Welcome to my blog about horsey life in the North East - the good bits, bad bits, endless coffees and plenty of mud!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Start the real learning

I've discovered a whole lot of horsey blogs lately - there's gold out there if you look.

One is called Eight horses one winter and is written by Tom Widdicombe. Tom now has a new blog (there's a link on the home page) but there are still many posts very much worth reading through on the original.

In an interview where he discusses his decision to stop giving lessons, he said:

"Well, I think the teacher/student thing can really prevent the freedom that you as a person need to learn. I get tired of people relying on their teacher. How many times have I heard people say, ‘Ah I must ask so and so about that’. I just want to say, ‘For gods sake, get yourself to the point where you can work it out for yourself. Get to the point where you aren’t scared of making mistakes and learning from them. Get beyond needing the security of a teacher to look after you. Then you will start to learn for yourself. You’ll start the real learning’.

This strikes a chord with me. Myself and horses can do well in lessons but are only just beginning to recreate the same results when it's just the two of us again.

I now try to have my lessons a fortnight or more apart and the aim is to really work hard on the advice given. I've failed if the instructor has to come back and teach exactly the same lesson. It means I haven't taken what they've said and used it or worked through it. I'd rather try and throw up new problems than hide behind my 'usual suspects'.

It's taken me a long time to get to this point. When I first had Cady I relied on lessons because I was frightened of what might happen if there was no one there to look after me. It was an important phase to work through and I'm at the point now where I get on with only about 5 per cent trepidation. I would like this to become 0 this summer.

* I've finished reading Horses Never Lie, by Mark Rashid, and highly recommend it. It's a book about where the right attitude can take you and I can see myself re-reading it many times.


  1. I really like Tom and his attitude towards things. I'm just at the stage he's talking about where I've started to be able to deal with things myself - not always perfectly, but that's OK. I also love Mark's books - in fact I've been riding with him on and off for about 10 years now.

  2. Hi Kate, thanks for commenting! Are you the author of 'A year with horses' by any chance? If so you'll see I've been singing your praises :) I bought one of Mark's books from reading your blog. It must be amazing to work with him, what a brilliant experience. I cannot explain how grateful I am for you, Tom and Mark and anyone else who shares this knowledge. It is priceless. Thank you!