Part one covered how you present yourself physically as well as how others present themselves, and how you take in those circumstances both consciously and unconsciously. How you present yourself to others can have a dramatic affect on how others respond or react to you. The same goes for the way others present themselves to you – if they are big and aggressive, you can get intimidated or aggressive yourself. It’s important to become aware of the physical attributes that affect situations in order to respond correctly instead of instinctually. That’s where questioning yourself first and others second will help you succeed in all situations.
Part two covers how important it is to question everything mentally or emotionally that is going on within yourself and then to take in these aspects of others. By becoming aware of one’s own physical state through questioning, a person is able to then take action in response to those feelings. If the questions are not in your mind, then your emotions take over and cumulative thinking is thrown out the window completely. When you reach this point, your emotions overrun your intentions, and you don’t feel good about the actions you took. What I am personally finding out from reaching this point so many times is that I focus too much on the results I desire instead of how much a horse can handle. In other words, I overdo things because I have expectations of myself and others that are very high, almost to an unrealistic state. A better approach would be just setting things up the best that I can and letting the rest take care of itself. After all is said and done, that’s where the reflective questioning comes into play to help one learn from the situation as a whole.
You first need to question yourself and your own emotional state to know that you’re able to help the horse in the stage that it currently is in and not where you expect it to be. By questioning your own emotions you are also able to know where you stand in order to accept them and move past them. For example, say you’re frustrated that the horse isn’t doing something as well as you would like them to. If you’re able to acknowledge your frustration, you’re then able to relate to the horse and to understand why they aren’t capable of moving past that certain point. If not, you get frustrated, your emotions take over, and you overexpose a horse due to training based on your desires, not the horse.
You can see how by questioning yourself first emotionally, you can then question the horse’s state and better understand where they are mentally/emotionally. My problem is overdoing, but be careful of the other end of the spectrum – not doing enough. You must spend the time and play with the boundaries of both the physical and emotional in order to know the line. If not, you aren’t working towards refinement of the mental and physical states that the horse has to offer. By questioning both yourself and others, emotionally and physically, you’re then able to move to the next stage of reflective questioning.
Just be sure to make changes on the fly to best suit the horse as you know it at the time, and follow through to the other side within the boundaries of safety.
As always, to help you relate to others, replace horses with members of your personal and professional life to see how you should be questioning yourself and others in order to help you progress individually and with those around you.