Preparing......How many of us just kind of "wing it" when we're doing something instead of truly preparing like we should? Whether it's homework for school, dinner preparations or putting some training on a young horse, the preparation is a critical step. If a student hasn't read the chapter....the homework is going to be difficult to understand and it will be nearly impossible to FIND the answer just muddling through the whole chapter. When we're making a meal, if we haven't properly prepared, we may come to find we don't have all the necessary ingredients for the dish we were planning (been there, done THAT!) When it comes to horse training, there is a LOT of preparation to do it right....from preparing the surface you're working in (mine needed a lot of work this spring!) to preparing for nearly everything a horse might encounter. For instance, yesterday we were trimming yearling feet....they haven't been handled much yet. We could have tried to just pick up the first foot and hold it until the trimming was done. It probably could be done as they're not too big yet. Instead, though, we picked each foot up a few times....held it until she relaxed....and then put it back down. This simple gesture told her that we weren't going to keep her foot forever....and made an untrimmed yearling very easy to work with. By the third foot she looked like a pro with a very low relaxed head....like no big deal. You can take small steps to prepare for each bigger step. Sometimes the hardest part is figuring out what kind of step that should be and to that end, sometimes we win and sometimes we learn. But if we keep experimenting, we'll get better and better at the right preparation. As Clinton Anderson would say....the more times I get bucked off, the better my groundwork gets.......Preparation is the Key.