I am sure we have all been there where we feel like we have failed or done something wrong at some point in our training and well I am pretty sure that every trainer has made mistakes and continues to make them along the way. If you want to become successful then you have to make mistakes, failing is all apart of the journey.
Training a horse is like going through the motions of your own life, we think we are making the best decision and find out later, maybe it wasn't the best. But the good part about this is when you make a mistake, you'll probably never make it again. Make mistakes and get better, every mistake you make is getting you one step closer to being better.
Some mistakes I've made thus far:
1) Doubting myself
When I first started this journey with this horse, I didnt even know where to start because this was my first time starting from the beginning. I would sit there and contemplate constantly if this is the way you are supposed to do it instead of just going with my instincts. It made this entire process slower for us even though I knew deep down inside I already had the skills just didn't know the order to apply them in. Trust your gut!
2) Taking too many peoples advice
This one was a tough pill to swallow at first for me because I had so many great horse people that I looked up to and thought I should ask every single one what they thought about my horse and me, my progress this far, what next steps I should take and more. Most of these people I never asked a single thing when I had my horse who was consistent and winning, because I knew what I was doing and I got him to that point without listening to the crtitics. If you get stuck and need guidance THAT IS OKAY, but select a few people and take a little bit of advice from them and always go with what you think is right because at the end of the day this is your horse, your progress.
3) Not knowing when to quit
We have all been there in wanting to get one simple task accomplished with our horse and it just feels like it's never going to happen. It is those times when your ride goes from your projected 20 minutes to over an hour looking for that one ounce of try and when we get it we keep asking for it again. When I first started her I would get the 1 second of what I was asking for and praise her for it and then I would ask again and she wouldn't do it. So instead of ending on that good note like before we would completely start over, building up our frustration and going round and round about it. We want to accomplish things naturally overnight and we want our horses too to but it's not going to happen....You have to appreciate the small wins for your horses as you would for yourself.
4) Trying to perfect their flaws
Like horses we have flaws...shocking I know. Your friends, families and horses even accept your flaws and love you anyways. We should do the same for them, but sometimes it is hard to let certain things go that bugged me. I think that is because they are animals and we feel like we are in charge and can make them do things, but there are some things that are meant to be just accepted than fought constantly. I hated that my horse would pull back, disliked clippers, stiffer to the right and chomps the bit the whole the time but I have come to realize that is her and I should appreciate her for who she is. We want so badly to make them into these perfect horses that have no flaws but that 's unattainable. If it's a constant battle every time and never gets better it is time to cut them some slack on it and move on.
5) Comparing myself to others
THIS ONE IS HUGE FOR ME. Ever since I got more involved in social media in the horse world it has really taken a toll on me in comparing myself to every horse I scroll across. I would see horses a year younger than mine clocking in the 1D, winning huge checks and then I would look at my video and see her barely loping the pattern. It is so hard not to compare ourselves to those around us in any matter in life and that's why I tell myself to focus on the bigger picture and realize that everyones path is different. As long as i'm making small improvements every time, than I am one step closer. Don't discount yourself, be the tortoise in the tortoise and the hare story. You are you and your path is different than those 1000 followers you see.
End of the story is that each mistake ive made and come to realize, has made me analyze it and think of a solution. I get better every time I make a mistake and I am okay with that because I am 90% better than the rider I was when I started.