If you ever find yourself needing a dose of humility, you can refer to this quote by Nuno Oliveira: ‘all the riders are convinced they are the best’. According to the book 30 Years With Master Nuno Oliveira by Michel Henriquet, Nuno made the statement when he was reflecting on a group of riders he was teaching. I think Nuno is as qualified as anyone I can think of to make such a statement and it certainly made me consider my own riding. Pat Parelli thought along similar lines in his statement ‘every jackass thinks he’s got horse sense’ which is contained in his book Natural Horse-Man-Ship on pg 209.
Why am I saying this? I guess I am trying to help others learn from my mistakes. I thought I was too good to learn from certain people I have had around me in my past, that would have been happy to help me out. I was so stubborn and so sure of myself I would not have dreamed of asking the cowboys (yes, literal cowboys) at trade school about some of the things they knew. Such simple questions could have saved me years of trying to work things out for myself, or introduced me to material that would have been helpful much earlier in life.
The master farrier I worked for told me in my early twenties ‘you can learn something from everyone’. So I urge riders not to make the same mistakes I have, don’t be too stubborn or proud to learn from others, particularly with so much good information readily available to us all in the modern age. I believe you can learn something from everyone, and every horse for that matter and, nowadays, that’s what I try to do.