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Being a pro

Some days we feel like amateurs. Some days we feel like pros. What is the difference? During a recent lesson with my 6-year old student, I asked him to show me the “two-point” position. This is when a rider is out of their saddle and normally has only two points of contact with their feet in the stirrups. This young rider who is still learning the posting trot, took action, rose out of the saddle and supported himself with his hands.

When I saw his focus, determination and confidence, I said to him, “you look like a pro.” He smiled without inhibition. Several times later during the lesson, he asked me if he looked like a pro.

Sometimes a simple validation like this goes a long way, especially for children who have sensory processing differences. He loves horse riding and wants to learn more. I meant it sincerely when I told him that he looked like a pro. Honest feedback gives honest results.

So what is the difference between being an amatuer or pro? A pro has a purpose. A pro does what is true for him or her, no matter what others think or say. It is not important how they look. It is an internal knowing. With horses, a pro has a connection and understands how the horse will respond. This young boy is developing the connection with Tully the pony. Each lesson he greets Tully when he arrives. Often during the lesson we will stop to give Tully a hug or thank him.

Before this lesson, I asked my student to help me bring Tully from his paddock to the barn. This was his first experience doing so. As we walked to the gate, Tully saw us and walked over to meet us. If you are a horse person, you know most horses turn the opposite direction when you go to retrieve them.

A pro uses language most people do not recognize or hear. They listen and they are open to feedback that will help them be a better pro.

Go pro go!

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