Well I say never! You never stop learning and you always can learn from someone new.
Now whether it is a formal lesson or not it doesn’t matter it is still a lesson and you will still learn from it!
“You don’t know what you don’t know.”
I am amazed how much I learn from my horses every day. Each day is a lesson in learning and I learn from my students as well, equine and humans. I’m still amazed at the stuff I learn when I talk with other horse people. It can be about saddle fit, brushes grooming tools or specific training techniques, as simple as holding your reins a certain way.
I discovered long ago I have a lot to offer as far as horse training goes but I also know I can still learn. If I can learn one thing, one small tip, I will improve on my horse sense.
You can learn from watching, listening, doing and being. You do not ALWAYS have to be sitting on the horse, in a formal lesson, in an arena. You can be in a stall, watching, listening being a part of what is going on.
The important thing is to be engaged, listening and open to new, and possibly new ideas.
This was certainly true for me, after many years of being told to:
Use your seat
Push with your seat
It made no sense to me to drive my young horse’s back down. So rather than driving down a friend of mine said to me one time, one ride, on one horse:
Sit up, and allow the horse’s back to come up to great you!
This is when the light bulb moment went on. This made sense to me. Lighten your weight into the saddle and allow the horse’s back to come up to great you.
Since then, I have been asking riders to lighten their horse’s back so it can round up and be used correctly. I often get stunned glances from seasoned riders who say to me, “I thought I was supposed to push with my seat”.
Yes using your seat is correct BUT pushing down on your young horse’s back is no way to encourage it to raise it’s back up. And once you get to the advanced collection portion of your training, then yes, by all means your horse IS strong enough to carry itself and you!
Your horse can only bring up its head onto the bit, and use its back correctly if it is strong through his topline. The way to strengthen the topline is by allowing it to free up his back and round his back up. This requires a systematic program which begins at the beginning with allowing the horse total freedom of his back and using himself correctly.
Take a look at this fantastic video:
So I challenge you to open your eyes, open your ears, and be engaged with your horse and those around you. New ideas -to you – are the foundation of proven techniques to others.
We all can learn and when we continue to learn, we improve ourselves everyday.