No Free Horses!

No Free Horses!
Shiloh - a rescued horse (date was 7/14)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Trail Training

An ES (Equestrian Singles) friend came last night to help clear out some brush along the Trail Obstacle Course.  This morning, I will add a couple of obstacles to the course:  A "vine curtain," through which the horses need to ride; a "drag" obstacle (rope tied to log or bag of cans).  I am excited to be able to share the course with some ES friends this weekend.  The weather is supposed to be superb.  My aim in teaching and training has always been to build confidence and trust between horse and rider so that they can leave the arena and safely deal with any obstacle encountered along the trail.  Most all of us, when we imagine riding a horse, don't picture ourselves going round and round in circles in an arena forever, yet, in many cases, that's what happens.  The arena is a "safe" place . . . and fear of the unknown (what if a dog charges us?  what if a motorcycle whizzes by?  what if I can't make my horse go through that stream?) and we can "what if" ourselves into a boring cocoon.  The result can be an underlying discontent, an irritation, a disappointment in ourselves for not stretching beyond the familiar.  Cocoons serve a vital purpose, but a caterpillar doesn't stay in a cocoon. We do that in our lives, too . . . We settle for the familiar in Life's arena for fear of taking the daring step to reach our dreams.  In both riding and living, research, skill-development, communication, and trust are required.  New adventures will present themselves in our riding just as they will open up for us in our living . . . Wise, kind, and confident horsemen can instill confidence in their mounts, just as our Lord instills faith in us . . .  That kind of faith opens up a multitude of options for us as we dare to stretch ourselves and use our knowledge and skill to go deeper in our riding and in our lives.  We are not relegated to arena riding or living unless we choose to stay there . . . An arena is great for basic training . . .

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