One of the hardest things to overcome in training your horse, is feeling like you’ve got to be ‘up there’ with the rest of them. When you succumb to the pressure of taking shortcuts or forcing something to happen, it never seems to work out for the best in the long run.
I have a couple of ‘rules’ to try and stop myself from falling prey to this human tendency.
- If I cannot show up with the right mindset for my horse, then I need to take a day off riding and horse training. This includes being too tired, because that can be a minefield, one minute you have patience and the next minute a short fuse reduces you to the epitome of what you know is the wrong way to train your horse.
- Always falling back on my intuition. If it doesn’t feel right then stop doing it (no matter who is giving me instruction).
I recently broke both of these rules. There are many horse trainers who won’t tell you about their negative experiences. This does create a sense of awe for their competence from us mere mortals. BUT really, behind the scenes, there are many negative things going on. The key to a good horse trainer is that there is growth from those experiences.
Advice should always be put through our intuition filter. Firstly, we need to put the information into perspective – does it follow our principles and objectives in what we want to achieve. Secondly, we may not be at the stage where the suggestions will be useful. Thirdly, the negative experiences have probably been omitted to make it seem like the process was more simple than it actually was.
I’m finding that even though I believe in my own horse training abilities, and I have the desire to keep learning and growing, I can get side-tracked by self-doubt at times. Staying the course of this journey with my horse is a test of my discipline to not let an overly anxious ego get in the way. Yes, I want to prove that I can do it. And No, I don’t like showing mistakes or negative experiences. However, it is the way that we learn. It comes with the journey. We are where we are right now for a reason. A person who is on the road to self-mastery will appreciate the downs as well as the ups.
Take it one step at a time, and look for those small improvements. Those are the celebrations. And when things turn out in way that wasn’t planned or expected, there will be a silver lining in there somewhere. We just have to look.
Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.John Wooden – Hall of Fame American Baseball Coach
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