In a World where information is at our fingertips, many times (myself included) we find ourselves overwhelmed. Somewhere between science, anecdotal evidence and self-experience lies the answers to our current burning questions. Throw in a pinch of second-guessing and suddenly we are riding the proverbial fence. And fence-riding can be saddle sore debilitating. Many-a-wise-man have said “By not making a decision, we have ultimately made the decision not to make a decision.” Wait. What? That seems wildly unfair to those of us who are so afraid of making the wrong decision that we cripple ourselves into no decision at all. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have latched on to someone or something, waiting and thinking about what is not wrong, that I never become right. And why? Because others and their ideas are so much better than mine? Because if I fail I will be laughed at? Because I am afraid of success and what might come from it? Any one of these reasons (and a million more) can keep us from moving forward all because we could not make a decision.
So obviously, the decision is obvious! Make a decision! (I am having a hard time typing that phrase without nervous laughter.) But it’s true. And hard. But through simply going ahead with our gut, most times we cannot go wrong. Might we be wrong? Absolutely. But failure isn’t an outcome. It is only a place to go in a different direction. And if you have had the pleasure of riding, training and caring for horses, in any capacity, you know exactly where I am going with this. Sometimes something so simple as say, blanketing, suddenly becomes this monster decision. Because again, the information (and a lot of it) is at our fingertips. The information digestion, however, has us climbing back on the fence because we are afraid of making the wrong decision. Is it too warm. Is it too cold. Are they gonna sweat. Are they gonna chill. Should I clip. Did I clip too much. Are they dry. Is the barn warm. Stop! The rabbit hole of blanketing decisions has just gotten so deep that winter will be over before we dig ourselves out! And blanketing is just one piece of the horse care puzzle. If you are wrong, could there be consequences? Absolutely. But indecision again, is making a decision not to make a decision. Use the evidence on hand and make what you think is the right call in that moment. There are no crystal balls in life and unlike failure, indecision is not an option. Read that again: unlike failure, indecision is not an option. Would you knowingly opt for failure? Probably not. But failure, like success, is still an outcome that moves us forward. Decision made. Because I can promise you that there is not a soul on Earth who hasn’t set out to make the right decision concerning the care, comfort and education of horses who didn’t end up face first into failure. The winners are those able to redirect and not get stuck on that fence.