Douglas Emerson Profitable Horseman
Profitable Horseman Newsletter
February 22, 2008 
In This Issue
Don't Look Back
Others Have Said
Back At The Barn

Don't Look Back

  horse meeting

When you are in the consulting business, sometimes you forget about following your own advice.  I wrote the following essay several years ago and reread it recently to remind myself of the message.  I believe it may help you, too.

Horses have been training me for a long time. Directly and indirectly, my experiences with them have shaped my life. Thoughts on dwelling on the past follow.

Riding horses over jumps is life: fast, slow, up, down, control, recklessness. Thinking about jumping on horseback, I recall the words of a riding instructor about show jumping. He said, "When you hear the jump rail get clunked by your horse's hoof, DON'T LOOK BACK! Keep both eyes forward and focus on the next jump; you can't fix anything back there!"

That definitive "clunk" of hoof on wood is paralyzing to the rider. It means one of two possible things have happened. The rail has only been ticked and the rider will escape faults on the round or the rail will fall from the standards penalizing the rider on his imperfect ride.

When clunks occur, the temptation to turn to see if the rail came down is addictive. Looking back blurs the rider's focus on the next fence. An expert rider already has his eyes and attention on the next jump as he clears the rail directly under him. Timing is critical and focus is imperative.

Good timing and powerful concentration are universal success ingredients.

Competing on a horse in a jumping class is much like the way we all do our jobs or run our businesses. The jump class is a series of obstacles of different types over a mapped course. The horse and rider are a team that meets each challenge head on.

Your job is to be prepared to do the best you can on each jump in your day. Sometimes we tick, knock down or crash on the jumps in our way. The riding coach speaks the ultimate horse sense when he says, don't look back.

Metaphorically, the next jump is coming quickly from the future to the present and the past jump is unchangeable history.

Focus on the next hurdle with all of your power of concentration. The time for analysis of what happened is later, when the round is over. Too often, we get hung up on what has happened instead of what is happening right now. We know that we can't change history but that doesn't stop us from dwelling on it.

I don't suspect my horse has spent much of his day worrying about which jump rail he knocked down. He is only concerned with the matters at hand, that being the next jump or his next flake of hay. Horse sense comes easy only to horses.

Understand the importance of today, here and now. Focus and ready for progress. When thoughts meander back to "knocked rails" from previous experiences, the chance of losing focus heightens and history repeats.

Don't Look Back.

Others Have Said 
"I tend to live in the past because most of my life is there."  --  Herb Caen
"Accept the pain, cherish the joys, resolve the regrets; then can come the best of benedictions - 'If I had my life to live over, I'd do it all the same.'"  --  Joan McIntosh

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."  --  Albert Einstein
Back At The Barn
april snow barn

I had a wonderful time last weekend meeting and speaking to the attendees of the American Ranch Horse Association Convention in Owensboro, KY.  A relatively young organization, A.R.H.A. is led by seasoned horsemen and horsewomen who are dedicated to friendly competition and the performance of versatile ranch horses regardless of their breed.


It was held in the aging Executive Inn Rivermont Hotel in Owensboro.  Having been a guest there before, I was anxious to see if  "Gil" the morning omelet chef in the hotel's breakfast buffet was still performing.  I spotted his tall chef's hat immediately upon entering the restaurant.  This man has made tens of thousands of omelets in his career and smiles, tells stories and jokes like it was his first month on the job.  He's the king of omelets and customer service.  My western omelets were the perfect way to start a day.


It was a full day's work each way to fly from Buffalo to Kentucky, especially packed in an Embraer 145 regional jet.  These are very comfortable aircraft if you are less than 5'-6" tall, otherwise you need to be a bit of a contortionist to walk the aisle way without head bumping the ceiling.  It's the Shetland pony of modern aircraft; gets the job done as long as your knees will fit up under your chin.


But, the inconvenience of travel was offset by a relaxing Saturday night dinner with college friends James and Gayle.  We visited Owensboro's Moonlite Bar-B-Q  and I got my fill of barbecue that just can't be found in the Northeast U.S. !  Pass the ribs, please.



Plan for Success in 2008 
If you are stuck on starting the process of system building for your business, contact me by clicking on the link below.  Let's have a coversation about how Profitable Horseman strategies can help your business.  The first step is up to you.

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Don't look back until the day is done and have a spectacular week!

Doug Emerson
Profitable Horseman Deewochagall
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