Striving for Progress
When is good enough ~ Good enough? That is going to depend on us. Our expectations, our comfort level with discomfort, our commitment to perfection, our goals and likely most importantly, the company we keep; our influencers.
Here are some examples;
- The tools you use: If you are influenced by the Natural Horsemanship World, you likely have a rope halter and a long leadrope, If you are influenced by the English Riding World, you likely use a leather halter and maybe a chain over your horse’s nose.
- The clothes you wear: If you are influenced by those who wear breeches and tall boots, likely you will too, if you are influenced by those who wear jeans, chaps and cowboy boots, you might too.
- Trailer loading: If your influencers stay outside of the trailer and send them in, likely you will learn this, if they walk in ahead of their horses, you might too.
- If your influencers regularly ride, regardless of the weather, you might too, if no one rides when it’s cold in your circles, likely you will not either.
- If everyone at your barn is showing their horses, you might want that as well.
Likes attract likes. It’s uncomfortable to do things differently and be the odd one at the barn. Especially if you are just learning something new and are not yet sure or good at it! This is where striving for progress is a great way forward.
Keeping notes can help!
If you have a goal to, let’s say, be able to ride like those kids at the barn, undaunted, bareback and free as the wind, where oh where to start. First, take an honest look at where you are now.
Here is an example –
Write it down so you will notice when you have progressed:
April 1, 2017 I rode “Buddy.” It took 30 minutes to shed the mud and hair off of him, then another 10 to get him tacked up and another 10 for a short warm up session. I only had one hour, so I got on and rode for 10 minutes. How much did you progress to your goal?
April 2, 2017 Now create a goal: I want to ride bareback and feel safe and confident and have fun, like “Kalley and Chelsea” at the barn. Maybe I won’t jump but I want to ride like the wind. (BE SPECIFIC and CREATE MENTAL PICTURES OF YOURSELF FOR YOURSELF)
Now Look at the gap between what you have and what you want. Make the necessary adjustments.
April 3, 2017 I rode Buddy again today. It took 15 minutes to clean his feet and shed the hair off of him because he was out in the rain yesterday and he was clean! Yay! I skipped the tacking up and just warmed him up for a good 15 minutes on the ground, then got to the mounting block and managed to get on him bareback. I was scared, so I just sat still and the good boy just waited with me. After 10 minutes (or what seemed like 2 hours) I asked him to walk, just a few steps. I felt like I was going to fall off, so I stopped. Then I asked him to walk again. It took 30 minutes but we made it once around the whole arena and I got off, hugged Buddy and jumped for joy at my progress! How much progress did you make on your goal today?
Progress! Not Perfection!
The biggest pitfall in our evolution as riders and horse owners, is we fail to see where we have come from. We get stuck in the moment in what’s not working and forget to be grateful for all we have accomplished! Write this stuff down, so when you look back, you can see truth and not just what you remember in this moment.
A little, often, adds to real progress!
Imagine this: April 1, 2018 Buddy and I went on a trail ride today and I just didn’t want to put on his saddle, so we went bareback. We trotted and cantered and even jumped a log. At one point I had to get off because I dropped my scarf, he helped me get back on effortlessly from a fallen tree. What a good boy!
Imagine looking back at your notes from a year ago and seeing your progress. You will know you can do anything you put your mind to progressing just a little bit at a time.
I sure would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hear how you progressed today!