There are no secret tips and shortcuts to becoming an expert in horse training. Becoming an expert takes hard work, focus and an unremitting dedication.
Instead of looking for secrets, concentrate on the three effective roles of an expert to become the best expert you can be, which are:
- Researcher: An expert knows what everyone else is doing and what's working.
- Resultmaker: An expert has been there, done that.
- Reporter: An expert reveals his knowledge and can give great advice, ‘how to’ information and strategies that really serve others
This article explains these three expert roles and will give you tips, strategies and ways to improve yourself as an expert in training horses.
But also if you are looking for an expert in your field, this article might be helpful in making a choice.
Role #1: Researcher
“Experts are always students first.”
The first role of an expert is the role of researcher. A true expert will always be a forever student and will be a researcher for life.
Theory is one of the most important necessities for the attainment of perfection and expertise:
“Without the theory, the practice will always be uncertain” according to François Robichon de La Guérinière (1688–1751).“In order to attain excellence in this art, it is necessary to be prepared for the difficulties encountered in the practice by a clear and firm theory.”
Thought must precede action. Would-be horse trainers who just jump into training without learning about why-what-when-how, will practice without the results they are looking for. Training a horse without a plan is like building a house without a blueprint. 'Something' will go up, but it won’t look good or stay up.
Think first, act later.
Theory teaches to base the work with horses on sound principles and sets the horse trainer up for more chance of success in practice.
8 Tips for doing Research
As a researcher you learn what other experts are talking about and what everybody else is doing that seems to work or not. And that is one of the most valuable things you can learn:
- Study every book on your topic
- Watch every dvd and online video
- Do online research, the internet is a huge collection of information
- Pay attention to other experts in your field and figure out what are other experts are saying
- Go to every clinic or seminar, take classes, join (online) courses
- Choose a role model and read/watch everything so you can learn from his/her experience. Role models are important. They help us become the person we want to be and inspire us to make a difference.
- Be a witness, not a judge. Experts come in all shapes and sizes and they all have something that appeals to you and something that doesn’t appeal to you. Simply get the best out of everyone and let out what you can’t use. Focus on what is good; don't emulate what is bad.
Role #2: Resultmaker
‘’Practice is the master of all things." - Julius Caesar, Roman Emperor (101-44 BC)
There’s a balance between learning and doing. If you’ve been mostly learning, it’s probably time to start doing. All the reading and researching you can possibly do won’t help you actually develop a horse or rider and it won’t help to build muscle on a horse, which brings us to role #2.
A true expert needs to have both knowledge (book learning) and experience (real-world practice). As an expert, you have to speak from experience to be credible and reliable!
Practice gives us the ability to apply what we have learned in theory.
But remember: the only place where results comes before work is in the dictionary.
“Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.” ~ Hamilton Holt
Expertise is based on effort, not luck. You have to put in many tiny efforts before you achieve anything worthwhile. Expertise is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. There is no elevator to expertise. You have to take the stairs and then go the extra mile.
9 Strategies to Achieve Results
- 1. Decide what you want, take action, notice what’s working or not, look at the consequences, learn from them, change your approach until you achieve what you want. Repeat this day in and day out.
- 2. To become an expert, it is advisable to train 3 or 4 horses daily.
- 3. Find the time, take the time, make the time.
- 4. The best situation is, if these horses are all different. So for example an old horse, a young horse, a horse with a challenge and a talented horse. This way you will gain experience on different horses.
- 5. Expertise takes time. It is good and valuable that you experience how a foal grows into a fully trained riding horse.
- 6. Only when you have coached a horse for several years will you know from the inside out what comes with the training of horses.
- 7. It is even more valuable when you can experience the life of several horses up close. The ideal set up is that you have something like four horses of - for example - 4, 8, 12 and 16 years.
- 8. Refuse to let temporary setbacks defeat you. Try, try again. Work, work harder. Make it happen. Don't quit. Don't make excuses for yourself, get results.
- 9. Find an involved instructor, mentor, coach or collegue that help you excel. You need feedback from an outsider to uncover more details and refinement.
Role #2: Reporter
"To teach is to learn twice.” - Joseph Joubert
In order to learn: report and teach. After you did your research and gained experience, there’s no better way to become an expert and a master than to find some riders and start teaching them. Just be honest about your skill and experience level, and you’ll find the right students for you.
And as an expert it’s important to stay at the service side and not on the selfish side. Your expertise is not just about you. It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives. It’s about contributing to other riders and adding value to other rider’s lives and the lives of horses. It’s about adding your piece of the puzzle to the world.
As a reporter:
- You can share and transfer your knowledge to others from your own research and results.
- Sharing your personal path with struggles and figuering out the solution will save others time.
- Because of your practice and experience you can give great advice, ‘how to’ information and strategies that really serve others.
- Because of your experience and expertise you are able to ‘ride’ along with your students and empathize from a distance in order to give the required advice and instructions.
- As you teach and share and report about your knowledge and experience, you’ll find that the 'simple stuff' gains a new depth and richness. You’ll start to see things that you never did before.
- And as you keep learning, you’ll be able to teach more and more advanced students.
So to become an expert, start to report!
6 Ways to Report
- 1. Let your friends and neighbours know in a friendly way what you learned lately – especially if it can help them with their horse.
- 2. Write a newsletter and introduce your friends and other people to what you know.
- 3. Create a blog and start writing what you learn and report about your results.
- 4. Use social media that connects to other riders.
- 5. Share source material with other riders. When something pops up that you think will interest someone, share the link, email them or hand them a print out. Help them understand what you know.
- 6. Give lessons on a regular basis.
Looking for an expert?
Finally some tips if you are on the other end of the spectrum and are looking for an expert.
When you consult with someone who is considered an expert, make sure you’ve done your own research beforehand, and choose that ‘expert’ based on the performance of his 'roles'.
Check if this expert is:
- A researcher and a forever student with an open mind. Remember: stagnant water is motionless and spoils.
- A resultmaker who has got years of experience and good results with several horses, who 'walks the talk' and is credible and reliable.
- A reporter who reveals his/her knowledge and experience, shares ‘how to’ information and valuable strategies that really serve you.
P.s. Do you have an experience about this topic you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your story. Just add it in the comment area below.