Sunday, September 19, 2010

97/365 Patience and dedication

Training a horse is hard work. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is pulling your leg.

Training a fairly new horse after you've made great progress with another can be even harder, because patience becomes an even bigger hurdle.

It probably parallels raising kids in a lot of ways. You've successfully gotten one out of diapers, and then the next one comes along, and the process begins all over again. Am I right?

We welcomed Xena into the family in November 2008, and Mom's been training her, with the intention of having two great trail horses, ever since. Xena is a great horse with a big presence, and the Path to Great Trail Horse has had its excitement.

Every horse (like every person) has its issues, and the key to successful training is twofold: 1) find a great horse with a good temperament and 2) issues that can be addressed. Some horses have had negative experiences with lawn chairs. Or umbrellas. Or plastic grocery bags. Or loud trucks. Others remember a problem on a hill, in a puddle, near a road, or in a field. The possibilities are endless, and their memories are impressive. A lot you can work through (like therapy!), while others are too difficult to overcome.

Xena has had a negative experience on a hill at some point in her history, so that's been a key challenge for Mom to work through in her training. It has required a lot of time working on flat ground in the round pen and elsewhere, focusing a lot on getting Xena's attention on and submission to Mom. Xena is progressing, so it looks like the physical and metaphorical hill can be conquered.

In the meantime, patience and dedication have become Mom's middle name.

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/250s, f/5.6 at ISO 100 at about 1:30 p.m. and 1/125s, f/4.5 at ISO 100 at about 6:30 p.m.


  1. Great photography and writing Amanda. Country living has been good for you.

    Matt Buis

  2. Thank you for visiting, Matt! Country living is home to me. :) Wouldn't want anything else!