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Reviewing the evidence...

Freeschooling rescued meat pony Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington Somerset near Devon

For my birthday I asked my Husband for a GoPro camera, so I could record my riding lessons. In the past I have occasionally asked someone to record a lesson on my phone but of course it’s not often someone wants to stand and video an entire lesson. So I had fun this week trying out my camera. It’s fair to say that whilst I appreciated the value of being able to review lesson footage, I didn’t realise just how valuable it would be!

Comparing what I thought was happening and why during the lesson to what I could see unfolding in the video was rather a shock! I was totally off the mark! I could see that what I had perceived was a difference in Amber was actually being caused by me, as my posture was off at the outset. I was leaning slightly forwards and I then exacerbated this by upping my energy, which resulted in a very aggressive stance! It was so interesting comparing what I was doing when the session was going well to what I was doing when it wasn’t.

The parts of the session that went well were the times where my posture and energy were correct and every time Amber wasn’t doing what I thought I was asking for I could see on reflection that actually she was doing exactly what I was asking for. I had felt at the time like Amber wasn’t listening to me and yet once I was able to see myself on screen I could see that she was indeed listening to me every step of the way! I just wasn’t ‘saying’ what I thought I was saying…Most importantly I could see why working with me today would not have been a pleasure for Amber. In fact I’m very lucky she complied as often as she did! I do love that little horse..

The good news is that I learned a great deal today both from my mid session chat with Pip and also watching my lesson back. Rather than feeling upset about how things went, which would have been my old way of going, I feel really good about what I have learned!

As with learning anything as complex as the language of horsemanship, it hasn’t been enough to be told the relevant information once or even twice! Knowing something isn’t the same as remembering to apply it ‘in the moment’. So this has been a wonderful reinforcement of the lesson that when something isn’t going the way I want it to when I am working with my horse then I must be the culprit. After all horses only know how to be horses and be in the moment!

So, note to self, if things are going wrong then it’s down to me, whether I believe it or not!!

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