Searching for progress, not perfection.
Growing up, we didn’t get cable until I was in high school. On the basic channels, they would feature hunting (and fishing) shows on Saturday mornings.
Just about every week it would be my routine. Saturday morning get up, head straight down to the basement, and binge watch whatever shows they would play.
Although I enjoyed watching them all, my absolute favorites were the shows that featured horseback style hunts in the mountains. To me, this was the pinnacle. (and how a boy growing up in the Midwest, the Rocky Mountains seemed like a world away.)
Now, living out west, I am surrounded by both the mountains I used to daydream of and by a culture that idolizes horses. That catalyst that first got me on this horsemanship journey was a documentary put out by Heroes and Horses. It is called “500 Miles”. That film exposed me to the idea of mustangs, progressive trainers, and natural horsemanship.
I was hooked.
One of the points they made in the show was that “horses are a reflection of you”. Now, I heard that; but, the first time I brushed it off. Then, I would watch another program about horses and horse training. Again, I heard the saying. It is easy to ignore it when you hear it once; but, after you hear it repeated several times, you start to pay attention.
Now, having worked with Dart for months, I can honestly tell you that saying is 100% correction.
The more and more I work with Dart, the more and more I realize that I am staring at (and often talking to) a reflection of myself.
He has a huge amount of talent and ability; but, for some reason, can be hesitant to want to use it… yep.
He self-sabotages… guilty.
From a training perspective, we (as humans) expect to make huge gains. Not only do we expect every session to start off where the last session ended; but, we also expect large leaps of progress every time we work with the horse. Anything but that and we start to feel a bit let down…
…isn’t that so “human” of us!
Think about your goals.
Whether professional (getting a promotion, making more money, starting a business, etc.) or personal (getting back in shape, learning a new hobby, working on relationships, etc.) we expect to make big gains in progress. It is easy to stay motivated when everything is going great! But, what about when you start to plateau? When you progress is flat… what then?
Working with Dart, I am reminded not to shoot for (or expect to) make huge improvements every day. Instead, I am looking for 1%.
If we can just try and get 1% better every day, (eventually) those “1%’s” are going to stack up.
We will look back and be amazed at how far we have come.