When I was growing up, it wasn’t unusual to hear someone say, “It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.”
This now-archaic truism with its almost archaic noun still has value — especially if you include men and children. It’s okay to change your mind. And riders need to remember that.
It’s hard for riders to change their points of view and habits, in part because it takes so long to develop those habits, and so long to learn enough about horses to even have a point of view.
We seldom question the first things we learn about horses or equitation but we have yet to call those ideas our own. Later, we search out trainers and instructors, mentors, gurus, leaders and experts, and readily adopt their points of view, calling them our own. Eventually, the time comes to evaluate, with the courage to question and the wisdom to reassess our beliefs.
The thinking rider can — and should — challenge himself to welcoming new perspectives and new techniques. If you do, you’re among good company.
Philippe Karl, for instance. New copies of his book Long Reining: The Saumur Method are now being sold on Amazon for $413.22, and used copies are being offered from $125 to $900. Why such high prices? I have it on good authority that the reason is that Philippe Karl changed his mind about long reining. He won’t authorize a reprint of the book because he no longer believes in this method of training, despite the fact that he is an expert on it.