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 Post subject: I've got time!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:05 am 
White Lady
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:18 pm
Posts: 13964
Location: Eriksbråten, Skotterud
We often talk about how we must let the horse get time to develop, and not rush things. I wonder why we usually don't follow this wisdom we so often repeat. With ourselves, with others, and with the horses.

When we talk about not rushing things, we don't mean that the extra time needed is valuable in itself, but that we or the horse need more time to do things right. There is something lost in the rush.

So, first: What is it that we lose? Many things. But when talking of training, it is often the correct movement. When we are so greedily striving to reach a goal that we start hurrying to get there, the body compromises the good movement, and we end up with strain injuries or less efficient training.

How do we hurry?

1. By forcing in the wrong way.
2. By giving treats to get the horse (or person) to be so eager to reach the goal, that it must be reached quickly no matter how.
3. By forgetting to be accurate and just soldier on, doing the same routine every day, or following the same training plan, without feeling or thinking.
4. By forgetting the necessary training scale, or deliberately skipping some of the rungs of it, thinking they are not important.

Does that mean that there must be no forcing or no rewarding? Of course not. It means that we must be patient, and work very methodically to get to our goals in time. A difficult task must always be devided into edible pieces. You don't eat an elephant whole. If you try, you will die. You eat an elephant piece bye piece, and only eat a new bit after having digested the ones you have eaten.

I often meet this hurrying attitude when instructing. Many people are mentally whipping themselves continuously. They never think they are good enough. They always want me to push them more. But they don't need to be pushed more. They need to take time to feel. To understand the importance of movement, and how this must be trained over time. Coordination, feeling, strength or suppleness are not changed in an instant. These things must be understood, felt and trained over time, if we are to be able to perform correctly.

You may now argue that many riders are able to actually change the horse's movement in merely minutes, and the movement is correct as well. Or more correct than it was. Yes, that is true. But how many years do you think that rider has spent training? How many tears or drops of sweat has been shed to achieve that skill?

I totally agree that you also need to work hard to become good. But you also need to understand that it will take time. It will take years of effort, training, stretching, crying, laughing, and lots and lots of learning frustration.

In the middle of all this, I often find it necessary to repeat myself: "I've got time!!" I am paid to remind you what to do to get there. I don't care if it takes a minute, a day or a year. Some things are just difficult to get through. Some things are just stuck. Mentally or physically. But I have time.

Don't walk around the problem. It will come back and bite you in the neck.

And don't think you can trick train the horse to get around the problem. Some people say they can prove that the horse will learn faster if it is rewarded with food. Of course the horse will learn faster with trick training. The problem is, we don't want the horse to learn tricks. We want the horse to learn how to move and how to train well. Those are different things.

Do you think you could go down a downhill skiing slope faster if you got a chocolate for it? Or get more muscle mass if someone promised you cake after training? You may be motivated to train more if you got paid, but research says otherwise. You get more motivated in the beginning, but if you are paid too much too early, but will lose interest in the sport itself, because it is no longer the sport that interests you, but the money. Or the chocolate.

And nobody got better just because they got rewarded. You must also train well. If you train well, you will get motivated by the things you manage to do. It is fun to become better at things. It is rewarding to become stronger!

It is impossible to feel this effect if you don't give yourself time. How can the horse know that training gives self confidence, strength, respect in the herd, and general health if you don't show him over time? If the only thing you think of is the immediate result?

Also: If you don't have confidence that time and faithful effort over time will bring change, and think that immediate results and flawlessness are the only respectable things to show your peers, what will the horse feel? Your bad confidence will rub off on the horse.

Does this mean that you should waste your time?

Of course not. Idling around and avoiding the challenges have never gotten anyone anywhere either. You have time, but no time to waste. Hurry up, get out there and train!


Paradox is a pointer telling you to look beyond it. If paradoxes bother you, that betrays your deep desire for absolutes. The relativist treats a paradox merely as interesting, perhaps amusing or even, dreadful thought, educational.

Frank Herbert.

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