'If I had a dollar for every time I heard this - well the Caribbean seems nice...
I don't want to wreck him, and other self-sabotage of horse owners...
It could be a book don't you think? Horse owners, we come up with the most self-serving, self-sabotaging, bullshit principles - don't we?
I mean, when you really think about it, having 'Self Serving' and 'Self Sabotaging' in the same sentence, to describe the same person seems kind of like an oxymoron doesn't it?
So what do I mean? Well, I see it all the time. A person not doing training or work with their horse because they 'don't want to wreck them' at the same time affords themself the best excuse to avoid failure, because without trying you can't fail, so they are safe from actually failing or not failing, kind of like 'Schrodinger's trainer' - You can equally be both successful and a failure because you haven't tried yet.
Our own fears, core beliefs, and characteristics are so intimately connected to the way that we interact with our horses. Our choice of discipline, training methodology, interaction and the way we relate to our horse is determined so completely with who we are as a person, that the only way to 'improve' our horse is to 'improve' ourselves.
The horse, being a 1000 pound reflection of who we are confronts our sense of self and forces us into self-reflection, (often on a subconscious level) and causes us discomfort or unease. It is in these moments, should choose to embrace and understand it, that real growth will occur.
It is this discomfort that can then cause us to choose not to try rather than pushing forward.
I have written many articles like this one. The reason is that I have seen time and time again the people who choose to forge forward, embrace the self-reflection, face their fears (literally Face Everything And Rise), I receive letters, messages and emails months and years later on how their life has changed for the better, as a result of self-realization and ultimately self-development. It all started because a horse 'wouldn't do X' and ended with a level of consciousness that affords a happy self, happy marriage, happy kids, happy horse.
I am not a psychologist. I do know that when we feel discomfort, or unease, that this can be a pathway to a higher level of consciousness of self. We are designed to 'push back' on discomfort and avoid where possible, but if we can pause, ask the question 'why does this make me uncomfortable' this is the pathway to understanding ourselves, and our horses at a higher level.
I'll give a short example here. When I am out working with my horses, and I feel frustration, anger, nervousness, I pause and ask myself - why am I so bothered by this? Am I fearful of the horse? Am I fearful of being injured? Does the horse not 'doing what I ask' cause me to feel inadequate / disrespected / unloved / that the horse doesn't 'like me'? Using these emotional moments as opportunities to gain insight into myself has turbocharged my self-awareness, and ultimately my abilities in training.
Alot of great trainers follow these same principles, but perhaps don't articulate it, or break it down as much as I have here - when was the last time you heard a trainer say 'Don't take it personally' when coaching you with your horse - this is the short version of 'pause, don't react emotionally'. I am simply trying to take it one step further and say listen to that little knocking sound - that is opportunity saying 'hey, there's an opportunity for self-reflection here'.
Take this newsletter for example. I know that people will unsubscribe from this newsletter list as a result of this article 'triggering' the ego - "this is bullshit, what my horse does isn't about me, it's about him!!"
The reason I share these things is because I want to be honest about what it takes to become a great horseman or horsewoman. First, the realization that there is no 'endpoint'. Sure you may get to the point where someone calls you a great horseman, but the true horseman continues to learn from the horse. Second, the ego will only get you so far. I am fortunate to know some elite horsemen, who have shared with me a little secret.
"You know Tanja when I got 'old' and not so worried about my ego, that's when I got better"
Third, you can be 15 or 50, and self-development is going to have an unlimited positive impact on your horsemanship.
So, back to the start. Next time you hear yourself say 'I don't want to wreck him', go forth and work with your horse (unless you are going to try something like starting him under saddle - then you need a professional). The truth is you will wreck him, we all wreck them, and then we learn more, and we fix them and so on and so forth.
As Maya Angelou said
Do the best you can until you know better, then do better.
Yours for the horse
Training With Tanja Kraus Horsemanship!
We now have multiple training options for you as we move forward under new eased restrictions - we will continue to provide free online training, paid online courses and some live courses will be re-introduced with terms and conditions. Click the link for details or send us an email to enquire;
10 FREE Workshop (live on Facebook) - Building Confidence in the Horse.
13 & 14. Advancing Your groundwork ONLINE Course
20 & 21 Coutts Crossing Xtreme Trail - LIVE
27 - 29 Que Sera. Bidaddaba QLD Foundation Plus and Balance LIVE
1 - 29 Horse Intake Glenreagh NSW . I will be taking on a select number of horses for training. Can be ground handling, preparation or ridden work. This is not a starting under saddle intake.
