A lot of times, people in professional training positions tout the number of years they’ve trained as experience. In a lot of those cases, though, they have gotten to a certain level of education and coasted, and when presented with facts that counter what they’ve worked to learn, they shut it out. I think I heard Mark rashid describe “twenty years of experience was actually one year of experience repeated twenty times.”
I totally understand this desire. Learning is often very uncomfortable, and as a professional myself it is often quite humbling to take lessons and learn what habits need changing, what beliefs are limiting, and what isn’t working for the horse. The discomfort is compounded when students, clients, or potentially judging strangers are watching.
I don’t think I’m particularly naturally talented (but I have worked very hard to gain skill), I didn’t come from a horsey family, i don’t have a particularly talented horse – I didn’t even have a horse til my mid twenties, I pretty much live hand to mouth and I don’t have any amazing contacts or connections. But I think an upper hand I have for success in my career is the willingness to stay open and keep trying. What that means is that success is available to literally anyone who will try at it -stay humble, stay open, keep learning, keep thinking, and be willing to get comfortable in the discomfort of personal growth.
If you want it, you can do it.