Right thing easy, wrong thing difficult…

Copy of St. Francis Clinic - 2013 001Right thing easy, wrong thing difficult.

It’s a saying that’s been used for a long time in the horse world, and one that is commonly misinterpreted. With the many people that I have the privilege to work with each year in my horsemanship clinics and private lessons, they learn first-hand exactly what the true meaning of this phrase is.

When I was a young man first starting out, my grandfather and my father would say over and over to me; “you need to make your idea, the horse’s idea.” I had no clue what they were talking about. But over the years this saying was repeated over and over to me, and one day it finally stuck! Here’s a personal story to help illustrate:

A client of mine would bring me about 6-8 horses each year to train for him, to use on some ranches out west. He took this particular horse to 7 other trainers (whom were much better at handling horses than I was), and he bucked all of them off, and broke one of the trainer’s arms when he fell. So instead of just having to train this thing, I also had to overcome this issue of him thinking that bucking helped him get out of work!

After getting bucked off for about 2 weeks straight (which was a huge blow to my ego, since I was also riding bulls at this time of my life), I thought I’d give this horse a little bit of “family values”. What I mean by this, is how my father ‘trained’ us kids when we were growing up.

If any of us kids back-talked, messed up badly in school, were disrespectful etc etc, we would get more work. More colts to start, more hay to put in the barn, more stalls to clean, and even more friends to help out with at their ranch. And I’ll tell you what…..it’s awfully hard to run your mouth when you are gasping for air from working so hard! It worked.

So I started working with that horse one day, and just like the many times before, he bucked me off, HARD! Once I caught my breath and dusted myself off, I put him to work like he’s never seen before! We lunged, did rollbacks, I side passed him, and he started flaring his nostrils and getting a good workout. I then let him rest.

I got back on, went to ride him around again, and it took a few mins longer, but he tried it again! And then I got off and put him to work again.

This session went on for about another 30 mins of this bucking/me lunging him thing, and after the last time I got on him, he never offered to buck.

12301711_10206518664338235_6247011570401857395_nNot once again after that!

Since that day, even though it was a rough one on both of us, he finally linked-up in his head that bucking created more work. So therefore anytime after that he realized that riding along and doing things my way resulted in a lot more peace, and him acting like a rodeo horse resulted in much more work.

Remember this: Making the right thing easy, and the wrong thing difficult can be transplanted into our lives too. Where would you rather be? Work…..or vacation?

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