15 FREE workshop Fitness & my horse
25 & 26 30 Exercises in 30 Minutes or Less ONLINE
1 - 3. Strength and Suppleness - Glenreagh LIVE
8 & 9 ONLINE Building A Citizen
10 FREE Workshop Lesson Planning
13 - 23 10 Day Immersion Glenreagh LIVE
14. FREE Building A Partnership Online
25 - 27 Advancing Clinic Glenreagh NSW - LIVE
12 FREE Balance and Biomechanics Workshop Online
24 & 25 Balance and Biomechanics LIVE Course Glenreagh
31, 1, 2 Mullumbimby - Foundation to Self Carriage
4 Free Workshop Preparing for Competition
7 - 9 Q Sera Bidaddaba QLD LIVE
14 - 16 Foundation Glenreagh LIVE
21 - 23 Xtreme Trail Coutts Crossing LIVE
28 & 29. Rider Equitation Online
TKH ONLINE SERVICES
I am well aware of the need for many people to tighten the purse strings at thise stage, so I am offering training ranging from Free of Charge up to regular clinic costs. My plan is to continue to share my services to current and new students as follows;
Weekly Article Direct to inbox. If you are already part of our email news list, you will know that you receive a free weekly article directly to your inbox. This article can be on a range of topics from training, horse psychology, human psychology, physiology, biomechanics, and any topic that comes to my mind when I'm writing it! Usually sent out on Mondays - a great kickstart to your week! Cost: $FREE - Access - Send us your email address. NOTE - I do post the link to the articles on Facebook but you are not always guaranteed to see it. I also will occasionally send them as only emails - they will not be publicly posted, so send in your email to receive each one.
Online training Evening Workshops. Currently Monthly. Each month I do a live online training workshop to anyone who has joined. These are held on Facebook, cover a range of topics (see poster for upcoming workshops) and each participant receives a workbook via email. Cost: $FREE Access - Send us a message!
Wednesday Night LIVE! WNL is going to make a comeback! After starting our popular live show as Monday Night Live back in April 2017 - can you BELIEVE they are 3 years old! We changed to Wednesday Night Live and then at the end of 2019 took a little break. Due to popular demand, we will be recommencing WNL each week. Cost: $FREE - Access - on our Facebook Business page - Tanja Kraus Horsemanship.
The Millie Diaries (and other training videos). Our Youtube channel is constantly uploaded with content - right now we have brought back The Millie Diaries and are sharing with you her training journey of Trailer Loading Preparation. Follow the link to the first episdoe here and subscribe to see uploads (usually daily). The Millie Diaries
Online Training Videos. I have been providing my online training videos since July last year and will continue to upload the content. The training videos do not follow a particular plan or system - I simply film sessions with my, and clients horses, and share with you either the exercise instruction for what I am doing or the solution to the issue I am trying to solve. There are over 100 videos which include liberty training, online ground sessions, ridden work, problem-solving, theory classes on psychology and physiology. I will continue to upload videos to this platform (a minimum of 2 per week, however it is usually 3 - Monday, Wednesday and Friday). COST - $10 per month USD (I cannot change this to AUD, the platform will not allow it). Access - Head to https://www.patreon.com/tanjakraushorsemanship to join and get instant access.
Online courses and schools. Our first online clinic on Balance was a huge success! We have several upcoming courses that will be delivered in an online format. You will receive the workbook, the instructions on the course exercise both on the ground and ridden (video format), and the theory classes. Cost: As per registration form. Access - as per course registration form.
Private Lessons Online. Private lessons will be provided to a small number of people wanting to get that feedback from me. You will be able to submit a video of you riding for me to view and offer suggestions and solutions for any challenges you are facing or simply for progress advice. COST: TBA. Access - please register your interest in this option and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
I'm hoping with this many options that we will not only have a heap of great things to keep us motivated and training and bonding with our horses, but that it will provide a great opportunity for us to really ‘level up’ our, and our horse's skills.
Let me know your thoughts, questions or suggestions