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Don Jessop

The horse lovers I know, grow older and wiser in all the best ways. But occasionally I hear someone say they're getting too old for working with horses.

This is where I encourage better language patterns. The phrase "getting too old," simply isn't valid. You're never too old. It's possible you're just repeating what your parents said once. It's possible you're excusing yourself because you aren't enjoying it anymore and you're burning out. It's also possible you're doing it wrong, making what you love, something you don't love anymore.

With horses, doing it wrong is easy. We have these images promoted by outdated techniques to get a horse going quickly to the highest level. That path is hard. But it's also not necessary. Horses are supposed to be fun. AND... horses are supposed to have fun. Putting pressure to be perfect early, is simply too much pressure and can easily cause burnout.

I want to be 100 years old and still riding, or still enjoying horses at the speed I can work at. But I know it's possible because I know a simple truth. Even the most difficult, dangerous tasks can be broken into smaller, bite size chunks. A colt doesn't have to be started in a month. It can take place over two years or longer. A bucking horse doesn't have to be ridden out, they can be guided to better behavior over time with more positive reinforcement.

The point is, if you're in a hurry to get things done, you're rushing, and life's no fun. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy what's right in front of you. Embrace the hard task you're in and stop wasting your mental energy on what comes next. Or... what you wish would come next.

Recently I worked for 2 hours helping a young horse accept needles and vet work. I never got frustrated. Never built up expectations of being done with it. Never wanted to be anywhere else. Because I knew it would work, even if I had to spread the work over days or weeks, or months. What's the point of rushing? We don't want our horses to be impulsive and rushing about. So how about we stop doing that ourselves? And in the middle of it all, we might just find we aren't too old for anything.

Life is grand.

Please like, comment, and subscribe. Thanks, and enjoy! Don

Don Jessop - Blog Welcome

Hi! I'm Don Jessop

With Mastery Horsemanship

I write to inspire, educate and encourage you on your horse and personal journey.

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