Tom Dorrance was a reader I’m told. He recommended books to his students that outwardly had little to do with “horsemanship” but had lots to do with becoming a better horseman. I’m guessing that Tom’s hope was that as people understood more about the animal kingdom and themselves, they would be better able to understand what goes on between them. We know from our experiences with people and their horses, as people change, their horses change. The horse reflects the human.
We took a trip to Arizona to see some family. Everyone is getting older and we don’t take the time to travel very much so, it had been 5 years since we’d seen an elderly aunt and my brother’s family. Our nephews are top level archers. They shoot compound bows and spend a lot of time drilling the center of targets with their arrows. These boys….young men…are in their teens and early twenties, highly intelligent, and spend as much time thinking about how to become better archers as they do practicing. As we visited about the mental aspects of archery and competition, they talked about some coaching they had been getting from an Olympic archer, Judi Adams, and one of her colleagues, Debbie Crews. Believe it or not, horses were involved in helping archers become more centered and more focused leading to better scoring. There was some pretty cool technology involved as well. One nephew was using a headset that helped him understand how to use his brain and thoughts to improve outcomes in his archery. And, that understanding is helping him in other areas of his life too!
Here are a few excerpts from an excellent article written by Judi and Debbie:
If you just believe in yourself, the arrow will go in the middle.” “You need to trust your shot.” “Confidence is the key to winning.” “If you have faith, it will all turn out okay.” How many of us have heard these words from our coaches, parents, and teachers? And how many of us answered, “But I am not confident, I am not sure how to believe, how can I trust myself when I keep messing up?
Trust is described as Confidence; Confidence is dependent on “belief which does not require proof” which is the exact definition of Faith. All these words are vague descriptions that we readily understand when applied to others we have observed, but we stress ourselves trying to inculcate them into our own being. And so it should not surprise us that the very struggle with attaining these concepts is linked to the fact that the words themselves are intrinsically plagued with doubt (a feeling of uncertainty).
To know is at the center of Confidence, Belief, Trust and Faith. It is clear that we are more confident, and have stronger belief, trust, and faith when we know. To know, assumes no uncertainty or doubt. What do you know? The more you know, the less doubt you have.
To see the whole article, we’ve posted it with permission at https://www.facebook.com/Bridle.Bit.LLC/ The diagrams in the article wouldn’t copy and paste so, if you’d like to see a version with the diagrams, email us and we’ll send you a copy.
The parallels between shooting an arrow well and riding a horse well were amazing to me. We hope you enjoy the article!