A Journey of a Thousand Miles

"A Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a Single step"
So true!  We all forget that everything takes a start, and even the smallest step can be a huge leap forward into the future.  Sometimes it takes just one small decision, realization or idea to totally change our lives, and this is what is called "the quantum moment" or an "aha" moment.  If you have an idea about where you want to be, and you keep that in mind, you can reverse engineer the steps to get there.
Think of this in terms of training a horse, or even learning to ride.  How many times do we push ourselves and our horses beyond our abilities to get to the goal as fast as we possibly can?  In the world of equine competition, this happens over and over again, is it any wonder we have so many lame horses with all kinds of health problems that were not heard of 30 years ago?  Why is this?  It is because we have forgotten the joy of the journey and become too focused on the goal.  People are making a fortune creating and selling gadgets to try and force the horse into a frame - drawreins, sidereins etc.,  They are nothing more than the  trappings of an idle mind.  To become engaged with a horse is to feel real freedom, to become unfettered - so why do we seek to restrict and trap the horse - a creature whose nature is to be free?
We have trapped ourselves into boxes that don't fit our nature as well.  We are often imprisoned by our own thoughts, and so we impose the same restrictions onto our horses, and often with disastrous results, as is evidenced by the amount of lame horses we have in the world of competition.  What is this all telling us? That things need to change!  If we truly feel the harmony of life, that we are one and  connected to all life - then we would not be able to treat our horses any different than we would like to be treated ourselves.  Would we like to wear drawreins? Would we like to be forced into unnatural positions for hours until our muscles burn and we sustain damage to our spine and tissues?  Not likely - so why would we do this to our horses, a creature of beauty and freedom?  Why would we not allow the movements to develop naturally from kind hands, a quiet seat and a conversation of touch called Aids?  A conversation, by the way, is a two way street, not a dictatorship from human to horse and not from horse to human.  The tide goes in and the tide goes out, the flow never stops. If we could become like water - soft and able to find the smallest cracks in rock, how much easier and truly "resistance free" would our riding and our horses become?  Ponder on that.
What if we listened more than we talked?  Can you hear the grass growing? Your horse can.  What would it be like to be that close to Mother Nature? It would make us different people, we would find harmony, beauty and joy, we would have compassion and there would be no wars.  Truly our horses can teach is this, as they already know, we just have to listen to them.  They live according to their true nature, a horse is always a horse, they don't know how to be anything else.  As with water that over time erodes all resistance in rock to totally reshape it, look at the course of the ancient rivers on earth and you will see this - so can be by being soft, erode all resistance in the horse.  The water is gentle and persistent, and the rock eventually gives in.  No need for conflict, just the course of  time makes the changes.  So think of your riding like this - be in the moment, abandon all goals to just feel your horse, now, today, this second. for that is the only moment you have and it's everlasting.  Allow the conversation to flow, make no demands, and just feel. The horse will tell you what  they need, how their body feels today and what you need to do today to feel better. Take the time, turn off your cell phone and listen.

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Comment by P.Ann Turner on October 27, 2012 at 11:39pm

thanks jackie!

Comment by Jackie Cochran on October 27, 2012 at 1:21pm

Very good post.

Thank you!

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