Early on in my blogs I shared this story…
Usache (my horse) and I began showing competitively in early 2008. For the first few shows we (okay, me) were thrilled just to be there. After our third outing came the wake-up call. We had an okay showing but it was obvious there were some skills yet to be learned by me and some teambuilding for the two of us. Usually the Sunday night after a show I am wiped out, but this time I could not sleep.
What I had yet to learn at that time, and am still working on I am sure, is that natural talent is not enough to get you where you want to be. My horse is naturally talented, physically built for dressage, and he delights in performing. Yet in those early years, natural talent masked some of the things he and I still had to learn and develop. We wouldn’t recognize this until we encountered failure, such as that described above.
In dressage, we talk about “push-button” horses. Those so well-trained that the appropriate cue, or sometimes just thinking what you want, generates the appropriate reaction from the horse. While it appears beautiful and easy in the show ring, it requires years of diligent practice.
Fast forward nine years later and you find Usache and me still training, developing, taking lessons (don’t you know how to ride by now?) and practicing the discipline of working on our skills several days per week. It is not enough to know your talents. You must invest in them to make them strengths to help you succeed as well as bring out the best in others, whether people or horses. The lure of natural talent can keep you from taking the other steps necessary for success, in life and in the show ring.[You can read the entirety of the blog referenced above here. What differences do you notice? Which one speaks to you? Share with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.