Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Effort is YOUR responsibility.

The barn has really been buzzing these last few weeks: new school groups, preparing for horse shows, camps, lessons and more lessons.   I work a LOT at the barn (and by that I mean I have considered just sleeping there on more than one occasion), so I get to see all of these lessons and interactions.   There is one theme that has really emerged these last few weeks:   effort.

There is no point at which riding becomes "easier".   You can always sit up taller, ride or do workouts without stirrups, ride more advanced horses, improve your shoulders, work on ring management... the list goes on.   It will only be "easier" if you stop putting in the effort.   Which brings me to the main point of this post:

Effort is YOUR responsibility.  

It isn't your parent's responsibility to make you care. 
It isn't your friend's responsibility to make sure you know how much of a GREAT (or horrible) ride you had.
It isn't your horse's responsibility to mind-read.   
It isn't your trainer's responsibility to make you post on the correct diagonal, or keep your horse from breaking gait, or to push yourself and your horse to be better each day.  

It is YOUR responsibility.   

What are you doing, every single day, to ensure you are reaching your goals?   Is EVERY part of your body in sync?   Are your toes, heels, knees, thighs, hips, core, shoulder, hands, and head telling your horse to keep the gait?   If your answer is "no", don't blame the horse or someone else, or the weather, or anything else---blame it on your own lack of effort.   An instructor, parent, friend, spouse, or judge cannot make you do anything you don't want to do yourself.   

So what does effort look like?

Effort looks like showing up to your lessons on time.   It is checking your own equipment multiple times to make sure your horse is prepared for the lesson.   Effort is not taking things personally, even when your instructor is hard on you.   Effort is not expecting the "shoe-in to win" horse.   It is riding anything ad everything, and not being afraid of a challenge.  Effort is utilizing every moment of your lesson.    It is sitting up and riding correctly, even when your instructor isn't looking.   Effort is dragging yourself to the gym at 5am before you work a 6 hour shift because you have goals.   It is trying one more, two more, three more times after a failure.   It is bringing brownies to the barn after a fall and having the strength to get back on.

Effort is looking at the odds that are stacked against you and proudly declaring, "watch this."

So the next time you are faced with a challenge, remember that you can only overcome it by looking within yourself and finding the effort to tackle this obstacle.

Effort is YOUR responsibility.
No one is going to do it for you.