I think the most important thing to have at your disposal and to put into your “horsemanship Toolbelt” is a PMA. This is one of the top 3 keys to having a great relationship with your horse and developing a real heart-to-heart connection that will last a lifetime.
“Most people don’t recognize opportunity because it comes dressed in overalls looking like work” – Thomas Edison
Basically that means that training and working with your horse can be fun and bring you and your horse joy. Finding opportunity in the daily chores you do with your horse. Making a commitment to the commitment and making that enjoyable.
PMA is a Positive Mental Attitude.
Most people who are struggling with their horse or taking longer than they want to get results usually lack in these three areas:
- Belief. Specifically, self-belief. Unshakeable, unquestionable self-belief.
- Confidence. Which arguably is based in belief. If you don’t think you can, you won’t try OR you’ll set yourself up to fail. Confidence means not having all the answers but still being willing to be yourself and figure it out.
- Action. Once you have belief and confidence, you just need to move. “Just Do It”. It doesn’t even really matter the direction. Just act. Go.
And here’s where you firm up all three using PMA.
Explore and learn. Choose to spend time, just 20 min in the morning and 20 min in the evening learning about something you enjoy. Reading about horses, horsemanship, or new training techniques during these times actually computes to 5 hours a week that you give yourself.
Read, relax, think, and plan. Take the time to engage yourself, think about what your dream goals are, and what you need to do in order to reach those goals.
Visualize and daydream about what you want to happen with you and your horse. Then read some more, think, and plan how.
Use a notebook or journal daily. So you can follow your own progress and keep track of your ups and downs, what works and doesn’t.
Do all of these with a Positive Mental Attitude.
- Think about what you’ve already accomplished.
- Think about ways to continue forward toward your dreams.
- Remember the feeling you get when you allow yourself to daydream about the end result.
- Read, think, and learn ways to achieve your dreams and accomplish your goals.
“Choose to read, choose to learn, choose to dream” – Bernice Barry
By having a PMA you can learn how to overcome fear with positive ideas, being creative, asking for help when you need it, and being self-motivated.
See opportunities, not problems, when you are working towards your goals with your horse. What did he do right today, not his mistakes. Keep your mind on the things you want and not what you don’t want.
I know this can be easier said than done. Sometimes it is very hard to see the positive, feel happy, or see the progress your horse is making. I struggle with this myself sometimes.
We have been conditioned to be negative from birth so you need to recondition yourself and get the positive support around you to help. I know how difficult this can be because I have suffered from clinical depression for a number of years.
Some days it was so hard to see the positive in anything or feel grateful for anything. I was told to find one positive thing each day and if I could do that it would help me feel more positive and start my way towards recovery. At first that was extremely difficult.
And then I finally found one thing I could get grateful for…toilet paper. Think about it. I’m sure you’re grateful for it too. It did make me laugh a little even thinking about it.
As long as I started with that one thing, I could add one more thing here and there. And pretty soon, I was able to adopt a more positive mental attitude. Since then I have recovered. But it’s still a struggle some days not to slip back.
Refocusing is very helpful. Change your thoughts when you realize they are negative, negative self-talk, and slowly it all gets easier. Think of how much you want your dream goal and how excited and good you will feel when you get it. That helped me a lot. Thinking about my horses, being with them as much as possible, and just enjoying their company.
They are what truly pulled me back from the dark. How happy will you be when you can do whatever you’ve dreamt of with your horse? How happy will your horse be? That joy is contagious and it grows.
See a setback as a way to change, learn, and grow the way you were meant to. It might take you a little longer to do something but know that you will be better off because of it.
And yes, sometimes it is harder than others, but you have to keep trying in order to reach your dreams. I know because I’m going through a difficult time right now as my baby brother, shown above with his 4 boys, passed away at 42 this past Sunday evening suddenly and unexpectedly.
Trying to remember all the good times we had and looking at this as a positive solution to all the terrible pain and suffering he endured during the last 10 years of disability is still very hard for me.
As his death shows, you just never know when it’s all going to come to an end so don’t put off till tomorrow what’s important to you today.
Success in life is achieved by those who try, who are persistent and who are determined and don’t give up on their goals or on themselves.
In the words of Nike: Just Do It!
Repetition develops habits. Endurance, patience, guts, stamina, courage, firmness of mind, and persistence will help keep your PMA. It may start out as a slow, daunting project, but like a snowball rolling downhill, it gets easier and better quickly.
Find 5 good things about yourself every morning and 5 good things about your horse every night during that 20 minutes of self-contemplation or meditation.
And above all, be grateful.
Merlin has been a blessing and has been overly caring and snuggly with me these last few days trying to comfort me. And of course, my husband has been a rock for me as well.