Bridle Your Horse & Accepting the Bit

July 30th, 2012

Baxter is our young horse that we are training to ride. This experience has been slow and pleasant ~ we do not have to rush him along for any reason. We just want a really nice and calm horse for even… ‘beginners’ to ride. So in cross ties, we have saddled him and then ride in the indoor ~ with a halter and thick lead ropes for reigns. I have been anxious to bridle him…..

But our friend, who is a trainer, told us that we need to hold off a little before we start using the bridle. As training methods vary, we have chosen to let Baxter get used to understanding easy cues and ‘direct’ reigning before we add the bit and bridle. We are teaching Baxter a few things at a time and not asking him to take on everything at once. We also do not want him to look at the bit as ‘punishment’ during the learning process, if  we accidentally pull and ‘bump’ on the bit. The process has made Baxter the better for it! He has been given time to learn the process without us trying to push him a head too quickly before he understands what we are asking of him… which  – would only make us have to go back and retrace our steps to find out where we actually ‘lost’ Baxter.  The training process that takes a horse  from ‘A to B to C’ can feel slow, however, Baxter is learning to trust us with this method.  ~  Even the smallest ‘missed’ parts of the process can lead to issues later on.  We want Baxter to ‘accept’ the bit when the time comes to put him into the bridle.

So amazing to me, the life lessons that we  learn from our horses… In this very busy world, so much is expected so quickly. Our smart phones, computers and devices don’t give us much room for error when time frames, dead lines and schedules need to be met.  Feeling like you need to slow down a little – to divide and see through tasks rather than just racing through them can seem unattainable. And sometimes we take on more than we can handle – we become ‘uncollected’ which can lead to the ‘bump’ of feeling like we did a job ‘less than’ perfect.

When I come to this cross road, I realize that its time to slow down and take a few steps back.  No matter how busy life gets we can take a look at dividing tasks and make realistic deadlines that we can live with- so you can see through you plans rather than just racing through them.  Going back to the step by step plan can ground you … ‘it can feel slow, however…’ no parts will be missed in the process and you find yourself feeling ‘better’.  The grounding of slowing down just a little to be able to ‘see through’ will lead to clearer and smoother path.   ~

So as I see Baxter, step by step, learn to trust and relax – so I too can see how good it is to slow down a little myself, look at the steps and get grounded for better quality of my work and life.

Accepting the Bit? Or grabbing it and becoming unbalanced  and ‘heavy in the hand’.

The experiences I have had with Baxter are teaching me to slow                     down, divide tasks and think out better processes. It is also showing me that the end product can be better than expected.

Thinking through Baxter’s lessons is helping both he and I! How many people realize how many lessons can be learned in a barn with our horses?

Our next step is to put the bridle on Baxter..He has already ‘accepted’ the bit as I hold it in his mouth and feed him a treat! Slow and sure, this horse will take on the next lesson and carry me ~

I have no fear because I clearly know we have not missed teaching him every step along the way. Baxter is ready to accept the bit and I am too!


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