Ornery Horse or Wrong Job?

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?

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