So many trainers have admitted to me that they don’t tell their clients the whole truth about their performance and what the clients are doing wrong with their riding because they know the client is not resilient enough to hear it. (Cue Jack Nicholson yelling, “Because you can’t handle the truth!”).
Trainers are afraid those particular clients will leave and ride at another barn.
So although the trainers admit the client won’t make the progress in their riding program that the client wants, expects, and is paying for, there is a bigger, potential problem with this “holding back” strategy: better riding skills equals a safer rider.
We can’t control other people, places, and things, so what can we as riders do to take extreme ownership to receive from trainers ALL the information and truth we need to ride better and safer?
We can take responsibility for becoming emotionally strong and resilient enough to hear the truth we need to hear to make progress.
When we were really young and showing ponies, the feedback was always “amazing” even if it was a shit show.
But then we grow up. That should no longer always be the feedback. Riders need to be desensitized to what they inaccurately perceive as “bad news” and in fact, to reframe it into becoming the good news! It is valuable feedback! In some cases, it may even be life saving feedback!
The truth is, a horse round, show or circuit is never a total shit show. There are always positives to point out, and there also are things that MUST be worked on with the goal to tweak the performance in the future.
Riders must pick up the reins! They must CONVINCE their trainers that yes, they have the emotional strength and resiliency to be the best they can be! They CAN handle the REAL feedback that REALLY makes a difference to be able to adjust what they are doing and to ride better and safer!
“I am fearless! I CAN handle the truth! Bring it on!”
Should trainers wait and hold back the truth until a client can handle the truth? What might be the potential consequences of NOT telling the truth to a rider in a TIMELY manner, when they need it the most to ride not just better, but safer?
Nancy Dye’s brand and passion is jumping over hurdles and generating blessings from adversity. As her part in helping our community, she is offering a FREE one hour resiliency and control coaching session that is specific to dealing with difficult times for the purpose of providing solid mental skills tools to help riders to be safer. Some things in life are totally out of our control but so much more IS within our control.