A Cut Above The Rest

When I was 12 years old I was mad about horses and a girl in my school invited me to go to the riding school called Rock Hall, where she used to ride every Saturday.  It was owned by a couple of brothers called Andy and Bertie Wylie.  They were both very witty and they had endless very entertaining stories about their horses and their lives.  I fell in love with a dapple grey pony called Paddy and I used to spend most of Saturday grooming him and just enjoying being around him.

Most riding school horses’s rations are very different from those of performance horses – but not so with these horses.  They got plenty of corn and were full of the joys of Spring all year round.  Andy and Bertie had studied the jumping method of Captain Raymondo D’Inzeo who was a famous show-jumper and Olympic rider.  So Wylie’s pupils had a different jumping position than everyone else.  The horses’s manes were clipped off so that nobody could hold on to the mane to keep themselves steady in the saddle.

Their philosophy was rather different to most business owners.  As far as they were concerned the customer was not always right.  If you wanted to ride at Wylie’s you had to do exactly as you were told.  The heirachy was Andy and Bertie, the horses and then the customers.  They made it very clear that if you couldn’t stay on a horse that was bucking like a bronco then it was totally your own fault.  If you didn’t get your act together you were shown the door.

One of the main problems that riders have when they are jumping  is that the horses sometimes refuse the jump.  It is something that is accepted as inevitable in horsey circles.   Not so at Wylies- horses weren’t allowed to refuse jumps there.  If your horse refused a jump then you were told that it was entirely your fault and if you let it happen again you would be banned from riding there.  “We are not going to allow our horses to be ruined by bad riding” they said.  If you were bucked off you had to get straight back  on again –  no excuses whatsoever.

The pupil’s were more afraid of  being banned than they were of bucking horses or high jumps.  We were told that we must never approach a jump if we were not totally committed to getting to the other side.  Can you imagine the difference between the approach of a rider who had been trained at Wylie’s to most other riders?   We approached our jumps with determination and had no doubt  that we would clear the jump and the horses seemed to sense this too.  No questions, no hesitation, no fear.

Their training methods may have seemed harsh but they definitely worked.  So much so that a riding instructress once  told me that she always knew an ex-Wylie’s pupil by their attitude and the way they approached their jumps with total confidence.

Andy and Bertie had total belief in themselves and in their methods of teaching.  Because of this they instilled confidence in all their riders and they became just like them -“a cut above the rest”

What brought them to mind for me was that I was reading some content on the internet from marketers who were not members of my favorite company.  Then I read some blogs of those who were and I realised that the right training makes an incredible difference and it stays with you forever.

 If you want to be “a marketer who is “a cut above the rest” you need to find a mentor who is not afraid to  be a little harsh at times but they know that their methods work and you need to be coachable and follow their instructions if you want to create lasting success for yourself and your business.

I was 14 in this photo and managing a riding school with over 30 horses!

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