My perceptions are tinctured with fear, so let me tell you a story about a horse that scared me. Morgen arrived between snowstorms that were so bad I didn’t meet her. She was a coming yearling we bought to keep our other mare company.
It wasn’t long before I started thinking, “This horse could hurt me.”
The third week I rode her, she bucked me off. I tried positive reinforcement, which challenges a trainer to reward bits of behavior. I wound up with a horse that snapped every time I lifted the lead, or, she’d look off, then wheel and buck.
“This horse could hurt me.”
I found Jake and asked him to train her and help us sell her if we weren’t a good match. That first day he declared, “This horse loves you.”
Soon I saw that all she needed was a job as a driving pony, but I was still afraid. The next spring I took her to Klaus, who said how deeply suitable she was.
We practiced driving so much, when I brought her home, I hitched her, and drove her down our road. Now Morgen trots up with soft eyes when we bring out the harness. She listens when I ask her to walk on.
I have seen how deeply fear can skew my perception, and how it sometimes takes outside help to set it straight.
I’m Katie Andraski, and this is my perspective.