Thursday, October 10, 2013

What I Have to Prove...

This evening I was talking to a friend about horses, training, and how we are perceived by others. Specifically, we discussed to what degree we care about how we are perceived by other horsemen. I would like to think I don't care. But I do. It would never expect someone to think of me as a really good horseman... but if one were to think of me as incompetent, now that would bother me very much indeed! What I discovered in admitting that truism is that my ultimate goal as a horseman is to be competent. To be able to get the job done. What is my self assigned job as a horseman? Catching the cow? Running a clean barrel pattern? Jumping the oxer? None of the above. My job is to have a horse that guides willfully. A horse that is soft and light, happy and relaxed; one who drives from behind and gives their face; a horse that lopes and jogs and stops hard and fast when asked; a horse whose body I can bend and flex and send in any which direction I please. My self assigned job as a horseman is to create a finely tuned partner. So why does it bother me so much to think that someone would perceive me as incompetent? Because I am. Because I can not and have not yet been able to create or maintain a horse that is all of the above.

So the next obvious train of thought would be, how do I become the horseman I want to be? Experience, time, lessons, clinics, DVDs. These things don't fall out of the sky. I have to invest in and further my education. The problem with that... I'll have to write about next time!


  1. I think it's very true that we are sensitive to how others perceive us when they are picking up on things that we think we are not as good as we want to be at. (that is a shockingly badly put together sentence!)

  2. What you describe is more than just competent, that is a really good horseman. You really shouldn't spend too much time worrying about what other horsemen think. Most of them don't have the goals you do, and may not recognize a really good horseman if they saw one. You can only prove your horsemanship to your horse.