“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” said American transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1841 essay “Self Reliance.”
I’m not sure what a hobgoblin is (event horse says: a frightening creature that dwells in the bottom of trakehners), but what old Ralph was trying to say is that a person does not have to think and act consistently from one day to the next. It’s important to stay open to new ideas and ways of doing things, even if it means contradicting previous thoughts and actions. The world changes, and we change with it.
It’s a great guiding principle for life, but when it comes to the sport of eventing … maybe not so much. I’ll take a little foolish consistency over the horse that suddenly is terrified of the flower pot it’s walked past a thousand times, who decides to spontaneously rage against the machine in a dressage test when things have been going so well, or after six perfect jumps decides to slam on the brakes at the seventh.
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