The past two weeks I have been working with a new horse that has recently joined our family. Cheyenne is a four year old filly that has never been broke, so I had to begin at the beginning. I am not a cowboy by any means but for some reason enjoy the process of getting a horse started toward being ridden. It is rewarding to see them learn and progress. It is amazing, even though we can’t speak to them like we do each other, how they pick up on queues, sounds, mannerisms and body language making it possible to communicate with them. It’s kind of like trying to talk a person who speaks a different language than you, with a little effort you can usually get a point across without words. Of course, if your observant, they communicate to you the same way.
There is also a lot of repetition involved in training a horse, witch brings me to the point of all this. To make a horse really good, you do the different exorcises over and over, day after day. As the miles and experience racks up, the handle of the horse improves. Even a horse of mediocre talent can become quite good with a little patience.
To make a human really good at something; have you guessed where I am headed?
If you are having problems with something, do it repeatedly. Planing, sawing, dovetails or whatever, practice, everyday for a week or two or however long it takes (Schwarz dovetail-a-day plan).
When teaching I have occasionally had a student ask how I cut a particular joint in ten minutes while doing a demo, but when they went to their bench and tried it it took an hour and did not fit well. Sometimes, it like they are insinuating I left out some kind of secret detail, even though they watched and listened as I did the demonstration joint. The secret is I have cut hundreds of them, the student is on number one.
It is true that some folks have a natural aptitude and ability towards things like woodworking. Hard work and determination will beat natural talent given time though.