Writers are taught to work with their ideas and characters. If they have no other ideas, they use the ones they have and make them work. As for their characters, most of the time they write themselves. The writer doesn’t necessarily have power to change what the characters want to do or else they might be disappointed in how the story came out. So they work with what they’ve got to create their stories or articles.

Artists learn to make masterpieces with the things around them. It’s incredible, the way they discover an item and make something beautiful with it. Artists don’t wait for someone to inspire them. Like writers, they know where to go and what to do to catch their ideas. “Found” art Artists are, perhaps, the most talented of all because they effectively use what they’ve got to make or create what they want.

Don’t you think this should extend to us, too?

I think as riders, our horses are our “mediums”. But like a writer who catches ideas like fish, and like an artist who finds creates beautiful things, riders make something with our horses. Our partnership is art. It’s a beautiful living, breathing thing. In our art form, to be the best that we can be, we have to play up our strengths. Sometimes to play to our strengths, we’ve got to work with what we’ve got.

Realistically, you’re not going to turn that 15.1 cross into a Grand Prix horse. Hey, miracles happen and the amazing comes true so I guess it’s not out of the question. Perhaps, instead, your little horse doesn’t have good conformation to be a hunter. You don’t have the option to sell him and ride something different. He tries very hard, though and he’s worth his weight in gold in terms of personality. Don’t accept your disappointment that you’re not placing in hunter classes at your horse shows. Re-evaluate like the writer, and create something beautiful out of your medium like the artist. You and your horse will take the spotlight in some other place. Even though his confirmation isn’t great, he’s sturdy with a giant stride.

Take him to the nearest cross country course, and let your horse show you what you’re working with. Instead of disappointment after a horse show, you find yourself satisfied with the cross country phase of eventing. Suddenly, you have a place to blossom.

By working with your horse, identifying his strengths, and playing them up you’ve worked with what you’ve got to a place you wanted to go. Writers will often say that even when they work with their ideas, sometimes they don’t know where it’ll take them. Artists don’t always know what the finished product is going to look like. Riders, we don’t have to know where the partnership with our horse will take us. Finding fulfillment out of our craft, though, can be done by working with what you’ve got.

In the end, the finished product is always beautiful. And if it’s not? We re-evaluate, and begin to work with what we’ve got all over again.