So you biffed it. Messed up. Dropped the ball. Screwed the pooch. Whatever you wanna call it, you made a mistake and now you’ve lost your horse’s trust.

Firstly, take a deep breath. It happens. We’ve all done it. Now time to move on.

Then, stop digging.
I know we’ve all been taught to never quit til you get what you want, but sometimes the mistake is yours, and you’re best hanging up your hat, going inside to do some deep pondering, and coming back out when you’re good and ready.

What mistake did you make and why? Was it losing your temper? What contributed to it? What do you need to work on?

Was it loss of balance? What needs work? And how can you work on that in isolation? Maybe a good instructor can help you work through some balance issues.

Did you misunderstand what you needed to do? What specifically were you looking for, and what do you think you need to do differently?

Now, break it down into smaller pieces for the horse. If they’re averse to the whole pie, break it into pieces and start smaller. If it’s haltering that’s the issue now, make it about connecting without the halter, then softening to your hand, then just bringing the halter up, for example.

Mistakes happen- life goes on- and sometimes losing a horse’s trust is a blessing in disguise- an opportunity to work on really perfecting the basics we might not have had going as well as we thought.

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