If you talk to any good horse trainer about how they got to where they are, they’ll admit they’ve made some mistakes along the way. And if they’re worth their salt, they’ll probably tell you that the lessons they learned making those mistakes were invaluable .
I often tell my Academy students, “If you haven’t wrecked a couple of horses, you haven’t tried hard enough.” What I mean by that is when you’re first learning, you sometimes try so hard to succeed you might over train a horse and push the limits too far. The first horse you train using the Method is like the sacrificial lamb. You’re going to make mistakes; expect it. But hopefully, you learn from those mistakes and don’t make them with your next horse.
What often bothers me most is when people let the fear of making a mistake hold them back from becoming a better horseman. People often ask me, “Clinton I have this really nice horse and I don’t want to wreck him,” or “I’m afraid I’ll make a mistake and won’t do right by this horse,” or “I don’t know the Method well yet and I’m afraid of confusing the horse.”
Mistakes are a normal part of the learning process. As long as you’re working with your horse and trying new things, I guarantee you’ll make a mistake. The faster you can accept that, the faster you can move on and work on becoming a better horseman. Each horse you work with, you’ll get a little better.