What tickled me most was an offhand remark he made about one horse and rider pair. The horse obviously was the better-equipped of the two, and there was much razzing going on from the rest of the crew. "Are you riding that horse, or is he riding you?" That's what they say when a horse obviously is getting control of the situation.
|"Don't say a word!"|
I loved that image, and it got me thinking about what the words describe. I've been on both ends of that ride. I'd love to believe that the majority of the time, I'm doing the riding. I know it happens more often now that I'm older and have spent decades in the saddle. But then there are also those times, even now, when the horse is in control and I'm just along as a witless passenger.
When my horse gets antsy and a little nervous, and I tighten my stomach and wish for a calm moment...
When my horse refuses to be go somewhere that for some reason bothers him, and I opt to change direction and pretend it's my idea...
When I don't get on the horse at all because he's wide-eyed and prick-eared and I guess he'd be better off in the pasture....
I'm going to guess that most riders have these moments, just as most humans have out-of-control experiences in every phase of our lives. We can't control everything.
What we can do is reframe our reality.
Here's something to ponder. This quote [thanks to Lifehacker.com] is by David Eagleman, neuroscientist at the Baylor College of Medicine and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain:
|"Uh...no. I don't think I want to do that."|
Perhaps the biggest downfall of our lack of contact with reality is that each of us believes in our own so strongly that we go on happily ignoring the ones created by others. My way or the highway. When the "other" is a 1200 lb animal with teeth and hooves and an attitude, the highway starts to look like a better option.
So let's try reframing our viewpoint, not of who's in control, but of our disappointment in ourselves when we're not. We can only work with what we have on hand (or in brain, as the case may be), and we can narrow our sights, redefine success, and check our emotions at the gate, because getting angry at ourselves or our mounts (or anything else, for that matter) is a rather fettle-less venting of something very human. Get off; step back; try again with a new framework in place.
That's what we've got, so run with it!