Wow, I have a lot to post about from the past 3 days attending the Western Dressage class by Jack Lieser but I will start with this.
I am a student, always looking for how to better myself so clinics like these are always awesome for me, they amaze me and make everything between me and my horse change in a dramatic and dynamic way giving us something new to focus on and work with to make us together, better.
I have never walked away from one of Jack’s clinics saying I didn’t learn something new, I have always learned something, I’ve always gotten something out of it and it’s always made us better and honestly the way he delivers the information even when we are less than okay and have a lot of work to do is positive and hopeful, It makes me feel like there is never anything but forward progress.
There was a student though that I had reacted negatively to, someone that was resistant, argumentative and a little bit in denial about everything that was going on with her and her horse, always an excuse and to my credit, I wasn’t the only student that was thinking this way and disliked her because of it. I felt personally that this was an affront because this was what was wrong with most horsemanship, people put themselves in boxes and get comfortable there keeping both themselves and their horses in these little boxes making excuses to not get better and trying to be happy there. I’ve seen horses that are being ridden being extremely aggressive to other horses and the owner yelling at people getting close to stay away because the horse didn’t like theirs, people that said their horse only liked going to the left so that’s the only way they went and many more excuses.
Because innately I am a teacher and my passions are teaching and horses and someday I want to put those two together, I had a very intimate conversation about people in general like this with my trainer and later Jack, asking them how they viewed people in this position.
The one thing I learned is even when people put themselves and their horses in boxes, if they show up for training…at least they are trying even if they are resistant for change, that’s better than doing nothing at all.
That hit me like a ton of bricks. I KNOW this, I totally understand this but my defensiveness because it had to do with an animal and my own feelings and beliefs about how we should treat them put ME into a box, We all do it! We all put ourselves into boxes, but what makes the difference is making the effort to change or expand out of that box.
This conversation changed my box, It’s bigger now and I am grateful for that, and honestly, all the animosity that I felt towards this person evaporated because she was trying to expand her box too. It was a very good lesson for me to learn.