It’s so easy to notice what our horses do wrong. In a given ride, we can pick out a million things we didn’t like or that we thought should be better. With this mind frame, it’s easy to miss the little changes and little tries, and far too easy to discourage a horse. When a horse’s try isn’t noticed and rewarded, they have less interest in trying again. Aren’t we all like that? Imagine struggling to learn something, but someone says “well you did x, but you still didn’t do y and z well enough.” That would shut down the confidence of many of us.
Keep the improvements you’d like to see in mind, but be gentle with your expectations, and start noticing each and every improvement, no matter how small.
Here’s a pic I love from a clinic where a young girl without a horse brought her family’s driving ox. She was thrilled with his every effort.