I was late to the mechanic today. My car was booked in at 8am sharp, and I rolled in the driveway at 8.05.
Many may read this and think that ‘5 minutes’ doesn’t really matter, and I guess 100 years from now it won’t. It did however get me to thinking about something my mentor said to me many years ago.
I was attending his clinic, and I was already ready to go in the arena, like many others. It was about 8.55am for a 9am start and I was chuckling about one of my fellow attendees who was ‘faffing about’ still brushing her horse and saddling up. I said “I don’t think she is going to make it” as I saw his gaze cross over to her. “You watch how it reflects in her horsemanship” he said - and then he had my full attention.
I must have looked at him with a quizzical expression because he went on to say “it’s true. If you watch the people that are late, then watch them with their horses and you will see it makes a difference”.
Over the years I have learnt that there are many areas where this is reflected.
Rushing. Usually when you are running late you have a ‘hustle’ in your movements. This is picked up on by the horse and can translate into confusion in aids and a general air of anxiety in your interactions.
‘Good enough’. If you thought that 5 minutes wasn’t really a big deal, this can translate into a ‘good enough’ attitude. “Oh he did the movement, it wasn’t perfect, but it was ‘good enough’. Good enough is the enemy of excellence.
Loss of training and learning time. Every 5 minutes is 5 minutes you could have learned something, trained something or taught something. Did you know that if you miss 5 minutes per day on a 5 day week, over the year that is 21 hours of training!
It would be remiss of me to not mention the impact to others. Turning up late to a clinic or lesson is not only disrespectful to your coach who has made the effort to be on time, but is disruptive to your fellow students.
Back to my being late to the mechanic. I had allowed 1.5 hours to get there, and it is usually about an hours drive, however certain things happened at home which caused me to get on the road late. At 7.55am I was still all set for being on time, but then was caught in roadworks just before the mechanics shop. This caused a delay of 10 minutes. I could ‘blame’ the roadworks, but at the end of the day preparation is not about leaving 45 minutes before your appointment when you know a ‘good run’ gets you there in 45 minutes. It’s about leaving an hour or an hour and 15 minutes before to have time for any ‘unexpected’ issues.
As we practice this preparation in our day to day life, it is reflected in the quality of our horsemanship.
July 30 & 31 - Liberty clinic, Port Macquarie NSW
August 18 - 27 Cadillac horse course 10 days, Glenreagh
September 3 & 4 - Connection & Self Carriage - Gold Coast hinterland
September 3 & 4 - Cowboy Dressage Wauchope
Shine by CEN Horse Nutrition