Oh Good Lord, I just spent over 30 minutes trying to figure out simply how to get onto my WordPress account and start writing a new blog post. This seems to fit right in with my recent observation about self: “Self, you rarely allow yourself to get to the fun parts. You’re good at tackling all the annoying prep-work. And then you’re exhausted by the time it’s ready to play.”
In this case, I’ve just wrestled through the prep-work of actually getting to creating the post, and now, damnitall: I AM GOING TO WRITE A POST!!! The best time to start changing a habit is NOW.
I ventured back on here because I still have this dream of creating writing about my journey with my horse. I know, snooze. Another horse crazy girl talking about her crazy horse. But my horse-crazy seems to be a useful analogy for my exploration of the human experience. And who couldn’t use a little more elucidation or support along this crazy human journey. So, with a lot of crazy’s all together (crazy girl, crazy horse, crazy journey) let’s begin.
Luna and I are currently riding at a place of I-don’t-think-I-can-canter. Consciously, I believe that it is she who doesn’t think she can canter. (She’s an ex-race horse. She throws herself on her forehand. She runs flat, she bucks when we try to transition from trot to canter.) But I noticed when I was explaining Luna’s ambivalence to a friend, earlier this evening, that maybe, subconsciously, it is actually ME who doesn’t think she can canter, and so maybe Luna just needs me to believe in her more.
This hardly seems possible. Believe in her more? I have encouraged myself to believe in her from the start. From when I adopted her as a lame, wounded 3 year old. From when I watched her run around falling on turns in the pasture. From when I found myself critical of some perceived imperfection; from the beginning, I have told myself, “She is perfect just how she is. Accept; embrace. Make her the best she can be.”
But one reason I think a personal belief deficit may be relevant is that today, as I struggled through yet another day of bucking trot-canter transitions, I experimented with just THINKING “canter” instead of actually making a physical change. And it worked! I wouldn’t say we arrived at a consistently repeatable result, but there honestly to goodnestly really was a transition or two which transpired merely because my conscious act was, “Think canter. Allow.” And she stepped into it.
Hence Luna is an illustrative window into the workings of the human experience. Is it not supremely human to observe the limitations of others, while being relatively blind to our own? Have we not so often heard, “If you find yourself making a criticism, look in the mirror.”? Or, “Point the finger back at yourself.”? So, while I was trying to explain to someone how Luna seemed to have a hard time believing she could canter (like actually work from her hindquarters, balance herself, without bucking) I noticed that maybe it was I who was having the belief issue. How thoroughly human of me. Because when I cleared away the, “Make sure you ask this way” or “Put on so much leg that way” and just B E L I E V E D, we cantered. Very smoothly I might add.
For like a stride or two, you understand.
But the greatest dressage journey ever taken begins with a single stride. A wise equestrian scholar said this once, for reals.