Zum still has a bad temper when he wants to be bossy with me. He pins his ears back, throws his head around, puts his rear towards me, paws his front legs at me and refuses to go where I ask him. But as I stay firm with him despite the chaos he creates with his bad moods, I am experiencing brief instances of positive feelings with Zum daily. I am building on these positive moments. I want more of these in the future.
It really helps to ask myself ‘Where am I now?’ I can look back on my journey with Zum and appreciate the progress and achievements I have made. I have healed my broken bones from my accidents with Zum. And I am overcoming my anxiety problems with Zum. I realize what amazing potential I must have inside. It makes me feel I can solve any problem that comes my way.
Sometimes Zum is anxious and his anxiety tends to direct my attention toward potential dangers and problems outside of me and beyond my control. And because I cannot change what is beyond my control, I feel powerlessness. It takes great effort to shift my focus away from dwelling on the failures of the past and to break through fear towards a vision of future success.
It is always a thrill to ride Zum bareback! I am consistently forging on toward my goals and the fulfillment of my dreams.
I want Zum to stand quietly so he learns to stay calm when I first get on him bareback. I pet his neck and I breathe deeply so he feels that I am relaxed.
With patience, I can get Zum to walk next to the mounting block and stand still. I pet his back to reward him.
Zum refuses to be lunged on a lunge line. He just backs up or comes towards me. So now I walk him liberty and he follows me willingly. It is a game we play. I don’t want to fight Zum. I want to play with him.
I am practicing all the reining with my hands and yielding away from pressure techniques with my legs that Buddy taught me. Zum and I haven’t forgotten all the lessons we had with Buddy last January. Zum is very willing to practice with me as often as we can.
I am riding Zum in the round pen as often as I can. Putting his saddle on is still a struggle. He still panics when I carry the saddle to his back. But he is accepting the saddle a little more every day. We are both learning to have the courage to do things that make us anxious.
The May mountain air in New Mexico feels and smells so clean and fresh. This summer, Zum and I both want to avoid any kind of pain, physical or emotional. So we are motivated to ride in the round pen, safe and sound.