Fail It ‘Till You Nail It

Last week when I was in Denmark as a week student, Bent Branderup spoke about today’s riding culture. He said that nowadays, many people live according to the motto “Fake it ’till you make it”. The riding is not correct and people are impressed by high front leg action, not seeing that the horse is stiff, not moving over the back, and not carrying with the hind legs. Fake riding is even enough to win Olympic games. But when you “Fake it till you make it”, then you can only become a master of fake, not a master of the art of riding. Furthermore, many riders are afraid to make mistakes, also teachers are afraid to make mistakes in front of their pupils.

Instead, our motto should be “Fail it ’till you nail it”. You must make many mistakes before becoming a master. We must collect experiences, for example of how a certain stiffness, a certain failure feels like and how to correct it. Is it in the shoulders? In the lower jaw? And what helped to release it? Many people will, for example, punish the mouth of the poor horse although it is stiff in the shoulders or a hind leg. It is very difficult to teach how a certain stiffness feels like, so we have to learn how to do that and we have to guess where it came from, and try to solve it. By making mistakes and learning from them, we become a master of the art.

So don’t “Fake it till you make it”, instead “Fail it till you nail it”!


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