What Can a Race Horse Teach Us about Success?

January 20, 2011

I grew up around horses, first my own and then living in a Rodeo-loving, horse-racing town. Horses are amazing creatures. From an engineering standpoint, with their overly bulky body, long block-shaped necks and spindly legs… it is a wonder they can walk much less race.

However, I do think we humans can learn a few things from horse racing:

  • Train every day … rain or shine. A muddy track may be slow but it will slow your competitors as well. The trick is learning to race on a slow track. In other words, never take the easy path. Know how to handle challenges and adversity while others stumble when the going gets tough.
  • Weigh your jockey. A heavy load will slow you down. Getting rid of excess baggage or negativity is a terrific way to lighten the load.
  • Check your hooves. You cannot run a good race if your shoes are shot.
  • Condition to move forward at the instant you hear the starting gun. Getting spooked by a challenge and staying in the gate will not win the race. Know when it is your moment to move and take it!
  • Vie for best gate position. There is a reason they call it “jockeying for position”. A good starting point can affect the outcome. In other words, be emotionally and physically prepared and always optimistic… a great advantage in today’s world.
  • Take advantage of that good position by keeping up pace and leading the pack. If you find yourself in a position of strength, keep moving. Never let up. It is too easy to hold back and lag behind once you find yourself in the lead.
  • Choose your competitors wisely. Racing slow horses will never improve your performance. Only race against the best, win or lose.
  • Put on blinders so that you are not easily distracted from the task or track ahead.
  • Winning by a nose is still a win!
  • And when you do cross that finish line, take your victory lap… you have earned it!