(” . . . an infinite number of monkeys . . .”)
Is having help with your horse cheating? I run into riders from time to time who tell me they want to do it themselves. They don’t want anyone else on their horse because that’s “cheating.”
Over the years I have had some pretty wonderful riders on horses that I was trying to train. One of the most memorable rides which I witnessed back in the 70s was when Maj. Hans Wikne (SWE) rode my horse in a clinic. Years later I can do what he showed me. Then that relationship was mysterious and amazing! Soft and round and just totally on the aids — something which I only superficially understood at best.
In the 80s Karin Schlueter (A German Olympic gold medalist) schooled my horse of the time in a clinic. When I got on him the next day, he still felt totally different (until I undid things). Nonetheless, it was a revelatory experience!
More recently on yet another horse Michael Poulin was helping me. I remember not so much a ride but him long reining my horse and producing piaffe and passage which was much more active and “real” than anything I had been able to create.
In conversation with my wife recently I was rolling my eyes about riders who insist on “doing it themselves.” She was reminding me that it’s just a different approach, a different mindset.
I imagine it like someone wishing to become a sharpshooter and laboring through endless target practice. To avoid “cheating,” each day before shooting, they blindfold themselves and plead, “Tell me when I hit the bulls eye.”
You know the story about the infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters, and eventually one of them writes Shakespeare? Draw your own conclusion.