treasures of puzzle pieces

We did some fun things this week in our Core Confidence class.

The topic came up about how challenging it is to learn to do whatever it is that you want to do with your horse… either on the ground… in the saddle… maybe showing in a performance sport.


Heh, it’s Barb.

We did some fun things this week in our Core Confidence class.

The topic came up about how challenging it is to learn to do whatever it is that you want to do with your horse… either on the ground… in the saddle… maybe showing in a performance sport.

It’s not uncommon to feel:

  • I should be further along by now.
  • I don’t know how to get the information I need.
  • I’m stuck.

I have a perspective to share that I’ve thought about for a long time. I hope this visual helps you.

There are many elements to learning to ride:

  • You
  • Your horse
  • Whatever it is that you want to do now with your horse

You are the leader of your horse. By that I mean you are the one who determines what it is that you want to do… whether you’re training or showing, or going down the trail.

As that leader, you/we have to really understand our horses and understand what makes them comfortable and what makes them uncomfortable… what motivates them… how to arrange our cues so they respond.

These things fall in the general category of horsemanship.

And then there are specific things about your discipline that need to be learned.

Those things are all about the horse. Horsemanship and discipline-specific skills have a lot of pieces. There are a lot of sub-topics involved.

And then there’s YOU… and by that I mean:

  • Your riding abilities
  • Seat
  • Balance
  • Cueing
  • Knowledge of your sport/discipline

There are A LOT of pieces to learn about what you need to do, too.

I see it as our job as a rider to be like a treasure hunter for all of these pieces of the puzzle.

Instead of feeling that we should be further along by now or have any kind of comparison to someone else, we can focus on our own story. Things always change (just look at COVID).

Your journey and your joy are all according to your own scorecard.

Therefore, it comes down to acquiring those gems… those little diamond-like puzzle pieces all along the way on your own road.

You can view learning to ride to be like gathering pieces of a puzzle.

There’s no one physical trainer to take lessons from who can teach you all of the pieces in-depth. There’s no one online trainer. There is no one person who has all of those pieces you need. So, you are the one who gathers the pieces according to what resonates with you.

See your journey with your horse as gathering puzzle pieces. Each day you learn something new, you can celebrate gaining a new puzzle piece. See your puzzle as coming together.

Yes, you are still going to be looking for more puzzle pieces, but they always have a way of showing up in their own time and in ways you could never have designed on your own.

I encourage you to be a treasure hunter. Look for those puzzle pieces. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself.

Have a great week.

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7 Comments on treasures of puzzle pieces

  1. Terry Coley on Sun, 9th Aug 2020 3:00 pm
  2. Thank you, Barb!! I am recuperating from a major illness and on top of that, I came down with Covid. I am getting my strength back and starting to feel like riding again. Sometimes I beat myself up with succumbing to the fear of throwing my leg over the back of a horse. But now I realize that those little pieces to the puzzle are showing up and I just have to find the rest and put them together. What a blessing you are!!

  3. Joanne Milton on Sun, 9th Aug 2020 3:28 pm
  4. Barb, YOU are a treasure! I love how you can put into words what I’m thinking! The puzzle analogy really resonated with me today! Some days, I think the puzzle is coming together nicely, then realize that somewhere “back there” I put a piece in the wrong place & have to take part of the puzzle apart & rebuild it! But all is good because I CAN rebuild it! And of course, my puzzle keeps growing…when I was younger, I never realized how big it can get! Love You!

  5. Jackie Snyder on Sun, 9th Aug 2020 6:19 pm
  6. Loved the fun 45 questions interview! The “jingle “ was breathtaking. Thanks for sharing

  7. Linda van den Bosch on Mon, 10th Aug 2020 3:12 am
  8. Enjoyed the interview and ‘the jingle’.
    Puzzle pieces is a great way of planning it all.. Thank you

  9. Nancy Burroughs on Mon, 10th Aug 2020 9:38 am
  10. Love how u motivate us. Thank you Barb and nick.

  11. DeAnna Ball on Tue, 11th Aug 2020 4:15 pm
  12. Wow, 45 questions in 5 minutes! That was so fun. Oh my, I loved your hat! And the jingle!! I thought it was Snowy River for sure!

    Yes, life keeps changing. Wish we could just keep moving forward, but there is always a new challenge. I love how you tell us to be kind to ourselves! And the puzzle of finding those gems that complement what we are trying to do – I like that it doesn’t all come from one source, or person. You certainly have given me a treasure bag I am drawing from!

  13. Caroline Mackinnon on Fri, 14th Aug 2020 2:52 am
  14. Thank you Barb, you are such a lovely person. I so look forward to your videos. Caroline Australia

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