Journaling- Keeping Track Improves our Horsemanship


I know many times in our hectic lives time seems to fly by. We have a variety of things that demand our focus and attention, and sometimes we lose track of when and what things have happened with our horse.

I suggest keeping a horse-related journal. This does not mean writing down everything that has happened during every interaction with your horse.

By jotting down events/occurrences with the horse, it can give you a better understanding of when potential health/soundness challenges occurred, it can help keep perspective as to your journey of learning and it can also be a good reference to decrease you getting "overwhelmed" by trying to do everything at once.

If you want to start journaling at the most basic level, begin with the three "F"s- Feed, Farrier and Focus.

Feed
What are you feed, quantities, what is your horse's work schedule/fitness level? Do you make adjustments for seasonal changes?

I remind folks if you do make changes in feed, give your horse at least three weeks on the new changes to assess if it is working. 

Farrier
Dates of any farrier work, behavioral and physical issues, but not just with the hoof but either your horse's behavior (many times the first signs of arthritis and other physical challenges actually appear with the farrier and resistance in how they can hold their body on three legs.) Notice changes in growth patterns, due to seasons or health issues. 

Focus
Yours and the horse. If there is only ONE thing you notice throughout your sessions with your horse, experiment with "focusing on your focus," and that of your horse. If more folks spent time noticing their horse's thoughts- and believing them, learning how to influence changes in them, so many dramatic, or unwanted scenarios between horse and human would decrease.

You don't need to write your journal with critique or trying to "have" any answers. Use it more as a place to condense things you notice in both you and your horse. You'll be amazed that when you start to write things that you have seen, but without judgment, that you'll actually build your confidence in realizing you are probably noticing so much more than you have given yourself credit for. 

The first aspect of changing and influencing a different outcome from how "things have always been" between you and your horse, is raising the awareness within yourself.

From there, you can start to experiment with changes in your own behaviors and interactions, based on both you and your horse's focus.

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Sam

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