Mary Corning developmental process

The Developmental Process in the Preparation

“I will not compromise the trust we have built, for an ideal that is not suited to where we are in each moment.“

My teacher would remind us to realize “The proper preparation to the proper position for the proper transition“.

As Grace and I move forward in extending our world, I am realizing just how big that world really is.

We live in a very secluded and lovely part of Oregon. From my home I don’t see another house. There are days on end when I don’t venture out into the busy world. I am very happy at home and everything I love is here.

Then, there are times when my husband and I decide to go on a city date. Just last week we did such a thing.

It’s truly amazing to us to see what the world looks like out there. It feels at times like another planet with its strip malls, fast food and huge department stores stocked with an overwhelming supply of “stuff”.

Without awareness this could feel a little overwhelming to say the least. It really made me think about how my horse feels stepping into unknown stimulus.

I feel deep empathy for her in adapting to changes. My horses live in the same place and see a very small slice of the world here.

As Grace carries me into future unknown environments I want to remain mindful that a little goes a long ways. I know first hand how overstimulating big change can be.

I also know curiosity builds desire and fear builds a habit of resistance.

So how can I prepare my horse (and myself) to be curious of the unknown?

The best way I know of is to prepare both our minds to see from curiosity. And this indeed requires proper preparation.

I am a big believer in working from a success to a success.

This means really breaking things down. And perfecting each element. Now I see the art of learning to learn.

 I see the developmental process is the preparation!

Whether it is horses or people, learning to learn is fundamental to success. And this takes time.

It takes time to build a foundation for positive effectiveness.

This, I feel is so grossly overlooked and underestimated in raising horses and humans.

I love taking time with Grace and looking for ways to expand our experiences. But I will not compromise the trust we have built, for an ideal that is not suited to where we are in each moment.

This is a very new concept for me. For the better part of my life I strived to arrive at ideals. I came to realize that this is a cup that is never full.

I sacrificed so much for so little.

When I perfect each current experience to be exactly what that experience is presenting, I not only build a stronger bond by the day, but I also learn a multitude of things that are right there under our noses.

For instance because I am not fast forwarding through this process I am witnessing, in great detail, the maturation process of my mare.

The physical, mental, emotional and yes, spiritual advancement of Grace. I can actually feel her growing up.

With the other colts I started in my life, I was so focused on a future outcome that I missed what was happening right before my eyes.

It’s nearly impossible to convey the depth of what I wish to share about this in a simple essay. But it sure is fodder for another book.

For now, I can say that each day I am with my horse I learn more and more about her and about myself. And as I become a better partner our world becomes much more real and meaningful.

I can’t say what Ray Hunt meant by the quote “The proper preparation to the proper position for the proper transition”, but I sure do feel he was pointing at something real—something that was true, that could not be missed, if we didn’t settle for less.

All relationships deserve this type of awareness. They deserve our patience, our willingness and our dedication.

I feel that when we apply these qualities to our lives, we’ll find a truer more forgiving world. And in doing so we’ll have created a better way to live within it.


If this blog resonates with you, please consider reading my book Perfect Practice. You can read an excerpt from the book HERE.


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