flip flops

Not this kind of flip-flopper…

I am a “Flip-Flopper” and I don’t care who knows it! I don’t care because I am proud of it, and furthermore I think you should be one too. Flip Flop away! Announce your strong feelings from the mountain top, and then when you flip flop announce your new stands just as loud and proud.

The term “flip flopper” is used often in politics and has a negative connotation, and no doubt we will hear it a lot in the coming year here in the USA (blech!). But as I see it, most times being a “flip flopper” is a positive thing. Unless of course you flip with the wind, and have no real stands at all. But if you take a position based on current knowledge, skill and circumstance, and then totally “flip flop” when any of those things change, that is great. Go for it.

No Longer showing Western Halter- Flip Flopped!

No Longer showing Western Halter- Flip Flopped!

Let me give you an example: side reins! I didn’t like them and thought that it was a gadget that forced the horse into the position rather than do the training necessary to encourage it naturally. And so I tried to ”encourage it” naturally, for a long time, and Pippi was annoyed with my constant nagging and we were playing the up/down game. Asked Trainer, who said “try side reins in the most open setting” and begrudgingly tried them to find that Pippi prefers the constant suggestion rather than the irritating nudge. FLIP FLOPPED!

There are those people who seem like they flip flop as a matter of whom they are speaking with at the time, and that is not actually being a flip flopper. They are just indecisive people. Real Flip Floppers take a stand and make a reasoned argument for the decision they have made. They do the research, maybe even do some trial and error, and make sure that what they find fits their circumstances. And, this is a crucial part in being a good flip flopper, they keep an open mind!

When, and if, they find that something has changed, they are willing to change their mind. Maybe they learned something new that altered things, or they have a new horse, or want to try a new discipline or they just had a lightbulb go off and realized that they had been wrong. There are many examples of things in the equestrian world you can and, perhaps, should flip flop about: Barefoot vs horse shoes, natural horsemanship techniques, supplements, tack, bitless riding, classical vs. competition, long format vs short format…. I could go on and on.

But when you do flip flop, please admit it! When people call you out and say (in that universally snarky “call you out voice”), “I thought you hated side reins,” just go ahead and tell them that you flip flopped. You were wrong. You changed your mind. You flip flopped. And you know what? You may do it again.

There is a really big chance that I will change my mind about a whole host of things, and I am proud of my ability to do so. I am not offended when anyone disagrees with me and my methods, and unless they get rude I welcome the opportunity to discuss it. Rarely do I learn from those that agree with me, but often from those that don’t. And what I learn and discard today, may be what I use tomorrow. It all goes in my toolbox of knowledge, and I will flip flop my way through that box as Pippi and I happily continue to learn and grow.