Let’s say we’ve been thinking about something we’re finding quite hard or working through a sticky spot in training.
We need a plan, we tell ourselves. And because we care, and we want to do the best thing by our horses, we sit down and make a road map, a way forward.
Maybe canter’s become a bit of an issue, so we firmly tell ourselves that every session moving forward, we’ll canter to “get over it”.
Or maybe we’ve watched an online clinic with a trainer we admire, and they tell us that a well-rounded training session always includes a certain number of elements.
We can do that, we tell ourselves. And so, we set out to make sure all those boxes are ticked.
For a moment, though, I would like you to consider this. A plan can only ever be created in response to a past event and a future imagining.
I create my plan based on my experience (the past) and I use it as a means to inform how I’m going to behave moving forward (future imaginings that aren’t yet real).
Consequently, as I arrive in the arena with my plan, I need to be aware that it has little to do with the moment in front of me.
In order that I’m responsive to my horse in THIS moment…
In order that I’m responsive to myself in THIS moment…
… I need to release my plan and allow what presents to inform my movements forward.
I need to respond to my reality, not my plan.
If reality meets my plan, then it’s there to be my guide.
But don’t be tempted to overlay your plan onto reality. It will only suction you out of the moment and into your head.
Your plan exists as one of your possibilities. Have your plan but hold it loosely in your hands.
Respond to your reality.