Do you know the 4 stages of learning competency at any new skill?
1) Unconscious Incompetence- You donít yet know the skill at all, and thus have no awareness of your inability to do it.
2) Conscious Incompetence- You become aware that you stink at this new skill. Frustration is your constant companion and biggest motivator. You periodically question yourself as to why you are doing this. Is this really that important? Is it worth it? Quit now and youíll never knowÖ
3) Conscious Competence- With concentration, and the right setup, you can now, generally, exhibit the new skill. While things arenít really solid just yet, you are getting to win sometimes and enjoy your new skills.
4) Unconscious Competence- You can do it perfectly, without even thinking about it, or setting it up, every time. You can incorporate this skill into or along with other skills. Your friends now hate you. You start to plan world dominationÖ
I find that knowing what I will likely go through down the road greatly helps prepare me and keeps me in a more rational and thinking state, rather than an emotional one. Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die. Nobody wants to work on Basic Horsemanship either, but in truth, everyone should work on those basic skills until they are unconsciously competent at them, and then continue working at them. Many pro baseball players start batting practice hitting the ball off of a tee, just like when they were 4 years old, and every single NBA player shoots tons of free throws every day. Are you finished with Basic Horsemanship yet? I donít know, but I know that Iím not.
Now that you are aware of what you go through to learn Horsemanship skills, keep this in mind as you are trying to train your horse, because heís going through these levels also, and that second level, with all itís frustration, is the one where you have to be a great leader, or it ALL goes South.