Step into Your Zone of Genius

It doesn’t all depend on you.

Everyone has their zone of genius.

But to step into it, one must first release the need to know everything, the need to do everything, and to be all things.

You will never become the rider you were meant to be if you shut others out in the name of “self-reliance.” This can happen to an Olympic-level rider just as much as a backyard amateur. The best riders become that way because they acknowledge their strengths and can  effectively build a team around them to compliment their gifts.

Recognize what your chief contributions are, hone your strengths, but never stop trying new things. Welcome others to bring their talents to the table and to work from their zone of genius.

If you are an amateur rider, it can be altogether too easy to fall into the trap of dismissing your skills. Sure, you may not be a professional riding multiple horses a day or have a show record to hang your hat on, but you still have something unique and of value that you bring to the table.

The trick is to identify it.

Often, it emerges from mixing things up– whether you ride a different horse or take a lesson with someone new. Observe what is different about you. It maybe something discussed in negative terms, as a weakness. Maybe it is the approach you take; perhaps it is a particular skill set, like developing collection or suppleness. It may be a combination of several things. For instance, I was told by multiple people over years that I wasn’t a “strong enough” rider. As it turns out, my strength lies in giving horses self-confidence.

Whatever it is, once you find it– hold onto it. Nurture it. Grow it. Let it become bigger than you.

What is your “zone of genius” with horses? What strengths do you need to surround yourself with to capitalize on it?