One of my personal goals for this year has been to develop a more mindful mindset (say that five times fast! Ha!) - more mindfulness in my riding, teaching, and horsemanship.
This has led me to an incredible podcast and corresponding journal, "New Mindset, Who Dis?" by Case Kenny. While it's not riding or horse-specific, the podcast and journal are designed to help you gain clarity, confidence, and develop the best version of yourself... and as the perfection-seeking dressage riders that we are, who couldn't use this?
"...Just because something isn't happening right now for you doesn't mean it'll never happen." -Case Kenny
How often do we find ourselves struggling with a concept, movement, or trying to move up a level with our horses and feel so frustrated because it feels like we're never going to get it?
But just because something isn't clicking today, or this week, or even this month doesn't mean you're never going to get it.
Every horse (assuming they're sound with no major health issues) is capable of doing dressage. How quickly will they learn and move up the levels? Well, that depends... the horse will decide. And truly, the timeline doesn't matter. Yes, repeat it again - The timeline doesn't matter. It doesn't. Take that pressure off yourself and your horse right now.
As the rider and trainer (yes, you're training your horse every time you ride or handle them - whether you like it or not!), it's your job to present the information as clearly, concisely, and patiently as you can.
And then you wait... and it takes as long as it takes. Sometimes the horse will learn quickly and sometimes you may have to keep chipping away at an idea - patiently and always with fairness and kindness.
Horses have their own timeline and the sooner we're able to surrender to that and enjoy the journey, the more fun the journey will be!