Sometimes when working with horses we can do everything right but there is no quick result. When this happens it’s very easy to doubt yourself, to change your approach or even get frustrated. But sometimes it’s as simple as all it takes is time.
This is an important part of horse training but is easily overlooked.
We live in a world where instant results are always available to us, and that makes us expect instant results all the time. Everything needs to be fast. Everything needs to be right there. When we post a picture on social media we expect to get likes right away. When we send a message, we can stress ourselves out if it isn’t answered fast enough. Our world is training us to be less patient. While patience is something so important to have, we need patience to learn new skills, we need patience to build relationships with people and with horses.
When we scroll through our social media feeds, we are always confronted with end results. We continuously see videos or pictures of people showing their skills. We rarely see the journey. We almost never see their road towards this end result. When we want to learn something new, we look at people who are already skilled in what we want to learn. And of course that makes sense. But we need to never forget that every person skilled at something has been through years of practice, years of ups and downs, they had their journey. Because when we forget about that, learning a new skill can be frustrating or can cause us to doubt ourselves. And those negative emotions can cause us to quit or give up easily.
What we’ve learned from working with traumatized horses is that it takes time. We are doing everything right, but we need to show them there is consistency. We need to show up and be there day after day. It takes time to earn their trust. Instead of getting frustrated or start to doubt ourselves we need stay present and enjoy the journey. Keep our eyes open to see the small and subtle changes, and when the small changes start to show up, we need be able to enjoy those.
And we can translate this into our relationships with people. Trust isn’t there in a day. A true connection isn’t built in a week. Building a good relationship of any kind takes time. It’s a journey with ups and downs. And if we accept that, we can find so many moments along the way that will bring us joy.
We need to realize that some things simply take time. Learning a new skill takes time. Building trust and a relationship takes time. With horses and with people. When we accept this, we can go back to enjoying the journey. When we accept this, we can let go of self-doubt and frustration and we can celebrate so many little moments of joy along the way. In a world of quick fixes and instant results we need to find a way to keep training ourselves to be patient. Because when we run into situations where all it needs is time, we need to be patient.