Down The Line


with Stran Smith

I remember when I was a little boy I had a friend that I always played with. When we would be playing something and he wasn’t winning he wanted to quit or change the rules or play a different game. As a society we are obsessed with winning. How often do we think about winning? Look at how fanatical people get with sports teams, or athletes, or game shows, you can go as far as different politicians. Sometimes success isn’t always about the win. Sometimes the actual win is failure, because it will cause you to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to be better. For me, it is very important whenever I start something I do a lot of soul searching, a lot of talking with people in my family, and talk with my friends about whatever it is I’m planning on doing before I jump in. I don’t want to be someone who gets in the middle of something and at the first sign of adversity or tough times I quit or want to pull the plug. 

I’ve talked about this before, but if you know me at all I believe the single most important thing to my success is the importance of the people I surround myself with. I think there are three main things that these people should cause you to do daily: 1) Learn 2) Laugh 3) Love.

Do you surround yourself with cheerleaders or challengers? Its good to have both, but you have to be careful if you have too many of one type and not enough of the other. It’s important to have somebody around that can trump you. You gotta be careful if you’re the smartest one in the room. Let me put it this way, you may not be the smartest or know best, but if you’re surrounded by people who are scared to talk then you will think it. You need people around who will call you out when you need it. 

I’ve always believed it’s not how you start, but how you finish. This is true in everything in my life, and it isn’t any different with my horses. I watch people send so many mixed signals to their horses they don’t know whether to jump or lay down. Mostly because the rider really doesn’t know what he wants them to do. My granddad used to have a saying “job him and jerk him.” I didn’t really understand the depth of this statement until I was older. So for those of you who don’t get it, I will take the liberty to try and explain what I think my granddad was trying to say. “Hey fruit loop, you’re sending mixed signals to your horse!”