Counterintuitive Series #7:
Love My Mistakes? No Way!

Hello, my Friends!

This is our seventh episode in our counterintuitive series – those basic things in our riding that are important to do, but they’re so easy to forget – and easy to think they don’t carry that much weight.

The first six topics in our series were about:

  • The power of intention and how that sets us up for a positive experience with a clear focus
  • The amazing impact of keeping our eyes up to ensure direction and focus
  • How breathing can transform a ride for the better in literally one breath
  • Feeling your horse move beneath you by focusing on your seat bones
  • Using your seat and legs first before your hands
  • Having the patience to complete the tiny-step sequences in all maneuvers

But most often with all these counterintuitive elements, our natural tendency is to do exactly the opposite! That’s the interesting part to me.

Our seventh topic in this video is all about the challenge of not only getting comfortable with making mistakes, but actually looking for them as the golden keys to your most efficient progress.


It’s been raining a lot this week in Texas, so our arena is too wet to ride in, and the pastures are a bit too slick. So Nic is enjoying munching on green grass all day, and he’s not with me here.

In this video, I’m going to talk about how we naturally resist making mistakes.

UGH! We’d rather take a beating than watch a video of a not-so-great run! And even if the run’s pretty good, we cringe just watching ourselves. We all tend to be that way – a little over the top critical of ourselves. Does this saddle make my backside look big? Ha!

It’s totally counterintuitive to love mistakes. But research shows that when we take a microscopic exam of our run and discover those places where the mistake just began to happen that is the place we should correct and practice next until it becomes second nature.

And this is the process whether you’re just beginning or you’re a master at your kind of sport. The formula is the same. Study your ride; look for the first sign of the inconsistency; practice replacing the correct skill.

And there are two components to this. One is technical, and the other manages your energy through what you do with your thoughts and body.

So look for both. Do you need to understand better how to hold the reins or use your feet? That would be a technical skill. And is the error exaggerated by getting nervous about it?

Love digging deep into those mistakes. They hold the golden keys to your progress.

Please leave a comment for me. I know it’s counterintuitive to love those mistakes. The key is finding the correct correction!

I look forward to hearing from you.

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8 Comments on Counterintuitive Series #7:
Love My Mistakes? No Way!

  1. Donna Hinze on Sun, 23rd May 2021 1:46 pm
  2. I have tried to find the moment the mistake starts but I’m having trouble with that. I example I’d picking the cow that is running away which is bad every time. I’m not sure if the mistake is tunnel vision, or getting anxious as I’m down to the last few cows or what. But my last show I did it 3 times!

  3. Jaime Brown on Sun, 23rd May 2021 1:57 pm
  4. This is great. I am getting better at focusing on riding and guiding and to talk myself into a calm and accepting state. It’s so helpful to see video, as the video of my ride never a looks as bad as it felt as well as providing specific feedback on something I can do better. Thank you for sharing!!

  5. Judy on Sun, 23rd May 2021 2:03 pm
  6. Donna, so funny! I have this same problem!

  7. Judy on Sun, 23rd May 2021 2:06 pm
  8. Hi Barb,

    I agree. It’s so hard to watch my videos and not feel embarrassed about my mistakes but I also think watching my runs are so helpful to identify exactly where I went wrong. Watching my runs after watching your learning videos is very helpful.

  9. Belinda Williams on Sun, 23rd May 2021 2:57 pm
  10. Dear Barb,
    I can’t say enough how wonderful your programs are! I am working through and implementing more and more of your skills!!!! I am able to find the confidence and courage to implement more things while I am actually showing- this is a huge step for me! Looking at mistakes is so important. I LOVE that you pointed out to find the part right before the mistake!!! I love that you discussed in this session to examine both the technical and the emotional/ mental/ energy piece too!

    In my last show, Duke shyed at one part of the arena the rail pleasure class. The next day when our pattern called for us to pas that section again, before o got there I put all sorts of intention in my body, eyes and energy snd we sailed right through that spot. Later, In another part of that same ranch riding pattern I realized later that my mind went to a cautious place as we came to a section of the arena Duke sometimes shys at. We almost lost our gait, but I was able to keep the cadence.
    My question is – is there a way to set myself up mentally to NOT pull back/ get cautious/ not let the thought of Duke being worried/ affect my body and energy????? I guess it is mustering up courage but I notice my courage / intent wavers at times. I love your programs they continue to help me grow learn and connect with Duke!!!! Belinda

  11. Joanne Milton on Sun, 23rd May 2021 7:11 pm
  12. As one of the Natural Horsemen said (& I’ll be honest in that I don’t remember which one, but these are not MY words)…”It’s not what happened, but what happened BEFORE what happened happened!”

  13. Laura L Musemeche-Yarbrough on Mon, 24th May 2021 8:13 am
  14. Mistakes and watching videos keep me honest in the saddle.

    Absorb the good stuff and see where the mistakes begin have really forced me to be present when riding.

  15. Lesta Conger on Tue, 25th May 2021 10:19 am
  16. Thanks ! I have trouble using my legs and I get nervous. This helped.

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