The more I know, the worse I am
I was looking at some new and old posts by myself and others and got to thinking that the more I work with my horse and the more we improve our skills, both individually and together, the more I feel there is yet to be done. There was a time I thought I was a pretty decent rider for someone learning as an adult and not competing. I wondered where I would rank (Complete novice? Beginner? Intermediate?) compared to other people generally, especially since I DIDN'T have any sort of competitions to compare myself to others in.
Now I just tell people that, "I'm not that good, but I'm okay," and leave it at that. My horse came to me horribly unbalanced, undermuscled, and at a place where I could have a speed faster than a walk or steering, but not both at the same time. Now we're working on learning an easy jog and different speeds of trotting and loping, pole bending patterns, and have even trotted and loped in the 'wide open' while staying nicely focused. Despite or because of that though, I see how much more there is yet to do. I see many people's warm up including things are are still goals, sometimes far off, for me and my boy.
Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with what we have accomplished, but is it odd to feel like I know less now than I ever have? I can't be the only one that this has happened to, right? It just feels like a little bit of an odd realization to come to.
I think that is true for most things really.
As I have matured as a rider whom started out in a small barn where western was the only way to go, the best rider they had put out to the community, to a new barn where I felt like I was starting all over, low man on the totem pole not knowing what the hell a 'diagonal' even was, nor what 'tracking right' or 'left' meant. Here I was thinking I was an experienced rider with what 8 years under my belt at the time. Now nearly 4 years later I am jumping fences that I cannot hope to ever leap over with a vaulting pole, riding on trails that I never thought I would have the guts to try and pass, and training both my horse and I so many new things that I had never really even thought of before. However I realize as I am now in my second season of showing that I am yet again low man on the totem pole being pinned almost every time, but never coming top of my classes despite the years I have ridden often is greater than the 'winner' has had on this planet. As I advance I take many steps backwards that is all necessary to move foreword, and I find as I learn and advance more, the less I really know and the more I really only thought I knew.
That's completely natural :)
We will continuously learn with horses in both care and riding. The more "beginner" you feel, the more you have widened your scope of possibilities. You said your horse came to you undermuscled, unbalanced.. your goal was "I want to ride him without issues" and you got to that goal.. but now you realize "oh.. there's so much more to learn! We can't do this or this or this.. and I've never heard of this.. and this came up"
You're progressing :) It may not feel like it but if you take movies of your riding, pictures of you and your horse.. there will be a very big difference.
Just keep on trucking.. and instead of saying you're okay.. tell them "I'm still learning and there's a lot to learn!"
you are certainly not alone! i think acknowledging that there is so much more to learn is a GOOD thing though. :wink:
This is how I feel with vehicles. The longer I fix them the more I have learned but I realize I know so little. And thats after 4 years auto tech/skills usa,working at 2 shops, auto associate's w/ ASE oriented scholarship. You keep growing and it seems the entire field just gets bigger and bigger when you keep exploring. Thinking back to me at the Shell station at 15, my goodness I was an idiot, but I thought I knew a lot. You can continue to learn about horses your entire life and still not know everything.
It's a lot like when I have a day off. I sometimes start my jobs list after I've made the bed, cleaned up the dishes and swept the carpet, JUST SO I can write those on my list and cross them off right away...satisfied with success. LISTEN to what you posted:
Right now, my two 6yo geldings aren't finished, and my 6yo QH isn't ready to trail ride. So WHAT!!! I don't have the same amount of time to spend training...SO...I break up my training into "bite-sized chunks" and focus on those things that my horse can learn, so that I can lavish praise on him and improve our relationship.
Cheer up!! It sounds like you've done A LOT!! Don't compete with others and run yourself down. You are fixing foundational problems that you can build upon. You've done well. Here's a gold star!! =D
I thought I'd be able to mount up and prance about the prairie. Oh how ignorant/naive I was!
I know what you mean! Back when I was still new at riding and even when I first started taking lessons I thought I was a "pretty good" rider. Looking back...I was dead wrong! Now I can hardly look at even RECENT videos comfortably. My cousin is the same way. I slept over at her house and we spent a good hour looking at videos of us riding and picking out everything that was wrong (which for me, is the whole reason I have videos taken- to see what I did wrong/right).
There is always something new to learn and something to improve on. Just remember to be proud of how far you have come! :D
I do feel that way too. You're definitely not alone. I've been riding since I was 8 (24 now). When I was younger, I thought I was a really good rider, but as I've discovered other disciplines and philosophies of riding, I've realized there's so much more I need to learn to really call myself an experienced rider. I sometimes cringe when I think of the mistakes I made with my baby Rocky when we were first starting out. But I learned and we both progressed. I think its a good thing that you're still willing to learn and progress.
It reminds me of the the saying that goes something like, "If you stop learning, you're dead." Always more to learn and to work on! It's certainly better than being bored, I suppose. It's good to know I'm not the only one who's felt this way, especially from people who are further along the learning curve.
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