Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It is all about the expectations...

Over the weekend I finally spent time with my horses and barn friends. It was really good to get outside and ride after not seeing my boys for quite some time. Herman was a star and Reef just wanted more treats! But I also got to ride one of my friends horses. She was having problems getting her horse to walk over a ground rail (read pole laying on the ground). Her horse wanted to jump it like it was a 3 foot oxer with water (ever see a gazelle jump?)

So I was rode her horse though it, figured out the problem, and passed on the knowledge. She had to really exagerate the half halt on the outside rein to get her horse to listen to her. She was happy the horse was happy it was a great thing.

So then she asked why the half halt was important. And I did a lousy job of explaining dressage ('cause it is more fun to watch paint dry then to train dressage.) and the role of the half halt. Basically it goes like this... your body and your legs are telling the horse go forward and your hands are telling the horse to slow down and become more round. Yeah very contradictory.

So knowing that I had done a lousy job of explaining this to a person who was really trying to get it, I found John Paul. John Paul is a dressage trainer. And an amazing one at that. He has trained all over the world had has first class way of teaching. So I asked him to explain the half halt.

Kathy and I got a lot out of the conversation. We walked away with something much more important then the half halt. It pertains to expectations and keeping an open mind. It is more a life lesson then a riding lesson.

Jean Paul feels that by approaching life without expectations and by being open to anything that you are generally a much more happy person. Since you have no expectations of a situation you are generally pleased with the outcome because you were open to it. He used riding as his example.

When you ask a horse to go forward you expect that he will go forward. Sometimes the horse does and we are happy because the expectation has been met. When the horse does not go forward we get frustrated and generally close ourselves to other possibilities. We kick the horse harder which can or can not yeild results.

so in searching for my new years resolution - I think I have found it - to rid myself of silly expectations - becasue what is going to happen will happen; and to be open to new ideas - because that is really the only way the we learn anything right - by being open to experimentation.

OK _ So I am going to give it a try....


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