Ride Life! The Reins . . .

Molokai Mural

What can we learn from horses, and horseback riding, that will help us to Live our day-to-day Lives?

Turns out, plenty.

I refer to this as: Ride Life!

~~~

Ride Life!

Horses.

Unpredictable, thousand-plus-pound animals that we humans, throughout the centuries, somehow learned to tame, control, direct and partner with — from marching to battle and plowing fields, to racing and hunting . . .

To meandering trails and wild-paced gallops — just for sheer joy and pleasure!

I’m often amazed at the similarities between successful riding and controlling our horses, and Navigating the Potentially Out-of-Control Ride we all call Life.

~~~

I work with horses — you could call me a horse expert.

I’ve bred and birthed them, raised and trained them, saddled and shod them, carriage driven and ridden them.

And I’ve observed in that grand arc of horse experience that many of the skills and strategies we learn from our horses can help us Live our own human Lives.

Naje with Leaf Shadows

~~~

Horse Goal:  To partner with my horse; to ride in harmony with her; to unite with her, trust her. Meld with her, be ONE with her . . . and with the ride my horse and I take. To learn from the ride, record the ride, ENJOY the ride!

Life Goal:  To partner with my Life — my bigger goals, my higher self; to live in harmony with my Life; to unite with, trust, meld with, be ONE with . . . the Ride my Life takes. To learn from the Ride, record the Ride, ENJOY the Ride!

~~~

Constantly Adjust

One of the strategies required to successfully ride horses, is constantly adjusting my riding seat, my body posture, my hands . . .

For example, when all goes well:

* My body, my hips, all move with the swaying rhythm of my horse’s back

* My shoulders, my arms and hands, follow that swinging movement

* I hold the reins loosely, my arms outstretched, relaxed, everything flowing in unison . . .

* (And I SMILE :))

~~

Yet as my horse carries me, her head, neck, and back forever move — and this movement secretly, silently, pulls the reins — millimeters, centimeters, inches — from my hands.

Therefore, I must constantly adjust my hand position on the reins, or face the fact that my hands become ineffective, and I’ve lost control.

~~~

The Zone of Contact

There is an area, out in front of me, where my reins and my hands are effective in stopping, turning, and controlling my horse.

We’ll call it my “zone of contact”.

~~~

It’s a sweet place, this zone, where soft, yielding wrists and fingers are forever a slight touch or “feel” away from contacting my horse’s mouth — my horse’s mind, that which controls the drive-train, if you will . . .

With my soft hands in this zone, my horse feels free to move forward, unhindered by me — which is what I want.

I want to bring out the very best in her, for the best partnership and cooperation, the most unity and enjoyment.

~~~

If I hold my hands too much in front of this zone, my reins too short — I choke my horse’s ability to move.

Too much behind, my reins too long — a big gap exists, making me unable to seamlessly control my horse’s tempo, direction and speed.

If I hold my hands outside of the zone, my movements will be jerky, rough. She will resist me. Resent me. Our smooth partnership aborts.

~~~

Therefore, the need to constantly adjust . . . which an experienced rider does without thought.

The horse’s movements pull the reins — the rider adjusts — the reins pull — the rider adjusts . . .

And so it goes, like a tennis player adjusting her racket, a surfer shifting the angle of his body on his board, a skier setting the edges, cutting into the icy slope.

~~~

Ride Life!

Now what does this have to do with the Ride we call Life?

Life Goal:  To partner with my Life — my bigger goals, my higher self; to live in harmony, in peace, with my Life; to unite with, trust, meld with, be ONE with . . . the Ride my Life takes. To learn from the Ride, record the Ride, ENJOY the Ride!

~~~

Happy Horsing

Like our horse, Life is constantly moving, changing.

And like my horse, Life’s-forever-movement secretly, silently, pulls the reins — the safety zone, the control — from my hands. Millimeters, centimeters, inches, at a time.

But how do I adjust my hand position on Life’s reins? Or face the fact that my hands have become ineffective, and I’ve lost control!

Where is my “Zone of Contact”, and how do I Ride Life ? ? ?

~~~

The Zone of Contact

Let’s look at where Life’s Zone of Contact isn’t.

* It isn’t found in freaking out.

* It isn’t found in clutching tight.

* It isn’t found in closing my eyes, holding my breath and “hoping for the best” any more than riding my horse would succeed with that approach . . .

