In the horse world, peoples biggest mistake when trying to teach their horse something new, is usually forgetting to reward.
We ask for a step. The horse gives the step! Then, instead of rewarding that step, of making a big deal out of how good they did in giving us what we want, or even instead of just acknowledging that they did what we wanted, we ask for more. We always have our sights set higher. We want more. We want better. We want perfection.
The way to perfection is never in seeking perfection. Instead the way to perfection is in the little steps.
If we could find the good, no matter how small and acknowledge it, that’s all it takes to change the world. And to teach our horses to do better of course.
Think how much further this reaches, well beyond our horse training.
We do the same thing to people all the time. Oh, you did good. That’s nice. I want better! I expect perfection from you every time, from the very beginning.
Your husband cooked super? That’s nice. But he didn’t cook your favorite, he over cooked it a little, it isn’t perfect. So we complain. Then we complain more when he never offers again.
Your child cleaned their room? That’s nice. But they didn’t get that corner. The floor isn’t clean enough. We want better. So we complain then we complain more when they don’t offer to clean again.
Outside of our immediate families this is just as true. Society demands a behavior. People being people are going about doing their best. They have to survive. They have their own things going on. They are not perfect. Their behavior isn’t perfect. So what does society do? Does anyone reward for the tries? Does anyone care about the attempts to do better? Or Does the world at large complain that nothing is good enough? Always demanding more and more.
That sort of punishment will stop a horse from ever offering what you are looking for. It will stop a husband from trying. It will stop a child from offering. It will stop the world from caring.
Remember to reward the tries.
- Head Down, From A Distance
- Head Down From A Distance, Rusty