As riders, especially those of us who compete, Getting it Right is really important. Even if you don’t compete, Getting it Right so that you and your horse are both happy and comfortable is of course of the upmost importance at all times. If we think back to childhood times (especially if you were lucky enough to ride as a child), you probably had more of a Have a Go mind-set.
As humans we are operating on a variety of different continuums or scales which can move from one end to the other in a matter of milliseconds. If we think about a scale with Getting it Right at one end and Having a Go at the other, then it’s easy to see how they can be polar opposites. Yet they can also come together in the middle to create a blend which is very helpful as well.
Have a think about times when you have found Getting it Right to be very useful. Now think of times when the idea of Getting it Right being at the forefront wasn’t the most helpful. Now think of the same for Having a Go - when has it been helpful and when has it been not so much? Doing this I expect you have realised that each one has its own benefits and setbacks if it is the only outcome in that moment.
Getting it Right can be the cause of the "perfectionist trait" which many competitors get in the pursuit of winning. When competing in any sport it can be easy to get our mind set on Getting it Right because we want to win, show what we are capable of or even how hard we have worked. Often with horses having this fixed mind-set can cause tension (often unconscious) in us and is then counterproductive as our horse picks up on this tension and becomes tense or unhappy themselves. A tense and unhappy horse then can cause the rider to become negative in their thinking and have to work even harder to get it right and the spiral continues to undermine the overall performance of the partnership. I come across this spiral a lot when working with Performance Coaching and work with you to undo it.
Sliding your scale further towards Having a Go might just help you to find a point that works better for you and your horse. Allowing mistakes in training is certainly helpful as we tend to learn so much more from a mistake. Then seeing competition as a chance to Have a Go at putting training into practice can be a great way of taking of the pressure of performance and guiding your mind-set towards doing your very best (rather then "Getting it Right) which is often exactly what you need to succeed.
I’ve had lots of fun with clients recently exploring this scale and helping them to discover the perfect blend for them at home in training and at competitions as well as when to spot if the scale has slid too much to one end, which may not be helping in that moment.
Now notice which one you tend towards and have a play with sliding the scale to understand the different it really does make.