When the horse knows it has a rookie rider, lots of grass is eaten.....

When the horse knows it has a rookie rider, lots of grass is eaten.....

We took a horse back tour on our trip to Menorca.

Krista has 12 years of experience in the saddle.

I, despite growing up a farm and being around horses daily, have exactly ZERO.

So obviously, our approaches were dramatically different.

She had a more spirited horse, whereas I was given what in industry terms is called a 'bulletproof pony'

We all set off together in the beginning however, just walking, and then, a trot, and, for those who wanted to, a canter.

Next a group of experienced riders split off to go for a gallop.  Needless to say, I hung back...

Afterwards Krista remarked that there were a couple of riders who were firmly in the lower end of intermediate skill level, who had come along and basically slowed the group down.  They were easily identified by the way they aggressively tried to dominate their horses, make them 'walk on the bit' (fancy dressage prancing), and just generally showing off.

The genuinely skilled riders were relaxed, just having fun, enjoying the company of their horse, and the whole experience.

It's often a similar situation in the gym.

I've never seen an experienced athlete arrive at the gym, walk right up to the rings and perform a muscle up, but I have observed countless intermediate athletes do so.

It's rare that an experienced athlete will have to take weight off the bar, or scale reps of a gymnastic movement, mid-workout.

It's rare to see an experienced athlete miss a snatch, even at the relatively higher loads being lifted.

This exercising thing appeals to a lot of people because of the challenge.  There is so much to learn, so much to get good at, so much to achieve.

But you can approach this with something to prove, or with a view to enjoying the experience.

Work with the skill level you have, don't try to force the issue, it doesn't work.  And no one cares how good you are.

Plus it might result in you taking a tumble....

Darren Ellis