I frequently ask myself questions on how I have managed to survive all of these years with out any serious injuries along my journey. After breaking the past six years down, I came up with four points to my survival: observe, remember, compare, and adjust. As I have come to think of it as, the study of awareness.
- Awareness: having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge.
Now before you think I am smarter than I am, I just wanted to point out that “observe, remember, compare, and adjust” are not my combinations of words put together. The Dorrance brothers had come up with the, “observe, remember, and compare” part of the saying and to top it off Buck added the elegant “adjust” to the end of the saying.
So please take back any credit you were thinking of giving me, maybe store it for 50 to 60 years in your computer. Perhaps someday I will be experienced and clever enough to come up with such simple smart snippets of pure awesomeness.
Before I ever showed up at the ranch, lets just say I didn’t have a lot going for me. I was a lost college student just doing what I was supposed to be doing, getting through school in hopes to find a “real” job. I never really felt I was in the right place, but I didn’t have any clue where my place was. That is until I came out to the ranch and had the great opportunity to work under a great horseman. This Is where I finally experienced my state of “Plumoutta” (refer to blog post, A Little Bit About The Horseman, for more detail.)
From that very moment, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and have pursued it to the state of having slight OCD. Horses have become the vessel in which my inner being is reflected outwardly. Showing me all my areas where I need to improve in order to progress my horsemanship. I have become dangerously obsessed with this equestrian intimacy to the point of contesting it on many levels, both personally and professionally.
With out the wisdom, guidance, and patience of the horse foreman of the ranch I would still be a lost soul. I owe everything to him and the horsemen before him that have all made this addicting obsession a possibility. As always, I am thankful for all that have made this opportunity possible for me. With out many sacrifices and hardships from others I would not be living the life I am today.
Once I had become more aware, from consistent help from my mentor, I was introduced to the saying; observe, remember, compare, and adjust. With these four words the study of awareness can both begin and go on forever in your life. This can be applied in all that you do, whether it be learning what not to do or learning how it is to be done correctly.
With out these four bits of necessary advice, I believe I would have crippled myself along time ago. Being a wrangler here sometimes entails absolutely absurd moments where you just put your trust in your horse, closing your eyes, and hoping to come out the other side successfully. Through these experiences I have come to feel as if the horses have saved me many times when I was doing something I shouldn’t have been attempting in my process of learning the timing and balance of certain movements. I feel the horse has taken care of me, as if they were a gaurdain angel, realizing someday I would better understand how they work. At least, that is the only way I can understand why they put up with some of idiocies. Knowing that they didn’t have to help me through these situations, I feel indebted to the horses indefinetly.
Now I will go over how these four points have helped me to succeed to the point that I am at right now, which isn’t anywhere close to where I want to be. These four points have helped me become more aware of horses, myself, and all surroundings permitting me to reflect on every moment that I can remember through out my past. Allowing me to go back in time to pick out the good and bad of certain situations to compare to others who have successfully done what I am attempting to do. From there I can come up with a new game plan to put to the test and just keep cycling through these steps until I get a better result, very well knowing that I will never truly master anything.
The greatest difficulty in all of these steps is putting them to use in all of your life, because you can’t just simply apply them in your horsemanship. If you were to do this you would soon find a major road block in your progression, if you were serious enough about it to even be aware of your state of progression. I have done this over the years through studying not only horsemanship material, but doubling it with leadership or self improvement studies. Because I believe any “true master” of any field has the same characteristics and outlooks on life as a whole, as do all others at the top of their fields. All have reached the pinnacle of their fields by advancing themselves incrementally each day or as the saying goes in the horse world, “little by little” as you would go about progressing the horse based on where they are at during any given situation.
Little by little you can think about these four reminders to help yourself progress in your daily study of awareness.
- Observe: to watch carefully especially with attention to details or behavior for the purpose of arriving at a judgement.
- Remember: to retain in the memory
- Compare: to examine the character or qualities of, especially in order to discover resemblances or differences
- Adjust: to adapt or conform oneself (as to new conditions)
If I were to add one more word to this phrase it would simply be “repeat,” for I don’t believe you will ever get to a point to where you have found the key mastering tool to all horses, people, and yourself.
- Repeat: to go through or experience again.
By now being cognizant of the study of awareness, this should be applied and worked on daily in all that you do. What it is that you do, does not matter. What does matter is by bettering your awareness you will be exponentially advancing yourself forward for the rest of your life. As your awareness transcends itself, you wont believe the differences it will make in all aspects of your life. Ultimately helping you survive or excel in whatever situation you may be presented with in the future.