It was break through moment. One I had been working on for years and years and years. I could never quite seem to figure it out. I made all the tiny adjustments along the way, asked several people for advice, took some time off and even started from the beginning again. Nothing I tried ever seemed to work.
But on a breezy summer night, while the sun set and the fog rolled in over the hayfields, it happened.
I was just finishing what had been an uneventful ride up to that point. I was slowly collecting my thoughts and getting ready to head up to the barn for the evening. I let out pent up breath, sat up lightly, dropped my hands and quietly tapped my mare with my leg.
Her cadence changed, she softened her mouth, dropped her head and easily moved into an uphill frame.
Just to check that her sudden shift in frame wasn’t just pure luck and that I could recreate it, I urged her forward into an easy moving trot. We spent the next ten minutes floating around the arena in perfect harmony easily switching between lateral movements and direction.
My heart honestly wanted to leap right our of my chest I was bursting with so much joy. I was so happy I wanted to cry. To any other horse person what I achieved Friday night looked like no big accomplishment, because most riders start from that point in the dressage world. For me it was more than creating a simple movement with my horse, it was an acknowledgement to where I am in life.
You see, in order to create the exact movement I had to relax and release my hold on the reins and quietly, but consistently urge her forward with my legs. For too long, I have been holding my reins too tightly and not using enough leg to move forward. Both in which create an unhappy, stiff and non-forward moving horse.
To bring this full circle and explain how any of this applied to where I am in life, we have to look at two things: the reins and legs.
The reins to most riders are our handicap. They really do no good and in fact are very much our handicap, creating resistance and tension in the horse when we grip too tightly because we think the horse is moving beyond our control.
OUr legs on the other hand are what drive and encourage the horse to move forward simply put. It’s where about 25% of our communication occurs with the horse. If I’m not using my legs, I’m not communicating and I’m not moving forward.
So the point I’m trying to make?
I’ve been controlling and resistant to moving forward in specific areas of my life. Particularly career related areas. I’ve been holding on to the reins to tightly wanting to control each and every step of the way while my legs have been indecisive and practically non-existant in moving forward at all.
Friday night’s ride opened my eyes and showed me that I finally had a breakthrough in my thoughts towards careers. I can happily say I’ve let go of all fears and resistance and am ready to push onward in life.
Happy Monday everyone!
Always openly heartfelt,