“If you wish others to believe in you, you must first convince them that you believe in them”
– Harvey MacKay
Believe in yourself, your horse, & most of all God
Charlie is a very special fellow with his own set of idiosyncrasies.
He is very sensitive and at times that sensitivity would come out in major over reactions when he was riding and showing.
He has been shown in the past and has some success, but also has had some big blow ups as he was learning.
What you believe matters to your horse
photo by JLM Photography
Despite his World Champion bloodlines, (his father is a World Champion and his mother’s father has been on the leading sires list for years), Charlie has never been an easy ride.
He needs someone to tell him it will be all right and guide and coach him almost every step.
To go from an older, stronger rider to a 10 & under rider would be a big change.
It would be easy enough to give up on him; and because HE would never be a world champion, many others might have overlooked him or even said he was not good enough.
One of the main reasons I still own him is my fear of what would happen to him if I sold him.
Then one day Kristin’s 10 year old little girl, Kyleigh, asked if she could ride him.
He was incredible in her eyes, that little girl thought he had hung the moon. To her, he was amazing.
“OK, but you need to be careful, and ride soft”
We watched cautiously. (Now he’s not mean, just quirky.)
Mmmmm maybe, just maybe, there seemed to be a difference in his eye.
She loped him all around the arena, round and round, back and forth.
A team was coming together.
And a dream was forming. Kyleigh wanted to show him.
As if to mimic what she believed and felt about him, Charlie stepped up and rose to the plate on the day of the horse show.
Charlie & Kyleigh
photo by JLM Photography
He had every excuse to be nervous or get scared as the weather and rain were horrible.
Because of the weather, the covered arena was cut in thirds. A little part for warm up and waiting to show, a section for rail classes and a section for trail.
It was crazy in there! Two of our Spur On Farm show team horses headed back to the barn not accepting all the chaos.
I stood back a bit from Charlie so he wouldn’t feel my anxiety and let Kristin do the coaching.
Ten year old Kyleigh believed Charlie would be amazing.
She did not expect him to be nervous or jumpy or act up.
She expected him to go around and ride like she wanted him to.
If anything, she under rode him, and would not ever pick up her hand to guide or control.
She let him take her around, and that is exactly what he did. He did what she expected of him, and met her at the level she expected him to be at.
If she had believed he would be bad or get nervous, being a sensitive horse, he might have met that expectation instead.
Our Expectations are often reflected back to us in people and our horses Our Beliefs are often reflected back to us in people and our horses.
We can expect our horse to not go, and he won’t.
If we believe and expect our horse to spook, he will.
OR, we can expect greatness, believe we will get greatness and we will get it.
A great trainer Kristin worked for told her once, when looking at a client’s horse,
“Who am I to ruin their dreams. If they think that horse is a world champion then who knows, maybe one day it will be. But that is not for me to decide. It is for me to make that horse the very best that it can be, period.”
It is important to the horse that in the eyes of their rider they are special and able to accomplish what they are asked.
(Sometimes we also get things we are not expecting, but that is a story for another day!)
Charlie and Kyleigh DeLibero had a super successful day at that horse show. They were the Limited 10 & Under Western High point for the show with two big wins in the Limited 18 & Under Trail and the All Age In Hand Trail Class.
Your horse knows what you believe about him and what you are expecting.
Photo by JLM Photography
They know what we are feeling, thinking and believe.
To them, that is all that matters, they don’t care about a title or ribbon or points.
A horse only cares about what they connect to in your heart.
After life beats us up a bit, it is hard to believe with the faith of a little child.
I admit, I wasn’t sure what Charlie would do that day. I have seen and experienced first hand, what he does when he is upset! Did my own feelings of not knowing if he was “good enough” cause some of those insecurities?? Some of my own insecurity reflecting in a horse that I raised. Geez I hope not, but it does deserve some deep thought.
If horse lessons are life lessons – and we believe with all our heart that they are – the lesson here is:
we must pay close attention to what we believe and what we expect, because as our horses are teaching us, it makes a BIG difference.
And the deeper lesson is this:
if your faith and expectations can produce such a profound change in your horses, how much more important is your belief in yourself and most significantly important your belief in God or the universe?