Sometimes I have been looking through some of my older posts and I have over and over again seen that almost anything I write about is something good, positive or something we have succeeded with in our daily training. I have realized that I almost never write about anything that did not went good or the crappy things that happened during the day. Why so? Is it because my life with the horses is a complete fairytale without any flaws and only successes? Not really… Then how come that I always write about positive things either way? Actually that is more of a decision in my case. What I would call a conscious choice of focus. It is not that I do not want people to think that things never go wrong when I train with my horses and that we always have happy and awesome experiences where everything is perfect. Because that is not the case. Not at all actually. We sure do have moments where I think that we will never be able to manage the exercise I have in mind, days where the horses are super unmotivated or what else might cause a less memorable experience. So the actual reason why I so often write about the positive parts is not that they are the only ones existing, but that I have made a decision in my training of the horses to focus on what went good instead of all that went bad.
Maybe it sounds ridiculous, but I see so often that people get caught up with all the little details that didn’t satisfy them and then they completely forget to appreciate or take notice of all that actually worked or went good. When we consciously or unconsciously focus on all that we do not want or is unsatisfied with that is all that will take up the space and memory when we think back. If I every time I had went for a ride wrote “It was so annoying. Alvaro did not do a perfect shoulder in. He did not step over enough in the travers. He did not canter the moment I gave him the cue and he totally did not make the smoothest transitions back to trot.” What do you think would be the essence of that riding lesson on my horse in my head? Probably that I was not a good enough rider and that he did not listen properly, understood the cues or something else. It would only mean that next time I sat on my horse I would remember all these little things that was not good enough the last time. That is not how I want it to be. I want to remember all the things that went good – maybe not perfect, but good. From that point we can keep working and I will not start out with a feeling that I am already a bit annoyed or perfectionistic about the whole training that we are about to start.
When I look back someday and read through the experiences I have had with my horses I want to recall how all those minimal steps forward were huge successes once instead of being reminded of all the things I had wished worked better at the time or wanted to change. It is all about focus and the fact that I often write about the good things does not mean that those are the only ones existing. It only means that those are the ones I choose to focus on because they are what will make my training a pleasure and what will make me better at appreciating the little successes in life. By sharing all those little successes I need to see and recognise them first and that has become easier and easier for me ever since I started. I have made it a goal of mine to always be able to spot the good things and the things I want to appreciate and be thankful for instead of letting the disappointments or failures overshadow everything else… You should try it out yourself next time you go to your horse. When you are done training, try to point out all the successes or improvements you experienced during the session and note what that does to you. Does it change your approach next time you start a session? Does it change the way you act during the training or afterwards?
I am sure some of you will experience that it will help you become more enthusiastic, engaged and thankful in the future!
Please leave a comment with your thoughts below…