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    Review and resume

    By Sheryl Lynde | Horsetrader columnist - November 30th, 2018 - Trainer Tips

    wordpress_column_lyndeAs 2018 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the lessons that have stood out above the others.

    They are…

    Have a goal in mind and take the steps necessary to obtain that goal. “No one who achieves any level of success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” Alfred North Whitehead.
    Without action taken to move forward, your desire to improve will remain a day dream. I have a passion for what I do, which is starting colts and working with problem horses. Because of my passion, I continue to strive for improvement to better serve the clients and horses that come to me for help and to be a better horsewoman. I look to mentors that I respect and that have proven success in the discipline I am seeking help in.
    trainer_tips_1812AYou cannot become a different person with the same personality; you must live outside your comfort zone if you aspire to grow and that means being uncomfortable and feeling awkward at times in front of your peers. Know who you are and where you want to go. Be a watcher of your thoughts every second of the day. This takes work and it takes being present. Thoughts have their own energy and trigger emotions that we feel deep in our solar plexus. We relive that feeling every time we allow those thoughts access and we can do it over and over again if we don’t stand guard. We can become addicted to those thoughts which repetitively play past offences, regrets and mistakes. These thoughts only perpetuate fear.
    But the kicker is that 50 percent of what you say about your past isn’t true. It’s your perception of the event, and our perception is not always reality. You will be humbled, I can promise you that. But real success is learning to handle your setbacks with grace. Let go of the thoughts that do not serve you.
    When I need help with my skills, I look to my mentors. When I need strength, I get on my knees and I look up. Don’t judge your success by comparing yourself to fellow riders. You were created to be the best YOU can be, not to be a duplicate of anyone else.
    There are four stages of learning.
    No. 1: Unconscious Incompetence. You don’t know what you don’t know. You’ve been lucky.
    No. 2: Conscious Incompetence. You may have experienced a fall, or you want to improve. After taking a lesson, you begin to understand there is a lot you don’t know.
    No. 3: Conscious Competence. You have improved and understand the lesson; however, it takes undivided concentration on your part at each step of the way.
    No. 4: Unconscious Competence. You are able to perform at a new skill level without thinking, it becomes innate, something you feel from inside.
    The only way to get from No. 1 to No. 4 is through extraordinary effort, by putting hours in the saddle. There are no shortcuts. Are you ready?
    Good training takes time. It isn’t necessarily about the amount of time spent on an endeavor; it’s about the quality of the time given in short intervals—allowing plenty of breaks in order to allow the lesson to be easily absorbed by both horse and rider. It’s about listening, developing patience and giving back more than you take. A horse that is pushed too hard and too fast is a horse that comes to me later down the road and presented as a problem horse.
    Be equally yoked with your equine partner. Someone in the relationship needs to know more than the other. If the horse is green, the rider needs to be experienced. If the rider is green, the horse needs to be more experienced. When both the horse and rider are green, that is a recipe for black and blue.
    Competence is a skill that is developed with guidance and hours of practice, Confidence is an emotion. It also takes effort and awareness, but it is an inside job. By being partnered with the appropriate horse for your skill level will determine whether your confidence continues to develop and strengthen or heads for the hills with your horse. Be honest about your abilities; it’s the right thing to do for both you and your horse.
    Most of all, learn to listen. Listen to your horse, listen to your body. When your hands are high and pulling on your horse’s mouth, I can promise you that there is a brace in your body as well as your horse’s body. Lower and lighten your hands, and you will feel a lightness in your body and your horse will relax. Be the example you want to set for your horse.
    Merry Christmas, and many blessings to you and your horse.
    –Sheryl

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