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Screw up and start over

Don Jessop

I can't tell you how many times I've had a new horse owner tell me how they are afraid of screwing up their horse. What I can tell you, is that it's impossible to screw up your horse, unless...

You give up! You refuse to start again from scratch, you beat yourself up for making mistakes, you paralyze yourself with fear of doing it wrong and don't do anything. But all those problems only relate to skill development. In other words, even if you screw up their "human invented" skill development and still keep them safe and sound, you've done no real harm. It's possible they won't be rideable unless you start over and get it right the tenth time, but you can really only screw up permanently if you don't bond with your horse, or you beat them up for being confused, or abandon them to nature. That's not who you are so you can probably stop worrying about wrong techniques.

If you're reading my articles, there's a good chance you have a heart for doing things right. So, stop being afraid of doing them wrong. You've got nothing to worry about. There is no "right way to do it." Your heart will always guide you to slow down, start over, renew the relationship, etc. Put simply, the pressure you apply upon yourself to not get it "wrong" is slowing your progress to nil. It's paralyzing you. It's okay to get it wrong and redo it again and again over many months and even years.

Part of the fear comes from trainers describing timelines like... "At two years we do our first ride, at three we are cantering, and four we are competing, etc." Those timelines can be overwhelming, and they are, by no means, a rule. They are simply a guideline for the best of the best. But nobody got that good by not screwing up and not starting over. More realistically, a new horse person can expect to be constantly learning and mistaking and redoing. There is no perfect path. Most of my experience comes from just figuring things out. I definitely appreciate and recommend instruction but nothing, and I mean nothing, beats experimentation and mistakes, as long as you resign to start over and as long as you're not abusive.

Another common fear is the idea that if you have to start over, it will take the same amount of time as your first time. Trust me, it doesn't. If it took you a year to teach flying lead changes only to learn a better strategy for your particular situation, relax, it's not going to take another year. In fact, usually, starting over just means polishing your basics. Revisiting your foundation to patch holes, so to speak. It's nothing like starting from scratch. The timeliness miniscule in comparison.

All of this is the very reason I created my teaching model "The 4 B's" in my Leadership and Horses book. It's a method of revisiting the foundation pieces, no matter what your background is.
The whole point here is to give you a boost in confidence. To let you basically know that you should just go ahead and screw up and start over. Stop being paralyzed by trying to get it right the first time.

Blessing to you on your horsemanship journey. Here are some resources to help.
to help.
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Click here to get your copy of Leadership and horses Book.
Thanks Don

Don Jessop - Blog Welcome

Hi! I'm Don Jessop

With Mastery Horsemanship

I write to inspire, educate and encourage you on your horse and personal journey.

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