Tales from My Horse

Yesterday, I visited the stable to look in on my horse. I’ve been away for a few weeks and left him in good care, but still, his caregiver wasn’t me.

I took him out for a short ride just for fun, to reconnect. But, first, I cuddled with him for a long, long time, naturally.

As I was riding him, it occurred to me how different I am with him now.

In the past, I would have come to the stable, groomed him, put up the saddle and ridden off.

And I’m not proud to admit this, but I would have forced him to do things he wasn’t prepared to do, yet. I like to do a lot of dressage. But after a hiatus, it usually takes a little time to get the flexibility back.

Sure, you can force the movements like I used to, but, that does nothing but make you and your horse feel miserable. What could have been an enjoyable experience turns into a tense fight.

So I quit forcing it. I refuse to do that anymore. I realized when my horse and I play together, do light exercise, take rides through the woods, or exercise where I work from the ground with him, we get back to flexibility way, way faster than before.

When you think about it, doesn’t the same apply to our behavior in general?

Anytime we try to force ourselves to do something before the time is right, the outcome usually ends up being a disaster.

Sure, I realize you sometimes have to overcome inner obstacles and push yourself forward in spite of not feeling ready.

But that’s not what I’m talking about.

What I’m talking about is feeling relaxed and easing into challenges. I believe when you make your work more fun, rather than like work, you change the outcome, effortlessly.

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