I love to try to figure things out on my own through experimentation after a period of studying my mentors. Luckily, my mentors have understood this, and almost all the situations I have been exposed to have allowed me the time to experiment continuously on my own.
With horses I have always been the type to shut out the outside world and run my experiments, even if it makes me look incompetent. I have previously and certainly will later find out that most of my experiments were beyond ignorant, but I will forever be better off down the road for them. I wish I could have eliminated those moments, but those failed experiments were what I needed to move on!
This is the process that will test you mentally and physically along the way to make sure you have earned the right to move on. I’m an over thinker, so when I have these breakthroughs, I feel stupid when I find out how simple it can be. It is through the seemingly endless failed experiments that I have had those life-changing moments that not only progress my horsemanship, but completely change me as a person.
Is this process easy? Not a chance, but the rewards are unlike any that you will ever experience in your life! To me the rewards horses offer are beyond any competition, test score, or approval from others. Horses to me are the key to learning how to live a good life (which is a whole other topic of conversation).
Please go out and find that driving force of curiosity and desire, follow it, and don’t give up in your learning. Find your mentors to use as a model, but pick wisely. Run your own experiments for long periods of time; try something different every day until you make the next breakthrough. You will never regret a single moment of struggle along the way because you will understand over time, provided that you stay true to your burning desire. Above all else, the more time you spend on it, the more rewarding it will be down the road. Lastly, you have to be open to change.