Lesson Six

Is it really this easy?

This morning I saw an article in the Vancouver Sun about Jim Pattison speaking to a group of high school students. If you don’t know him, he one of the richest businessmen in Canada. He told the students to not be afraid of failure. I’m don’t know about you but I don’t find someone telling me to NOT be afraid of anything to be very helpful. I have never found this type of pie in the sky kind of advice something I’d refer to say…when I’m actually failing at something. Who in a failure situation thinks they aren’t afraid? I think it’s more like knowing when to modify, abandon, or get advice.

I thought about this afraid of failing idea when I lunged Nootka this morning. She still isn’t balanced when she canters 20 meter circles around me on the lunge line. So when she starts cantering she wants to go back to the trot. She thinks she is going to fail (be out of balance) at cantering that size circle.  I figure that I have a few options to show her that she can do it. I decide to make the circle bigger and get her into a corner of the ring that naturally bends. Then I ask her to canter. As soon as she starts to go back to the trot, I gesture keep going with the whip and she gives it a shot. She canters one circle very well and I stop to give her a ‘that a girl’ pat and change directions.

The lesson is:

So what if you are afraid to fail. Just say you are afraid and figure out how to modify, abandon, or get advice from someone.


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