“As far as patience is concerned, which is powerless if used alone; there is no need to call upon it when one knows what one can ask of the horse, and only asks what he is capable of giving. Instead of patience, the rider must have sound judgment and knowledge, never impatience; he must have perseverence in choosing those methods which result in the daily progress of the horse.” General Alexis L’Hotte (1895; translation: T. Ritter)
I love General L’Hotte’s assertion that patience is powerless if used alone. I’ve never really thought about it that way, but it makes perfect sense. If you know what you are doing – not just in training horses but in the living of life – there is no need to be overcome with frustration or worry when obstacles come along. There are simply problems and eventual solutions.
You must apply yourself to studying the fundamentals of any activity you undertake, be it a sport, musical instrument, craft, job or what have you, and your mastery of the fundamentals prepares you to tackle the more rigorous challenges inherent in the activity. If you skip over the fundamentals or arrogantly pooh-pooh them you will eventually come face-to-face with the holes in your foundation. And that, dear readers, is not a comfortable place to be.
If, however, you apply yourself earnestly and wholeheartedly to “choosing the methods which result in…daily progress,” you quickly find that impatience is the very last thing on your mind (or heart for that matter).