of the trainers and Jazz has gained balance, self-esteem and is calmer! While it's taken longer than anticipated, it has been worthwhile to see the changes and gain the lessons along the path.
If I could go back in time knowing what I know now, I'd have asked for help when I got stuck! I'd have changed trainers sooner, I would seek out larger support group of understanding peers and friends, and I would have spent more time building our relationship.
Do you ask for help or support?
January 2008 ISSUE
Leadership, TeamBuilding and Personal Development using horses!
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