2mm; The Devil Is In The Detail
Have you ever tried playing golf? I did, and then you know that the slightest adjustment in your swing can mean the difference between 'slicing' and 'shanking' the ball or driving it perfectly down the green. So when the club is 2mm too much to the left the ball will go hugely to the left ending up in the woods, and when the club is 2mm too much too the right, the ball will go hugely to the right. So the devil is in the detail. And have you noticed the difference between the Olympic medal winners, the ones who won gold, silver, bronze and number 4? Most of the time it’s only 2mm, or 2 milliseconds or 2% that makes a difference in being on the pedestal or not, and on which position. And when taking a shower: it’s almost never the right temperature from the start, you first have to adjust it with 2mm at a time to have the perfect temperature. It’s the same with Straightness Training: What it comes down to is the fact that the smallest changes can give the best and biggest results. Whether you want to break through to the next level with your horse or want to get away from the plateau you have been on for too long, it’s time to start making ‘2mm’ shifts in your approach. Also, when you’re feeling stuck and your training isn’t going according to plan, and your brain keeps telling you “nothing is working”, it can feel like you are a million miles away from where you want to be. But it could be that you are only 2mm off track in a certain area. Opportunities for 2mm improvement can be found in almost every area of horse training:
  • in your pressure/release technique,
  • your timing and dosing of rewards,
  • the height of your voice,
  • the length of the steps you take,
  • your position next to your horse,
  • your position in the saddle,
  • the way you breathe,
  • the angle of your whip,
  • the way you hold the rein,
  • the exact moment you apply a certain concept/tool/technique etc.
Most of the time the breakthrough or growth doesn’t come from new initiatives, but rather from taking the core ST concepts you are already using and doing them more effectively. Remember, ST gives you the concepts, but you have to fill in the details. You have to find the hidden lessons and important 2mms. Now a small improvement made in a few key areas can result in enormous growth in your work as a whole. So dare to act and to do some trial and error with 2mm. Check your results and learn from your experiences. Evaluate your successes and failures, see what’s working and what’s not, then keep what’s working and change your approach with 2mm when it’s not working. Remember, the little things aren’t little — they’re everything. To break through, it comes down to the little things, because the devil is in the details, and it’s in the details that you can find the driving force to reach the next level. It’s in making these 2mm shifts now, that you can achieve the most astounding results in the future: Those tiny little improvements add up, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now, to make a profound difference. So keep tweaking, keep changing your approach with 2mm at a time, and ask yourself:
  • What 2mm shift can I can make today in my laboratory to make a difference?

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