Experts Are Always Students First
One of the frequently asked questions of advanced rider is:
- What if I am already an ADVANCED ST student, do I have to start from the beginning?
Straightness Training has a wide range of students:
- there are riders who have lots of problems with their horse
- all the way up to riders and instructors with highly trained horses.
And by developing our Straightness Training (online) programs, we have spent a lot of time working on these programs so that it works for all of you, whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider.
The mission of Straightness training is to develop outstanding straightness trainers, inspiring instructors, and real artists in training horses in our ST Academy.
Now the ST philosophy for experts is the following:
- Experts are always students first
- Repetition is the mother of all skill
- Chase one rabbit at the time
1. Experts are always students first
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
– Zen Master Shunryo Suzuki
Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind“. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.
Here’s a nice Zen story to illustrate this concept:
“A professor once visited a Japanese master to inquire about Zen.
The master served tea, while the professor was sharing all his insights.
When the visitor’s cup was full, the master kept pouring.
Tea spilled out of the cup and over the table.
“The cup is full!” said the professor. “No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” said the master, “You are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?””
2. Repetition is the mother of all skill
So to show you what ST is all about, it is good practice to start at the beginning in Straightness Training with every rider and every horse; no matter how advanced.
Because it’s good to know the whole journey, and I believe that repetition is the mother of all skill…
… and here comes the interesting part: even though you are starting at the beginning, you are not repeating what you already know!
You are widening, deepening and broadening your knowledge, understanding and experience in ST.
And this is definitely very important if you want to become an ST instructor!
3. Chase one rabbit at a time
As an advanced rider you can approach ST in two ways:
- Seeing ST as an ‘add-on’ method to any kind of equestrian discipline.
- Seeing ST as something to ‘master’ in full detail to the highest, widest, broadest, deepest level.
Both paths can be followed, but if you go for the second path, you need to chase one rabbit at a time.