If you ask my teachers growing up in school, or my former bosses about me and my personality, they’d probably describe me as lazy, stubborn, or disorganized.
As a self employed person, I hear a lot from folks that they don’t know how I get it all done, that I work hard, and probably most folks would describe my personality as pretty pleasant.
What’s the difference? My actual personality never changed. But in the earlier part of my life, I wasn’t engaged, not interested, and was usually being given orders I didn’t respect. I had a tendency to take over and do my own thing if I didn’t find the order given to be worthy of my time- which usually lead the authority figure in question to make labels about my temperament.
When I’m working on my own agenda, I’m extremely motivated. I know just what needs doing and don’t need any outside help to stay interested in getting it done. If I’m riding with a teacher I respect, I am 100% engaged and give up my agenda entirely to do what they suggest. I trust them fully and am willing to try new, hard, or potentially scary things because I know they have the awareness and ability to keep me on track and safe. If I’m riding with a teacher who’s skill I don’t respect, I stay on high alert and don’t give up my own agenda. I’m gonna keep doing my own thing until something better comes along.
How many times have we heard a horse described as pushy, strong willed, stubborn, ornery? What if this horse is just in the wrong job, working for a person who doesn’t have a plan better than their own agenda? What if, instead of labeling this horse and writing them off as having a problem, we admitted, we just don’t have anything to offer this horse better than what they’re already doing?