I love when Grace shows me exactly where to look when I loose myself to trainer’s mind.
She has been finding all kinds of ways to get through to me. I didn’t make a big deal out of it. At least I have learned not to create a conflict. But my mindset was still flawed.
I kept trying to fix her. When truth be told, (and as I have said to others a time or two) “It was me who needed fixing”.
Lately, when I would ask Grace to trot along the rail she would resist and dodge the effort by counter-bending. Her forward went out the door and I would loose her attention. It was like someone turned off the faucet.
I had all kinds of ideas of things to try. Still attempting to fix it. That was until last week, when I heard myself say to a friend, how “I climbed on bareback with a lead rope one evening, to save my soul from a busy week”. And Grace and I blended like cream to butter. I heard myself say, “What does it say about me, if my horse is better with one rein than two?”
Then I got it!!!! “Go back” I thought. I kept trying to go forward through the resistance. I know whether it’s in horses or in life, pushing through resistance is just a bad plan.
When I go back a step or two, or even a few, I get to see where I got lost. In Perfect Practice I called this the “Do-over.” We can always do less. But when we keep doing more we just keep building on the resistance.
At the very least by stopping, and restarting—from the beginning, we get a chance to see things differently.
My teacher said “Don’t try to ride through something bad to come out good.” Backing off and backing up is a favorite approach of mine for building on success.
However, It does seem that it’s a difficult concept for folks to embrace. When I visit about it, I’ve heard replies like, “How do we get anywhere if we go backwards?” Or isn’t that rewarding misbehavior?” The only misbehavior is mine if I don’t listen to my partner. Grace was telling me straight!
So I went back to the halter and one lead, and wouldn’t you know Grace moved out like there was never a problem. Now the task will be to stay aware of what happens before what happens, happens. To move more incrementally so as to listen more attentively. I’m excited for this part.
In the old days I would have pushed her in the struggle. Today we found unity in it. Not in spite of it, but because of it.
We’re all in such a hurry for “The next” that we often miss the very best part of life. The part that reminds us that we don’t know. The part that whispers in our ear at night “Hey, you got lost. Go back and take a fresh start. “.
I’m so glad I listened to that whisper. I popped out of bed this morning excited and inspired to try again. I wouldn’t have traded this ride for anything. It wasn’t just the morning air that was fresh. My thoughts had cleared and in the bright light of the new day I found my horse again. Waiting… right where I left her.
It’s amazing what we learn when we know we don’t know.
Grace is good!
Life is Grace.
What more can be said?