Sunday, August 31, 2008

Horse trainer psychology - part one

Today's picture is of Splodge's head

I am more concerned with the psychological affects on me of what I am doing, more than I am with what I do. This is mainly because early on in my life I found the going pretty tough at times and I realised that for me, the name of the game was survival.

So now, everything I do, I try to set it up to give me as little psychological stress as possible. A good example of this is my vegetable garden. For years I have fought against nature in the form of slugs, snails, butterflies, and all, and eventually I realised if I am going to continue gardening and maintain my sanity then maybe I need to get organised with some defenses. Now I don't get half the knock-backs I used to get, and I really enjoy getting out there and seeing my plants not all being destroyed by greedy slimey monsters.

So how about the psychology of horse training? Well, I am working on this too. Remember here I am talking about how it psychologically affects me, not about the psychology of the horse. Obviously horses are different to vegetables (although some would disagree) in that horses are affected by your psychological state. It is important to present to the horse a sound state of mind, which in itself is a good incentive to organise your life in a way that promotes this. Horses are not impressed by erratic human behaviour - qualities such as impatience, anger, frustration, and so on do not really help. Horses work well when you are in a calm and balanced frame of mind.

But there is another side to this too. Horsework, at least in my experience, does not always progress in a steady way. Sometimes things move forwards very easily and other times things almost seem to move backwards. It is important to just keep going, and important not to get too involved in evaluating the day by day experience. I try to look at things over a period of time.

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  1. That is quite a profile!

    Probably best not to mention her to Dr Deb, eh?

  2. She looks a little like a pantomime horse in this pic.

    Are you at the other end?

  3. There she is! The good looks of a Gresley A4 Pacific!

    You're so right about the long view (re horsemanship). Gah! Easy to say, not so easy to do, especially with an instructor like mine. She's such a tyrant. I think she must have an unhappy home life...

  4. what a beauty! Now, if you could just take a file to that face...

    yes, there is no haste or impatience with horses is there. Do you think there may be a lesson in that...?

  5. In the vast majority of things change is statistical rather than clearly incremental- we tend to think that things will improve as though we're filling a jar with rice and for each grain we drop in there the jar gets a little fuller, but often it's more like climbing a mountain, where sometimess there'll be smaller peaks and valleys to traverse on the way so that although you end up higher than you started the journey between the start and finish has been far from even.

  6. Yes, this has been a very uneven journey, but I'm glad you're okay now. And you're right, time gives some perspective; sometimes it's necessary to see how you're progressing.

    Good thing you can at least try to give yourself as little stress as possible. I whish I could do the same >:<

    PS.- I like Splodge's hairstyle -just the same I had when I was a student, lol-

  7. Glenatron - as far as I can tell from Klaus's book, Splodge is a 'peasant', and as such, is not worth training.

    MJ - Splodge is a bit like a pantomime horse really - and as such, is not worth training.

    Janey - She does indeed look like a Gresley A4, and as such, is not worth training. As for your trainer, you should try living with her.

    Kate - The more I go on the more I realise, it's time, just time.

    Glenatron - exactly!

    Leni - do you have a photo of your student hair - only because I simply don't believe you!

  8. Tom,
    Yeah I have many pix of my hair when I was at the Law School -I was well known as 'the girl with the palm tree on her head'-. But you don't really want to see it. I look much better now, lol.

  9. That's weird..
    people respond exactly the same way to calm and balanced?

    Instead of fungiciding and larviciding and herbiciding we need to attract more predators to eat the little bastards that are devouring our gardens...fight fire with fire.

  10. I love horses, which reminds me...I should go riding soon. There is nothing like the peace and power you feel when riding. It simplifies things. No cars, no radios, just you, the horse, the open land and the wind...pure peace.

  11. Leni - so lets see the pix lol. Pineapple head! There was a footballer called Jason someone or other in UK who had that hairstyle too, and when he came to Argyle we all used to chant 'He's got a pineapple on his head' - omg how childish!

    Donn - yep, horses and humans eh! Same old shit.

    Awa - ah yes, I remember you telling me you used to ride 'cowboy style'. Yeehah!

  12. Ehrm... you don't need to wait for my pinneaple hair pix to start writing another post, Tom. Lazy dude. LOL.

  13. No more posts til we see your pineapple Leni.

  14. Get on with it! I want to know what else horses that look like Splodge can teach me about life, the universe etc...

  15. OMG that's right, horses are more interesting than my pineapple, so write!

  16. Leni, was your pineapple as good as Splodges?

  17. Grrrr... no, actually it was way better. It looked more like a volcano erupting. Come on and write! ;))