Angel and I have been doing well in our arena work, and we’ve been doing really well during cattle sorting. The stable has developed new trails out in the hills behind the barn, and I’ve been eager to get out there. At the last stable we were at, we had access to lots of trails and used to go out frequently. I thought we’d just trot out without any problem.
For whatever reason, Angel is not comfortable. He gets out in an unfamiliar place and gets very “prancy” or “wiggy” as I like to call it. It’s not fun.
I was disappointed and discouraged. I don’t understand the problem, and it’s frustrating. But the truth is, this is the way it is and the sooner I accept that the sooner I can help fix it. Rod and I are both going to take him out regularly. I’ll go a little further each day, expanding the comfort zone and pretty soon it will be OK again.
As they say on South Park, “I learned something today.” I have to accept situations as they are, and not as I wish they were. Getting disappointed or fretting over it solves nothing, and it doesn’t help my horse. He’s looking to me for guidance and if I’m confident then it will help him develop his own confidence.
I was also reminded that I am not just a passenger. If I’m just along for the ride, thinking my own thoughts, then I’m expecting Angel to walk up that hill all on his own as if he had nothing better to do.
Also wrong. We’re in this together, or not at all. That’s what it means to be present with my horse. If I expect his attention to be on me, then my attention must also be on him.
I suspect it is also like that in our relationship with the Holy. Lots of people think that God is going to do whatever “he” wants, and we need to get with “his” program or be left behind (no pun intended), or bulldozed over. I don’t think so.
And not just because I don’t think that the Holy is like that, but because if it’s all about relationship – with God, with each other, with other animals, with the universe – then we are truly in this together or not at all. Not only are we not just a passenger, but there’s no such thing. Just being along for the ride is a myth.