Posted by: ivyschex | May 1, 2010

Thoughts on Knowledge and Perception

Once you know something, it forever changes your perception.  Over the last 6 months, my perception has changed.  I learned about a horse’s back and neck muscles.  I got a better understanding of what engagement means.  I learned to see when a horse was lifting the base of his neck.  I was reminded of how vital the idea of forward is.  All these things that I learned changed how I train and how I see horses.

I see more faults, both in my training and in my education, than before.  However, there have been huge improvements as well.  I see (at least partly) when a horse won’t engage his hind end, but I have also learned how to help him reach farther underneath himself.  I see Jackson’s lack of muscle, but I also know how to help him build up that muscle.

It is a bittersweet knowledge that I have gained.  On one hand, I can use that knowledge to improve myself and my horse.  On the other, I am unable to fix every horse that I see.  All these things that I have learned have, in a way, made me more accountable.  I can no longer exist in blissful ignorance of certain faults that my horse has. 

True, this is a good thing.  I saw how Jackson would often raise his head, stick his nose out, and short stride with his hind legs.  I then set about teaching him to carry himself better.  In the end, I will have improved myself and my horse, but I also raise the bar for myself and for my horse.  To be happy, I find I demand even more than before.

I will leave you with this cliché, “With great power [knowledge] comes great responsibility.”

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