I love Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and most recently The 3rd Alternative (among others). Reading his books through the lens of horsemanship can seriously evolve the way you interact with horses. It has for me, and I recommend all of his books to anyone striving for excellence in their relationships with horses and humans!
One of the most profound take-aways I got from his books was this: as soon as you start trying to win an argument, you’ve lost. Lost the opportunity to understand the other person’s point of view, lost the chance to learn something from the experience.
As I grow older, the cheap thrill of vindication is still tempting–especially in a culture that rewards “I win!” far more than “I empathize.” But at least for me, moving away from win-lose and towards seek-to-understand in my interactions with people and my work with horses is the key to deep and lasting inner peace.
Enlightenment is closer to my definition of excellence than victory.
I hope your horsemanship journey is and continues to be a source of joy, peace, and ever-increasing self-awareness and improvement!