We’ve had a lot of conversations lately on learning and trying to learn better for the sake of ourselves, horses, and the team. These past few weeks, I have been reflecting quite a bit on what goals I want to set for this upcoming year, both inside and outside the arena. The list includes everything from studying all the nuances of how to reach for a horse in a soft feel to taking time to snowshoe some of our grazing allotments so I can become more familiar with them before cattle arrive in April. All of these goals require one major shift in thinking and action — to be creative and do something different. Sounds simple, but I have found creativity and changing routine are the crux of most mountains I have to climb.
On a regular basis, I fall into this pattern of doing the same thing and expecting a different result. For those that have read Des’ blog, this is my “default response” or automatic thing I return to when I am at a crossroads. Rather than pulling a different arrow from my quiver, I reload the same arrow time and time again hoping that it will somehow hit the target. In the arena, this lands me with horses that become resentful or bothered because I am expecting them to search for something different while not being willing to offer something different.
At its core, this idea of change and doing something different might start with cutting ties with patterns we have adopted that no longer serve us. To me, being a horseman means to give. I am in the process of becoming a horseman, but at this point in my journey I am finding that I need to give up something in order to have something to give. I want to give up the fear of failure so that I can see it more as an opportunity to grow. I want to give up this idea that repetition and drilling on an exercise will help refine it. I want to give up the habit of staring down at my horse’s head when I ride and start changing my perspective to ‘look up’ in all areas of my life.
In essence, its expanding learning to all areas of my life and re-learning wherever needed. Sometimes habits, ideas, and processes have to be let go in order to learn something new. Its a true re-learning how to learn. Learning is not linear and that reminder has to stay at the forefront so that I can remember learning is a dynamic process of picking up, balancing, and dropping many things to create the whole picture. Here’s to painting the picture unafraid of the mistakes along the way.