|My partnership with Mercury is proof that challenges can lead to amazing places...|
Fear in the rider, Fear in the horse or both are common challenges. Other ones can be about a variety of things from jumping problems, trailer loading, separation issues, Dressage, Reining, whatever your discipline or goals with your horse, you are bound to have run into some personal challenges along the way. Challenges with your horse can be based in confusion, discomfort, and dominance as well.
So here is the REAL challenge. Can you stop, breathe, evaluate and creatively problem solve WITH your horse so that the experience strengthens your connection, trust and furthers your partnership? If you can't figure it out today, can you leave it and meditate (even do some visualizations) on it and come back to it when you are more clear about how to work through it in a positive way?
The last few years, I have had several non-cookie cutter challenging horsenalities come through my program including my favorite boy, Mercury. It seems most of my clients have found themselves also with challenging horses in their lives as well. What has happened though is these horses have brought many valuable lessons and understanding with them as well as a sense of huge achievement when progress is made at home or in the show ring. Something you don't get from an easier counterpart.
My horse Mercury who I have dubbed my equine four legged soul mate, Has challenged me at many turns with his antics, mischief, clowning, dominance and spookiness. I also have the deepest partnership and connection with this horse I have ever had. I have learned infinite things from him about stallions (he's now gelded), the power of deep connection and trust when things get sticky and scary, and loving him for who he is purely and not his talent, athleticism and incredible good looks (he'd want me to add that...He thinks he's a super model!).
So as an exercise, you could write down any challenges you are having with your riding or your horse. Then pick one thing off the list and see if you can find a way to make that challenge a positive growth experience for you and your horse. You can enlist some outside help or even ask me in the comments section for some help. Let me know what you come up with and how it goes.