Don Jessop Mastery Horsemanship

You don't have to be Perfect. I'm not!

July 31, 2017 6 Comments

You don't have to be perfect. I'm not! Don Jessop

The fact is... It's impossible to be perfect by everyone's standards. So just forget about trying to be perfect and move on. 

It's often easier to criticize than it is to compliment. Take the picture below, for instance.

Can you see what's wrong with this picture?

Look closely. Although there are many fun, beautiful elements of this photo, many riders can, and will, find the faults. My elbows are out, instead of in. My horses front legs aren't together. My legs are too long. I'm not in the correct saddle for jumping. I should be wearing a bullet proof vest. The power lines upset the picture. The lighting is wrong. The list goes on and on.

In the horse industry, no matter what you do, or how good you get, you will always have critics. It's part of the world we live in. Even the best of the best, or what I call Masters in the industry, face enormous amounts of criticism. These are men and women who can do just about anything with horses. They seem to have the "Midas touch" with animals. Everything they do gets better. Every challenge they meet dissolves. But the reality is, the moment I point one of these Masters out, a flock of critics will come to my side with mind boggling comments.

"His horse isn't on the vertical." They say.
"Riding on a loose rein is dangerous." They say.
"My favorite trainer is better than your favorite trainer." They say.
"Western is better that English." They say.
The list goes on.

The point is... These comments are unavoidable. They are part of the normal checks and balance system of our social structure. The first time I realized how important it is to let go of negative comments and just move on in the direction of my own dreams, was years ago. I looked up a young singer on Youtube named Justin Bieber.

At the bottom of the video, there we're hundreds of mixed comments. Nearly half, were negative. People hate Justin Bieber. Yet, some people love Justin Bieber. He had over one million views and nearly four hundred thousand dis-likes on the video. Did it stop him? No! Is he the perfect human? No! Do you like him? It doesn't matter. What matters, is that he has guts. He's not the only one, either. Look at any top level actor, business person, athlete, or performer of any kind. They all have their critics. Yet, somehow, they all keep going! It's a rare, but powerful quality. It's a quality worth practicing. When I saw the harsh reality of negative mixed with positive, I realized, I couldn't let my life be dictated by people who frown on what I do.

When I saw the harsh reality of negative mixed with positive, I realized, I couldn't let my life be dictated by people who frown on what I do.

You can't avoid negative comments. Even if you're the best of the best. So let them go, and move on. Don't let negative comments about you, or about your horse, or about your training style, deter you from making progress. Don't let other peoples' voices keep you from venturing out. Don't get stuck inside your own mind, replaying the mentions of people who don't agree with you. You can shine! You can shine in spite of what others think about you. 

Recently I wrote an article that generated nearly thirty thousand views in less than three days. I had overwhelming positive comments streaming in about it, all day, each day, and for weeks to follow. Along with the positive, however, came the negative. Some folks didn't like my tone, or my grammar errors. Others, didn't like my picture. Many didn't like my approach. Some, noticed how I left out critical information about their own styles of horsemanship. 

See what I mean? You can't be perfect for everyone. So stop trying to be perfect for everyone. Let the world around you happen. Let the parts you can't control, go. Focus on what you can control. Follow your dreams. Become a leader! (you can buy the book that everyone is talking about - Leadership and Horses - by clicking the link)

"Lead, and they will follow!"

Don't let a little comment knock you back a decade, or even a day.

The only caveat I have in regards to this blog post is this. If someone says you are being abusive with your horse. Take the time to test if what they say has some truth. They may be wrong, but at least, take a look. The horse industry is riddled with people who just don't see the horse for what it is. They ride and train with confidence, but without sincere understanding of the horses condition in our world. Don't be one of those people. Be the kind of person that values the horse's experience.

Other than real abuse cases, let all the negative comments flow right over your head and back into outer space. You are more powerful than you think and... you don't have to be perfect. 

Be a leader!

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6 Responses

Kathleen Glielmi
Kathleen Glielmi

August 07, 2017

the back seat, side line critics always have negative things to say. I decided to ignore those comments and confidence crushers a long time ago. I always figured, “let them ride a mile in my saddle” A few did and found out that the easy ride on my horses was anything but. You have to believe in yourself, your horse and a good teacher. Your horse is your friend, your partner AND your teacher. No one can humble you faster than your horse and no one can cover your bloops better then your horse. Have enough confidence in what you know and how you would like your horse to respond, but always listen to how your horse responds I remind my students to remember how a horse can feel a fly anywhere on their body, meaning that you should always use your aides at the lowest levels possible; teach your horse to move on the lightest aides possible. If your horse is happy working with you, no one can say anything that will crush your confidence or hurt your feelings.

Marilee
Marilee

August 01, 2017

Your articles are amazing. The topic is always something vitally important to life not just to horsemanship. I am sharing with many friends who may not know you. Thank you for all you continue to do to help me be a better person and a better partner for my horse.

Deborah
Deborah

August 01, 2017

Other than the elbows, the picture is beautiful. Actually, even with the elbows out,it’s a beautiful picture. I hope to one day be able to do some small jumps. Thank you for this article. I am someone who struggles with critics and words. Thank you for yours that incourage and inspire.

Melody Orso
Melody Orso

August 01, 2017

I enjoyed this article. Being pleased with myself takes the pressure off of us both:):):) He feels what I feel.

Mary Kay Burkart
Mary Kay Burkart

August 01, 2017

I see a genuinely happy pair enjoying each other and the beautiful day!!!

Priscilla Kovalsky
Priscilla Kovalsky

August 01, 2017

Right on the mark Don! Saving this to read everyday. Thank you for your inspiring true words of experience and wisdom!

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