A third marker of the second half of life that Richard Rohr mentions “We are better at rushing to judgement and demanding a complete resolution to things before we have learned what they have to teach us.” How many times have you come across “horse problems” without looking to the source of the issue instead of just wanting to “fix it quick”? About a million times? Me too. *Hanging head* One of the reasons I absolutely love off the track thoroughbreds is that they are incredibly sensitive and aware. They can read people pretty quickly and will react accordingly. Someone who is “young” in horsemanship will want to look for the quick fix, the problem resolution, but someone who is mature in horsemanship understanding that whatever problems arise it is almost 100% of the time an issue with the person, not the horse. I love horses because they force me to regularly look inward to what is going on in my soul. I am forced to face myself and be honest about the status of my heart, my integrity, my identity.
A few months ago my best friend Amy Ryals came to visit me. I really look up to her as a horsewoman. She has a wealth of knowledge that never ceases to amaze me. It also helps that she carries the fullness of God with her wherever she goes, too. I had mentioned that I had been having trouble with my OTTB mare, Rosie, on both bending to the right and our canter transitions. After working with me on our bending (which was a brilliant fix), she said, “Okay, now I want you to ask for the canter without taking up contact with the reins, just as you would as if you were asking for a canter when she is on the longe line.” I asked for a trot first, then as I entered the corner, I asked Rosie for a canter with a kiss, outside leg behind the girth, and a floppy rein. And what do you know…. Rosie picked up the canter without anxiety, without hesitancy, without any issue in the slightest. And as we cantered around she lowered her head relaxed and began to carry herself balanced. All because I got out of the way. Amy and I laughed out loud at how simple it was. And I shouted to her from across the arena sarcastically as I laughed “so, I guess it was me.” *Face Palm* Go figure. That day, Rosie made me face myself. I had become so concerned with getting things perfect that I was stressing her out. She could feel my perfectionism and drive for control. Then, once I let go (literally and figuratively) it all fell into place. Rosie knew what to do all along. She just needed me to stop trying to control the process and trust her with herself… and me.
What about you? What is something in your life that you keep trying to control, keep trying to “just get done” at the expense of the lesson?