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Taking note...

Thoroughbred schooling at Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington Somerset near Devon

After yesterday's lesson I decided I would make some lesson notes. When I was only ever riding under Pip’s watchful eye I had the comfort of knowing that she would always be there to correct me and be Bronson’s advocate. Now that I practise on my own it’s my responsibility to make sure that I am doing my absolute best to set us up for success and not be doing anything to confuse or upset Bronson. There are so many things to be thinking about that I thought perhaps having a sheet of instructions, to bring the most pertinent points to the forefront of my mind before each session, would be beneficial. I wasn’t wrong!

I hadn’t expected our session to go as well as my lesson, as Pip wasn’t there to prompt me, so was pleasantly surprised when we did really well! I’m sure this is because I had written down everything she had told me the day before. As time passes I’m sure my sheet will become all the more important in keeping her teachings in my mind, so I don’t slip backwards into old habits. A few times now I’ve found myself in a pickle and when I’ve called upon Pip to help me out it transpires that the solution is something simple that I have already learned, but have forgotten. Whilst Pip is always more than happy to help, I have felt like a bit of a wally! Reading through my sheet before we started was a great way to ensure I was covering all the bases.

It really felt like Bronson and I were working together as a team today and even when we weren’t getting it quite right we were both there trying. This was just wonderful as in the past few weeks there have been occasions where it has felt like we are on different planets! When Pip has been around at these times she has been able tell me exactly why it is happening (always something I am or am not doing!) and how to correct it. So I have been left in no doubt that if things aren’t going well it’s always because I’m not being clear in my intention or am doing something wrong.

Gone are the days when I presume my horse is deliberately doing something to be difficult and it’s his fault! It’s a very different feeling when you stop blaming the horse and instead, when something isn’t right, seek the solution inside yourself. It has certainly made Bronson much happier and far more willing! Knowing I am always the cause of any problem, and therefore the solution, makes for far more enjoyable and harmonious training sessions.

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