Thursday, March 31, 2011

What I learned at the Barn

I'm not uncommon. In fact, I think I'm in the majority. I've always been fascinated with horses. At 10 I thought husbands to be completely unnecessary, as long as I could one day have a barn, with miles of white fence, with rolling green hills and a sunset to die for, and a herd of the most breyer-esk horses I could find.

Well, life moves on, and with boys, and high school, and life smacking you right in the face, there was one thing I couldn't seem to find myself moving away from, horses.
No matter where I found myself in life, I also managed to find myself in a barn. Whether just to groom, and touch a horse, or to agree to some of the scariest rides of my life (note to all horse lovers out there: all equine Canada coaches are NOT created equal. Despite the paperwork they can show you to say there are!!) I needed to be tested and affirmed by those four legged creatures we both admire, and despise!

They are frustrating, and exhilarating, and exactly what you ask them to be when you ask them to do it. Despite our best effort, and excuses that "YES, I am asking him to move forward" and "NO I am not giving mixed signals!!", both lessons in the arena, and lessons in life are eerily the same.
We might very well think we are asking what we want out of life, but until someone on the rail notices your mixed signals, we can't see it for ourselves. In fact, we will argue to that person on the rail that we are doing everything right. And it's not until we take a step back, or in the arena, hop off the horses back, that we see what it is we were doing the whole time. Mixed signals.
So there is something so therapeutic to riding a horse when you feel like your life is upside down, because no matter what is happening in you brain at that moment, unless you are fully committed, and willing to be in the moment, sending only the right message, you will lose. Your horse will not do what you ask, and as all the frustration wells up, you can only remind yourself, "He just did what I told him to do".

And isn't it funny that when you have a moment of clarity in the eye of the storm, you look around and say "my life is just where I told it to be"
And men wonder why we love horses??