About two years ago, I started coaching a young man in his 30’s who had no horse experience but had acquired a nice, small mustang and wanted to get a good start. He was an excellent athlete in skateboarding and an excellent visual learner, and so he was really fun to teach.
I was on the road and I didn’t see this fellow for a while. In the interim, he took a clinic with a well-known horseman, and then another one with the same person in the next six months. Voila, an expert!!
Years back I spent a summer with Pat Parelli in Pagosa Springs. I emerged a newly-minted expert—an oxymoron if there ever was one. Some 20 years on, I know a few things but I mostly ask questions and look for answers these days. I got to a place where I felt really good about my horsemanship and ready to BRING IT to anyone who wanted to watch or listen to me. I didn’t know how incomplete I was.
One year, on my birthday, I was riding with some riders who were and are extremely well-known in Europe, Australia, and the US. I was ready to shine! Before lunch that day, my horse fell with me, but I made a great recovery and neither of us was injured. Yeah, Baby! So, riding with one of my heroes in the afternoon, I was bareback and bridleless with that same horse, and my horse did an unexpected flying lead change. I was strained through an electric fence. My hero rode by and said “how’s your birthday going?’
Now I ride a Thoroughbred who keeps me honest on daily basis and she has an excellent feel for when I’m not bringing my A game to her. My A game doesn’t involve any pride, I’ve learned. Now I really DO feel great about my horsemanship much of the time. Horses provide this feeling with accuracy, something other humans can’t do for me.
I’m attaching an article by Ryan Rose who shares some great insight on this. Beware those who offer more than they can deliver!