~~~

Life’s Zone of Contact is a sweet place where soft, yielding thoughts and aspirations are forever a slight touch or “feel” away from my Life’s purpose, motivation — that which controls the drive-train, if you will. That which keeps me connected and on the very Ride . . .

With my soft, yielding thoughts in this zone, my Life freely moves forward, unhindered by me — which is what I want.

I want to bring out the very best in my Life, the best Partnership and Cooperation, the most Unity and Enjoyment.

~~~

If I hold my thoughts — my actions ­­– fearfully, too much in front of this Zone, I choke my Life’s ability to move.

Lackadaisically, my thoughts and actions too much behind, a big gap exists, making me unable to steer my Life’s tempo, direction and speed.

When I live Life outside of the Zone, my movements are jerky, rough. My higher self resents me. Resists me. Our smooth partnership aborts.

~~~

Constantly Adjust

Therefore, the need to constantly adjust . . . which an experienced Life-Rider does without pause . . .

Life’s movements pull the reins — the Rider’s thoughts and actions adjust — Life pulls — the Rider, again, adjusts . . .

And so it goes, when fear and resistance attempt to pull against us — we adjust, yielding — loosening thoughts, embracing goodness — taking action . . .

~ Toward love. And trust. ~

~ Toward harmony. And peace. ~

~ Toward my bigger goals, my higher self. Again. ~

~~~

And so I’m reminded to Ride Life, like I ride my horse — on meandering trails and wild-paced gallops — just for sheer joy and pleasure!

And it’s true!

I’m often amazed at the similarities between successfully riding and controlling my thousand-plus-pound-horses . . .

And Navigating the Potentially Out-of-Control Ride we all call Life.

~~~

BHAPPY

~~~

Copyright 2015

Like what you’ve read here? Please visit Dawn’s sister blog: Journal of Dawn

 

 

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10 Comments

December 15, 2015 · 4:40 pm

10 responses to “Ride Life! The Reins . . .

  1. Hi, Dawn. Lovely post of a great analogy. Riding in harmony is living in harmony with oneself and others, giving and taking, keeping a loving balance that ensures survival. I send you blessings and wishes for a most Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and the hope that we will see each other again soon.

    • :)) Thank you, Patricia! So true! And I’ve enjoyed some wonderful, swift rides lately, flying through the woods in harmony and peace with my horse and the Nature that surrounds me . . . Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, as well! I’ll let you know when I get down your way. :))

  2. Elbert Smith

    Dawn,

    I really enjoy your emails.

    I’m so happy that we chatted on a chance meeting at Starbucks in La Cañada on your way to repair horse shoes a few years ago.

    El

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a Happy Holiday and
    Happy Trails to You

  4. “Ride Life…” this is beautiful. A perfect statement to ponder and think about what it meant in the past (I still romanticize the exploring and building up of the West), and more what it means today. To become one with life, become one with others is so similar to becoming was with the horse. I remember years ago getting on a horse I had just met and we rode and rode, and one of the hands on the ranch commented how perfect the horse & I bonded ~ looking like one while running across the meadow…one of the greatest compliments I’ve received (and the hand didn’t even realize it, as it was just something he noticed and commented on). Yes indeed, you have said it well. Just let the trust flow between you and life/the horse and it will be a ride never to forget.

    Great post Dawn, and wishing you the best for ’16.

    • Oh Randall, thank you for this heart-felt comment :)) I love the image of you running across that meadow, at one with that horse — so much so that the ranch hand commented — and his comment contributed to your magical memory and heavenly horse-human-bond — the same way your comment, here, contributes to mine. :))

      We all have opportunities to share with one another, but so often we don’t. Thanks for taking the time to share your life’s ride with mine! :)) Best! Dawn

  5. Pingback: Dawson Creek Lakota Agriplex - Peace Country Cowgirl

  6. This was such a pleasure to read. What a beautiful way of observing life and make it so easy for others to understand. To ride life is in important and true message that we should all carry with us in our hearts. Thank you for this lovely post!

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