A couple of weeks ago I was faced with a particularly irritating scenario; the clients who had booked for the final lesson of the day didn’t show… Not a word of explanation… Nothing!
I am sure you have had similar experiences, whether you work with horses or not, and can relate to how I was feeling at that point; tired, frustrated and annoyed! After ten minutes of ‘busying’ myself around the yard and admonishing myself for thinking the worst in people (it is possible they had a mishap on the way here, you know… Hmmm!), I finally accepted the fact that they were not coming and I was left with a barn full of ponies, all tacked up with nowhere to go.
But just before I let myself completely wallow in the ‘Poor Me’ mindset of no return, I looked for ways I could turn this whole scenario around on its head… What if?
What if I were to just take one of the ponies out on the trail, no schooling, no lessons, no ‘being an example to all who see me’. What if I were to just mount up and ride like I used to ride when I was younger to, quite frankly, just enjoy the actual ride.
What if we just let loose, not giving a care in the world as to how we looked, not even a thought towards considering all the finer points that I know now but didn’t know or care to know about then…
And that was when magic happened, literally. As I mounted my favorite pony I had this feeling of excitement and anticipation that I honestly have not felt in years. Like Christmas Eve… when I was 6 years old! The feeling that anything was possible; the feeling that we were just going to enjoy each other, together, on the trail.
And as we left the yard, it was almost as though this feeling was contagious and this wonderful little mare was reading my mind and becoming giddy with the possibilities…
What a ride we had! I spent that time just ‘being’ with my pony, present in the moment.
I think sometimes, as adult riders we become so caught up with having to ride a certain way that we sometimes lose the initial passion for why we ride in the first place.
We are always trying to improve ourselves and our horses, which is not wrong, but perhaps sometimes, every now and then, to just let loose and forget all that we know is often the key to being able to return to our work of self-improvement with a renewed passion and a better understanding of what it actually means to be blessed enough for this wonderful animal to allow us the life changing experience that it is to ride on their backs, with them.
This coming weekend, I challenge you to just spend time with your special horse or pony… Relax, relate and reignite those initial sparks that got you into the saddle in the first place…
I would love to hear about your thoughts or experiences on this in facebook group of the Rider Fitness Challenge – details below!
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