My passion for riding and training my horses lies in the working cow-horse. From the time I first got involved with horses this has always been an area of interest for me. However, I never realized I was capable of learning and doing it myself until I started training. With the skills I acquired (and am still acquiring), and the progress I see with the horses I train, it has opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities of my riding career. Since then, I have begun educating and training myself and my horses in this new area. In all areas I am passionate about, I thoroughly enjoy educating myself further and developing my skills.
I eagerly attended a Reined Cow Horse clinic this past weekend with my older gelding Broker. It was about a four hour drive for me. As I have not been able to find any clinics or many valuable educational opportunities in regards to working cow-horse in my area, the four hour drive for me seemed worth it. And it was! It was a lot of fun, I met some great people, and have added a couple people into my circle of awesome. (circle of awesome = people whose opinions I value, and consider their constructive criticism something I can truly learn from) One of the best parts is, that they will continue to be doing clinics on a monthly to month and a half basis in an attempt to bring about more interest in the working cow-horse in our state. I am excited to say that I now have a consistent resource for learning and self-improvement in this area of my training and riding.
I brought Broker to the clinic, and will continue to bring him as I get started in this new area of riding. While I realize there may be some limitations to how far we can go and how well we will be able to compete in this area, I do feel that there is some benefit to learning with an older horse such as him. He will be more forgiving of the mistakes I make as I learn. He is a very special horse to me and him serving this role as the horse I will be allowed to make mistakes with as I progress will only further solidify his special place in my heart. In learning with him, he will be paving the way for the future horses I train in this discipline. No horse will ever be able to replace him. We have learned so much and have come so far together.
In working with him, with his build and his age, I have realized that it is more difficult to get the quick stop necessary for working a cow. When I run into areas where my horse or I have difficulty, I am not afraid to speak up to others and get ideas and opinions from others in how to best improve a skill on a horse I am working with. However, I am very selective in who I ask for these ideas and opinions from. I only ask them of people who I consider experts in the world of horsemanship. Often times, these are the same people I place in my circle of awesome. Typically, when I seek input from these individuals, it is well received and they seem to appreciate someone who is working hard, dedicating time to their improvement, and not afraid to speak up to ask for outside influence. However, that did not seem to be the case I encountered this morning when asking for some outside ideas. I asked for some help from someone who I revere as the utmost of experts in the world of quality horsemanship. Rather than providing me with a new idea, or a tip for working with my horse on this skill, it was simply implied that there are no tips for me, I just need to reach a level of perfection in what I’m doing and then continue to practice at this level of perfection. This was hard for me to accept. As I am looking for improvement, I obviously do not consider myself to be at a level of perfection yet. So how am I supposed to automatically be at this perfect level, to practice at this perfect level? I was a little disheartened by the lack of resources provided by someone I typically rely on. Although surely I am wrong, in my heart I took it as him saying, “You’re not an expert. You’re not at a level of perfection. So you cannot practice at a level of perfection. So you will not be able to accomplish what you are trying to accomplish.” Luckily for me, one of my intrinsic drivers towards my goals is determination.
I am a very determined individual who is not afraid to put in the time and push myself out of my comfort zone to take action to accomplish the things that I decide I am going to accomplish. This would be no different for me. Although Broker’s build may be big, and I may not be an expert practicing the skills he needs to work cows at a level of perfection, I will not let either of those factors stop us from learning and improving our skills to be able to accomplish our personal goals in the world of working cow-horse.
I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), who has taken my knowledge in Applied Behavior Analysis, and the methodology of expert horse trainers, to create an Equine training program that is anything but average. Working with my own horses has led me to discover my passion for not just training horses, but practicing quality horsemanship. For the best interest of the horses, I hope to spread this interest in quality horsemanship.