Practice pause. I've written about this before. You've heard me say it in lessons. But it's hard to do. When we get tense or frustrated with our horses, we have a tendency to turn up our aids. We add more. We are less clear. We aren't listening, we are just talking and not making a lot of sense to the horse. When you or your horse are getting tense, pause. The horse isn't winning because they were never competing with you to begin with. Give their brain a minute or 40 (I ate lunch with a horse this week that needed and extended pause). Until they exhibit behavior that indicates they can process instead of react, that means you must pause. You can always come back to the question or task. But both you and the horse must be in the right mindset to move forward towards a positive resolution. It's ok to come back to the situation next week. The horse isn't keeping score. So take a breath, or several. Pause your aids. Get quiet and give your horse a chance.
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