Chose to Be a Winner
By Don Blazer
In some ways, life with horses isn’t fair.
We don’t all have the same physical characteristics and athletic abilities. We don’t all have the talent and feel that makes a connection with horses so natural for some. We don’t all see “success” with horses as the same thing.
What we all do have, however, is the ability to make choices, and then to take action, and that levels the playing field.
The first choice to make is what you’ll do with horses, and that choice ought to be based on what you love most doing. You certainly don’t have to show horses to be a winner. You can be a winner at breeding horses, grooming horses, riding horses, selling horses, caring for horses, teaching others about horses, photographing horses or writing about horses.
Our choices make us winners or losers. Our choices determine how we got where we are and if we’ll improve, remain static or get worse.
Once you know what you want to do with horses, you can make the choice of setting goals to achieve, or just drifting along with the flow.
Those who achieve have a set of personality traits usually much different from those who drift along.
Winners tend to be positive….not Polyannish (thinking that if they have nothing but good thoughts all will turn out fine), but positive in terms of acting to reach goals. Some actions will advance them toward goals, some will be setbacks, but winners use the lessons of their actions to make their next attempts more fruitful.
Winners seek knowledge. Winners know that no matter how much they know about a specific horse subject, they can always learn more. And there is no shortage of very smart, clever, talented horsemen and women willing to share what they’ve learned. You may have to pay for the information in the form school tuition, books, videos or internships, but there is a price for everything. The price of failure is much higher than the cost of learning. And free advice is worth what you paid….nothing.
Winners are complimentary, while losers are generally critical and complaining.
Losers work to perpetuate the belief success in the horse world depends on how much money you spend or how politically “in” you happen to be. Nothing could be further from the truth. Success in the horse world comes from “attitude, determination and hard work.”
There is no easy road to horse-world success. And that’s the problem for losers; it’s much easier to tell you all the things that are wrong with the activity you’ve chosen than it is to put in the hours of study, practice and application it takes to succeed.
When you hear someone complaining about horses and horse events you can be sure of two things…they are talking instead of acting, and they aren’t winning at the event they are criticizing.
Winners compliment other winners and seek out their knowledge. They watch, they learn, they associate, and they help where they can. Success rubs off, so surround yourself with the successes in your field.
Winners have control over their emotions. They make their choices after careful analysis of the problems. Often times the error or weakness is directly associated with something they are doing. If that is the case, they get help correcting it. If the problem stems from a lack of knowledge or understanding, the get help. If the problem exists simply because they haven’t dedicated the time and effort needed to master the skill, they work harder.
Setbacks are teachers for winners; setbacks are a reason to quit for losers.
You may not be blessed with the greatest of talent, but in the horse world you can make choices and that means you can win. For a guide to making the correct choice, use this standard…..does this benefit my horse? Does this choice benefit others?