Vanessa Bee discusses the challenges and triumphs of the September course
‘It’s always interesting when I design and present a course that really challenges people’s perception of their horsemanship.
I believe that when this happens people fall into one of four groups:
Group 1 are people who look at the course and immediately say ‘Can’t!’
Group 2 read the course, have a go and lose confidence, the fear of getting it wrong puts them off.
Group 3 have a go at the course, adjust the criteria to suit their abilities and put in a video.
Group 4 download the course early in the month and start practicing, they may not get any further than those in group 2 or 3 but they sure are going to take a good long go at it.
Is any group wrong or better or right?
It’s just where we are at that moment in our lives, the important thing is to acknowledge that. Be interested in our reaction to this challenging course and decide if we want to change that reaction.
As John F Kennedy said:
‘There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.’
So why was that course so difficult for some people?
It wasn’t difficult for everyone because we had some very high scores even at the earlier levels.
I believe what made it tricky was the sudden change of leading position from communicating entirely with horse’s head to having to start to communicate with the whole body AND at a distance. No longer could the head be used to steer and guide, suddenly there were four feet to move around. Thinking about it, that’s how horses move each other about so they understand that, it’s us who have to learn how to do it!
So what did I learn as the designer of that course and the one who assessed the entries?
I now know need to help people experiment more with leading positions and moving feet. It’s too easy to think we are really good at something until one thing changes. It is then that we need to go back to our foundations and start building our knowledge again.’