Monty Roberts talks about having plan A, plan B, plan C, etc. To me this indicates that I shouldn’t have fixed ideas about how I’m going to achieve a certain goal with my horse. My work, schooling, or treatment, should be ‘horse led’, i.e. it should follow a route that is appropriate for my horse as well as for me.
He also mentions that I should break my goals down into bite size pieces. It’s all too easy to see the end goal but not know how to get there, leading to frustration for both me and my horse. If I can look at my end goal and break this down into 3 or 4 smaller goals, then break each of these down into 3 or 4 smaller goals, and so on, then in no time at all I will have a goal that I can work towards right now that I know puts me in good stead of eventually reaching my end goal. Of course, taking note of the aforementioned and being willing to adjust my plan if necessary means that my end goal might change as time goes on!
Expecting my horse to behave in a certain way, or to perform to a certain level, or to reach a certain level of rehabilitation, can lead to disappointment. Asking my horse to give me his best is reasonable, but no one can give their best all of the time. Being realistic with what we can achieve together will help me to set appropriate, achievable goals, leading to contentment for both myself and my horse.