Irish author, James Joyce (1882-1941), noted that, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” As horsemen, we can learn a lot from mistakes, both our own and those of others.

A case in point is Pat Parelli’s "Road to the Horse" buckoff, one of many memorable RTTH moments shown in this week’s TV show. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Pat failed to properly prepare his colt from both sides before mounting – that’s his analysis of what happened – and the colt bucked him off. It made a good lesson for us all. However, an even more important lesson came after. As we pointed out on TV, Pat got right back to work and had his colt coming along beautifully by the end of the event. He didn’t win – Chris Cox chalked up #3 – but Pat deserves big kudos for how he handled himself in a difficult situation.

Seeing mistakes as learning opportunities is not license to be careless or unprincipled in our actions, but it does put a positive spin on the honest misstep.

By the way, Pat teams with 2010 champ, Craig Cameron, to take on Canadians, Jonathan Field and Glenn Stewart, and Aussies, Dan James and Guy McLean, in the first ever International Road to the Horse. Dates are March 9-11, 2012. Get your tickets early, my friends.

Watch Road to the Horse Retrospective on The Horse Show
Get tickets to Road to the Horse International