"The superior man blames himself. The inferior man blames others." - Don Shula
How many times have you ridden your horse and not achieved the results you wanted?
You automatically run through all the possible reasons, and adjust accordingly:
Maybe the higher than normal winds were causing too much tension in the horse?
Was the saddle positioned too far back, or the bit not adjusted correctly?
Did you use your leg aids to support the inside rib cage?
Were your reins were too long, bumping the horse in the mouth?
Did you lean too far forward?
Was the footing too hard?
Maybe your timing was off - were you aiding when the inside hind leg was off the ground?
And it goes on and on. You challenge yourself, correct yourself, question yourself and maybe even chastise yourself. You try, persevere, develop, grow. You do improve, and your horse improves along with you.
Yet, when things go right, do you take the credit?
Or do you put it down to the horse having a good day?
In our quest for balance (not just on the kind on the back of the horse), it is essential for us to look at our achievements from both angles. Yes, when things go wrong, you are responsible to analyze/scrutinize/change what you are doing. On the other hand, when things do go right, you need to relish that feeling of fulfillment/accomplishment/growth and allow it to bolster you to new heights.
Horses have a way of making you earn your progress, but once it happens, the rewards are eternal (on all planes - physical, mental, emotional - but that is another topic). You discover that you can repeat the positive results over again, and better yet, on the next horse you ride. The time you put into this horse will reap rewards for the future - for you and your next horses.
So... take the credit - bad and good, and be sure to enjoy the ride at all times!
* Thanks to J.V. for inspiration for this post!
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