Should you not try what you can’t do until you know you’ve mastered the building blocks?

YES you should try. Absolutely try. Sorry, but I feel strongly about this.

So often viewers or fellow riders or voyeurs, will happily criticize other riders. Matters not, whether they be amateurs, professionals, the good or the bad. Sometimes you hear it in the barn, other times I hear it as a customer response from our member base or a guest viewer, giving lengthy critique regarding a rider.

So often, I think, “Have you ever rode a horse like this? What do you actually ride? Do you desire to do anything besides bond with your horse or ride circles and lines in your arena? Do you have a dream? Or are you content just striving for the bond,  the oneness with your horse? And that’s ok btw. What are your credentials that make you believe that you can pass such judgement on an individual?”

Here’s the bottom line. If you have a dream, for you and your horse, you must and always are,  aspiring to do more, always.

The top riders of this earth, are asking their horses for things such as piaffe at 5 (ish). Give or take a year. Sorry, they may not refer to it as piaffe, they refer to it as half steps or small trot. But they are reaching for piaffe. Is the horse perfectly collected and sitting and straight already? Is he effortlessly reacting to your lovely subtle aid you are teaching him that means, please sit down, lower your croup and step under with those active hind legs while you lift your withers and your poll to the highest position while your front legs march in perfect rhythm virtually in place?  The answer is, HELL NO.

And here is the drum roll…he probably won’t  give you much of any of this for many years to come.

So should you just stop trying it? Because you know what, you probably aren’t any where near being able to say you have all of the prerequisites I just mentioned. So if you don’t have those all perfected should you not try something more challenging? HELL NO! Truth be told, i’m still stuck at rhythm sometimes:)

If you treat your training this way you will go nowhere fast.

So, if your desire is to be perfect before you go to the next step….you might as well just get happy in your own mediocrity, because you will not be moving up and out, EVER!

Analogy. As a child, did you have perfect steps, rhythmic, even, moving fluidly and straight across the room before you attempted to run or climb? HELL NO! You walked like a drunk person, no balance, lack of control, simply learning the muscle mastery of one step or one climb, as you eagerly and gingerly moved faster, moved up, moved over, moved in a different way than you were used to. Was this wrong? NO! Did you feel pain from this? Did it harm you for life? Were you overwhelmed? No. You were not. Because, it was essential to your growth. You were actually proud when you learned the next move. You might even have been a show off. It is evolution. Morphing as one thing while developing into another.

This is the same with ourselves and our horses as we attempt to reach new heights. Do not wait for perfection. Act as if you ARE perfection. It is during this journey that you will find that you are already there, you just had to tune into the correct station to realize it!

Reisa Bonetti-Sullivan

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2 Comments on "Should you not try what you can’t do until you know you’ve mastered the building blocks?"

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SonyaW
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SonyaW
1 year 2 months ago
I can’t tell you what a leap my heart made in agreeing with you! We have to have dreams and goals and if we never even playfully try to reach them we’ll certainly never have a chance to hone and perfect them. My ultimate dressage dream is to create and ride a fun and beautiful musical freestyle that #1 displays how much I love my horse and #2 hopefully shows us both having fun together to music that I find uplifting and appropriate to match my horse and the movements. It may have mistakes (in fact I’m sure it will)… Read more »
Keith Bartlam
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Keith Bartlam
1 year 1 month ago
Very well put. That’s EXACTLY how I have conducted my whole life generally. So MANY people try to stop you, but I just ignore them all and carry on regardless! If I reach for the stars and get to the tree tops that’s great, but it still doesn’t mean I don’t try to reach the stars once the tree top are reached! That’s why I guess I have achieved (mistakes and all…LOTS of them too!!) to have done everything I ever wanted to in life. I trained as a dancer and worked Professionally as one for many years in Paris… Read more »
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