Relationship Based Horsemanship
Progress can only happen when we move away from unconscious incompetence (comfort zones). We must be willing to up the ante on our horsemanship journey.
This can be an emotional, mental, and/or physical path we take to advance our
Areas of Struggle
One area that many people seem to struggle with is moving on when the horse they’ve developed a special relationship with dies. I know this because I read these stories and comments on social media regularly about the passing of someone’s “heart horse”. Questions like these come up.
What if the next horse doesn’t measure up to the last one?
Will I be able to have the same depth of relationship with the next horse?
Do I have the emotional, mental, or physical fitness to start over again?
Another area is the quicksand of low expectations, of oneself or a horse. This roadblock to progress has come up often in the teaching of horsemanship to others. Questions that come up might sound like these.
Am I/my horse good enough?
Am I/my horse smart enough?
Will it be too difficult for me/my horse to do?
What will I feel like when I/my horse fail?
Sometimes, a stubborn adherence to old patterns gets in the way of progress. Questions in this category sometimes sound like these.
What I’ve always done works for me, why change?
Change is so hard, why bother?
I’m comfortable with what I can do, why strive for something different?
As I reflect on these and other roadblocks to improvements in our individual horsemanship journey, I know there are traits that help us overcome these difficulties, which include grit, determination, and a solid work ethic.
Allowing ourselves to be and feel vulnerable is perhaps the most important trait to progressing to another level of achievement. When you’re vulnerable, you open yourself up to ridicule, judgment, and rejection, to name only three.
But without vulnerability, there is no real path to love, joy, and high achievement, among other things that can bring us to lasting relationships, mastery, and fulfillment.
One thing I keep in mind I learned many years ago. If I improve just 1% every day for 100 hundred days, how much better will I be at something in those 100 days? This is a powerful motivator because you realize that even if your achievements are incrementally small, they will ultimately lead to great success.
It’s not the extent of your efforts, but the persistence of your efforts that win achievement over the long haul.
Having said all of that, without a motivating why, no number of positive traits will suffice in achieving goals of any kind, but especially horsemanship goals that require such a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge, along with gaining the cooperation of large, powerful, intelligent horses.
My why is a powerful one that gets me up every morning and sets my feet on the road toward my goals. My why forces me to up the ante.
But my why won’t do you much, if any, good. The why for you is one only you can formulate in your mind, the one that will get you up every day and on the path to your goals. The one that gets you to up the ante.
Whatever might have you stuck, consider the consequences of doing nothing. Picture instead what it might look like to move forward with a powerful why as the wind behind you in pursuit of a fulfilling goal. Who knows what serendipitous wonders might await you?
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