This past weekend was the first Arizona Cowboy Mounted Shooting competition up at Ben Avery. As many of you may recall, last year I wrote up some words of wisdom after a rather intimidating ride on my horse when I shot off of him and someone else shot near him.  At that time the point was to remember to focus on where you want to go, NOT on what you don’t want (for that example not the fence!). This was back in April, and my goal with my horse was to be able to compete on him by the fall.  Well, I have been entering him in competitions; the first one was in October. As far as being ‘competitive’ that remains to be seen.  But the great thing is I can at least shoot off of him in competition. Since last spring we have both come a long way. As a results of his ‘unwillingness’ to just stay with me when we shoot, I have had to become a better rider. 

With the beginning of the year and this first shoot, I was thinking maybe he will finally be over his ‘terror’ of the gun fire and I will actually be able to focus on getting us to the next level (my goal for summer is to be at level 2).  He had a month free from gun fire. We had done some practicing but only without ammunition which he does great at and really shows some good potential.  And he just had a week off between Christmas and New Years. However, when we did our first run, after 2 shots we were off the races!  Only 8 more balloons to shoot!  Needless to say, we had to do some schooling out there.  As I reflected on the day that evening I couldn’t help but feel a bit frustrated.  When is he ever going to get over the gunfire?  Then I remembered when you have an emotion that is not positive or limits you, figure out an emotion that is the exact opposite and adopt that one.  So now I was ‘fascinated’.  What else could I do to help him decide that listening to me would be the easy solution?  Now I had a few things to remember to commit to tomorrow…like making it harder work by more tight circles. And one of the hardest things to do, but I always like a challenge, when he takes off kick him!  Seems counterintuitive, but it can break their ‘pattern’ and cause them to slow down or at least pay closer attention to you.  Check back in a few days for the update! Or I may even post some pictures at our web site

The tip, when you find yourself experiencing a negative emotion or one that does not serve you, figure out what the exact opposite of that emotion would be and adopt that one.  Try it, you might find it fascinating!