Sometimes learning to ride or handle horses, or really learning anything at all, isn’t the hardest part.
Learning to learn is the hardest part.
Getting to a quiet place mentally where you can accept new information is quite a skill, and one that I think makes the difference between improvement and spinning your wheels.
Letting go of “what you think you should know” and self-judgement, thoughts like “I should already know this”
or fear of failure
or reluctance to change old ways, even if they aren’t working
or fear of looking silly
or the need to impress a teacher or whoever is sitting on the sidelines, or anyone.
All these things block learning, and they get in the way of your progress. People of all ages and experience levels experiences any and all of these roadblocks at any time in their journey – so if you are stumbling on these, don’t worry, and don’t feel bad.
Just try to notice it, accept it, and do your best to clear your mind before going into the arena for your next lesson.
One of the hardest lessons for me was fear of judgement from peers and people sitting on the other side of the fence – I was always worried about failing or looking bad, or would get caught up in the “I should already know this” department of fear. But I soon realized that anyone who was busy judging me wasn’t busy enough working on themselves, and anybody working on themselves was too busy to judge me. And those who were judging me generally didn’t offer much in the way of positive contribution to the horse world anyway. So I got busy working on myself, and fear of judgement sort of just fell away (for the most part – I’m not gonna lie that still sometimes creeps back in).
So I challenge you to get humble. That’s not the same thing as wallowing in self doubt and pity.
And get confident. Not to be confused with arrogance or thinking you already know everything.
Humility and confidence can be learned from your best teacher out there –