As I was going through old newsletters I have written, I found this personal note . . . one of my “Lessons from the Barn” installments. I decided to share it with you because how you do anything is how you do everything – that means we can learn so much about ourselves in any situation. Horses are particularly helpful in teaching us about ourselves because they are experts at reading energy and responding to subtle cues. They are very clear mirrors for us. If you don’t like the reaction you are getting from a horse, you have to become aware of your emotions and shift your energy to get a different response from them. Hope you enjoy this “Lesson from the Barn”. . . .
This week was a great life lesson for Emma. She is not a risk taker and always errs on the side of caution and safety. She loves to be in control. Monday she was assigned to ride Oliver, a big beautiful black horse AND the biggest horse she has ever been on. His size made her nervous and her nervousness made him uneasy and affected his behavior. He was “up” because if his rider was nervous, then there must be something to be worried about. His “up” behavior made Emma more nervous, which made Oliver more worried and . . . well you see where this is going.
When they got into the ring, they were supposed to walking at a leisurely pace but Oliver took off cantering. Emma was terrified and she froze. She couldn’t communicate clearly with him and let him know what she wanted him to do. Her survival instinct kicked in and she was able to stay on until he came to a stop. As a young rider, she did a great job! Once she got off Oliver, she was really upset. She didn’t want to hear what a great job she had done or focus on the fact that she stayed on him and that this experience has made her a better rider. She stayed focused on her fear, feeling out of control and what could have happened.
Isn’t that what most of us do? When life feels out of control, we focus on our fear of what could happen and the negative thoughts and feelings swirling in and around us. Fear and negativity take control and we keep focusing backward on the terrible situation, paralyzed and hypnotized by the doomsday scenarios of what could have happened.
We have to shift our focus from the trauma to the triumph. Focus our attention on celebrating our accomplishments, looking at our growth points and congratulating ourselves for hanging on during a bumpy ride.
Emma will be fine. Her passion for horses and riding is strong enough to propel her through her fear so that she will continue to take more risks and broaden her skills. What about you? Is your passion strong enough to push you through the fear and keep you moving forward and growing in all aspects of your life?
As an update, Emma has continued to push through her fears and build her skilss. The photo is of Emma and her own horse, Summer’s Gold (Summer), jumping at a show in August.