Welcome back! Today we’re on the second step in our journey toward better understanding our horses. (If you missed yesterday’s post, you can read it here). Today’s step is Be Curious
Being curious is vital to learning, and retaining, new information. Think of it this way: if you can’t stand golf, but your spouse watches the golf channel all the time, are you likely to learn more about it? Probably not. I don’t know about you, but being curious about something is the first step to learning about it.
We started to develop this a bit yesterday when I quizzed you on how well you know your horse. If you don’t know his vitals, or how he reacts in certain circumstances, your desire to understand him better should spark curiosity which will, in turn, spark full-fledged learning.
Once your curiosity has been piqued, there are a couple of different ways to learn:
- Direct learning – learning directly from your horse. This type of learning involves you spending time with him – groom him, lead him, pet him, ride him, observe him. Start with yesterday’s skill of being still and go from there.
- Indirect learning – learning from an outside source such as books, YouTube videos, your vet, your instructor, etc. Curiosity will serve you well in indirect learning. There is a LOT of information available, and not all of it is safe or helpful or applicable to you and your horse at this time. Be curious about the source of the information as much as the information itself. For instance, forums tend to be attract people who have strong opinions on how things should be done, and they’re not afraid to share them. Just because they’re vehement, doesn’t mean they’re right. Which brings me to the third kind of learning.
- Discernment. Might does not always equal right, especially when it concerns the health and safety of you or your horse. If you read something online, is it written by a vet or a reputable trainer? If you’re watching a YouTube video, is the information being presented in a professional manner?
Any time you feel uncomfortable during an indirect learning situation, either about the way the horse is being handled or the amount of drama in the video, listen to your instincts. I’m not saying those people are wrong, just that they may be wrong for you and your horse where you are right now.
Curiosity is a great starting place for learning. Be curious about what your horse is telling you and see where it leads.
Tomorrow – step 3 is Be Patient.
See you there!