I went out to catch Kyber and noticed an expression on her I hadn’t seen in a while. She was a bit anxious, and looking unsure. When things had sped up for her in the past, she got defensive and knew she had to book it to defend herself.
My work with getting her prepared to ride, though done very slowly, no doubt brought up some past feelings of concern. The human agenda has never done her much good.
I spent today just sitting next to her in the pasture, removing any goal whatsoever but to just sit quietly. I have to admit, I didn’t have the desire to do so as it was cold and wet. In no time she came over and stood by me, away from the hay and other horses, and took a little snooze. There is no feeling like a scared horse choosing your company over other horses.
It’s always worth it to give up the agenda to preserve the relationship. It’s trickier when you’re being paid to make progress with horses. Its easy to feel internal or external pressure to do something. However, I know if I had done anything else today, I would have done nothing but cause her mental harm.
I think it’s extremely important as a professional to a) work with clients who have the best interest of their horse in mind (which I most certainly have in Kyber’s mom) and b) communicate often and openly about what is needed and what is happening.
I have always regretted going too fast, even if fast is still at a snails pace.