Any blog with the word, Horsemanship in it deals a lot with how people relate to horses. I’ve been looking over the content of my posts only to discover that I write a lot our attitudes toward horses. That’s fine. But I don’t write nearly enough about our attitudes toward ourselves as horsepeople and riders and how it affects our relationship with our horses.
Just look at the word: horse + man (sorry, ladies) + ship. I’m not going to go all Parelli on you, except to say that the horse and the man parts are equal, and I think they should get equal attention. I’m going to start a series of posts on the man part (sorry again) in order to attempt to rectify that inequality here. They will be entitled, as above, Affirmations of Awareness for Horsepeople. At least I can rectify the gender one-sidedness with my own title!
Think of theses posts as a one-sentence affirmation upon which to meditate as you go about your daily chores, or as you ride or interact with your horses.
I have always been plagued by doubt about my riding ability and about my horses. As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a particularly elegant or skilled rider. I love heavy horses for their looks, their personalities and their biddability. These characteristics make them, and me, subject to derision in my circle of equestrian endeavor, where the lean and leggy Thoroughbred reigns supreme, and is always ridden by the strong, elegant woman who began her riding career in utero.
So picture me awaiting the release of the hounds, surrounded by the beautifully turned out riders, aboard their slender, glossy-coated TBs, just feeling their negative comments. My thought, bolstered by hundreds of negatives overhreard over many years, goes as follows,
Just look at that chunky woman on that massive beast! She can’t ride, so she’s got herself a clunky packer! She looks like a Thelwell drawing!
I know the opinions of others around Virginia about draft horses and, in many cases, draft crosses. This comes as no surprise. I know I should not even disagree with a comment like this, were it actually made aloud. In fact, I agree with it!
It’s the hurtful and negative nature of it that I feel, and that’s what I can change.
I try to look at the positive, real reasons for my choice: My mount will keep me safe, and will prevent me from making costly mistakes in the hunt field. I love her. She teaches me so much. I don’t really care for the speedy TBs.
This is what I should be affirming to myself instead:
I have made an informed and intelligent choice of mount, given my level of ding skill. I am so grateful that this choice has enabled me to ride and hunt.
The negative thoughts that plague us cause us to miss many an opportunity. After many years, I might have been tempted to a disastrous try on a TB if I listened to myself repeat those unheard words. I”m grateful I chose to change my thought and re-tell myself the reasons for my choice. I affirm the following:
I choose not to be limited by my negative thinking.
I choose my thoughts with care. I constantly have new insights into how I shape and process my world.
I am willing to change and grow.
If you have a thought that goes round and round your head, that negatively impacts your relationship with your horse or your riding, take a moment to change it. Go ahead, it can be done!
© 2009 enlightened horsemanship through touch
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