When I ride a horse, I like having my stirrups long so I have straight knees. Buddy wants me to ride with shorter stirrups so my knees are bent. This way I have more balance when I post during trotting.


I was so relieved when Buddy told me to only focus on yielding away from pressure. I press my heel against Zum’s belly gently to push Zum in the direction I would like his front legs or back legs to turn. For example, if I want Zum’s front legs and head to go right, I have his head turned right with my right direct rein, my left supporting rein is against his neck going right and my right heel is pressing against Zum’s belly to move his front legs to the right and his back legs to the left. Buddy said I was doing it perfectly so I am grateful. I need to know this when I take Zum out on to the trail. If Zum or I get anxious, I can do these maneuvers right and left, over and over, to calm us both down.


I watched Buddy as he got Zum to trot and canter in the round pen. Buddy raises his hands, leans forward as he walks forward and gets a serious look on his face and Zum moves! Buddy taught me that I have to build up resolute energy within me to get Zum to move forward.


Zum is overwhelmed and withdrawn from me because of all the training he is going through. I understand this as he is in boot camp for horses. There are two interpretations to the word ‘respect’ in the horse world. The first definition of this word insinuates that the horse obeys you because the horse is intimidated or afraid of you or what you will do to the horse if the horse doesn’t obey you. The second meaning of the word ‘respect’ is that the horse regards you highly, admires you and looks up to you. I do not know how to get Zum’s respect in the first way. I want to get Zum’s respect in the second way. Once Zum is trained, I will find ways to win Zum’s heart again.


This morning, I looked outside and saw a tiny rainbow in the sky. I have never seen a rainbow early in the morning. It feels like a good omen.


Buddy used a very clever technique to help me forget about my fear of Zum. Buddy had me so busy learning right and left leg yields, yielding towards pressure, posting up in time with Zum’s front leg as Zum and I trotted around and around one way and then the other way in the round pen that I completely forgot about my fear. Zum is very happy doing whatever Buddy asks him to do now. Buddy is now training me.


Last week, I asked Buddy if I could leave Zum’s toy which is a rope connected to an old halter that Zum loves to tug on with his teeth. Buddy told me that Zum should be tired after being ridden and should lay down and rest. When I rode Zum yesterday, Buddy told me that I sounded like I was begging Zum to do something. Buddy wants my tone of voice to be more firm and assertive. So I took Buddy’s advice and I told Buddy that I was going to put up Zum’s toy in his corral. Zum started playing with it right after I hung it up!