Do you really, truly enjoy your horsemanship journey?
The entire journey not just occasional rides or shows when you win.
Do you enjoy your unique horsemanship journey?
Or do you make excuses for why you aren’t enjoying your horsemanship journey right now? Maybe it is that you don’t have the time right now to ride enough to get your horse ready for that next show or clinic. Or maybe you really want to get a horse with more training. Whatever your excuse is, you find yourself not spending time with your horse, putting off riding for another day.
Stop making excuses. There is no good reason to not enjoy the journey with your horse right now.
I believe that the key to happiness, not just with our horses but in life in general (amazing how those two things blend together!) is simple: Enjoy the journey. Don’t make excuses that you will enjoy your horsemanship when x happens, or when you can do y, or when your horse can perform z. Enjoy the journey today. Enjoy the journey every day! Cherish the little victories. Feel the flow. How can you help program your brain to enjoy the journey? These three mindsets will help you program your thoughts so that you will be able to enjoy every step of your unique horsemanship journey.
Mindset #1: The Perfect Time is Now
Many people thinking “I will do ______ when _______.”
Horsepeople especially do tend to be perfectionists, and if things are not perfect, they tend to not even want to attempt the activity. Some horsemen might think “I will ride when I have more time to be more consistent with my horse, that way when I do start riding we can be show ready faster.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that consistency is key when training your horse, especially if you have show pen goals. But why would you not enjoy the time that you have with your horse TODAY instead of not even getting into the saddle? Don’t wait for it to be perfect because it will never be. Get out there and go enjoy your horse! The perfect time for enjoyment is right now.
Mindset #2: Live in the Moment
Horses are wonderful at reminding us to live in the moment. They don’t replay the past over and over, regretting what happened. They don’t think ahead to next year and if they will make money or land that big promotion. They live in the moment, they experience the now. When you are with your horse, focus on living in the moment. Don’t let thoughts of should have, would have, could haves keep you stuck in the past. Don’t let anxiety for what might happen in the future immobilize you. Don’t count down the time. Take the time it takes, and get lost in the moment. These moments will be the memories of your journey that you can relive and enjoy. The time will pass no matter what you do so you may as well enjoy it, and live in the moment.
Mindset #3: I am Unique
The comparison game is NOT a game you want to play. When you compare yourself and your horse to others, you either end up feeling inadequate or like you are better than everyone else. Either way, you won’t be enjoying your horsemanship journey. So stop playing the comparison game. Instead, celebrate your uniqueness and your horse’s uniqueness. There is no one else quite like you! Embrace your strengths as skills that you have worked to develop, and be proud of your accomplishments. Identify your weaknesses, and recognize them and the steps that you will take to improve upon them as the next part of your journey.
When you find yourself not enjoying your horsemanship journey, repeat one of these mindset mantras to get you back on track. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. Get Gritty!
~Siobhan “Chevy” Allen
The Social Stockwoman