Change and Progress
Spring is a good time to think about how we would like this year to unfold. Everywhere the daffodils and crocuses are budding and flowering and after the cold of winter, as we emerge from the rigours of Covid, we are hopeful that this year will bring something special to us all: new beginnings, new ideas, new hopes and plans.
At horse-riding recently, I was distracted and tired – I’m not complaining, just setting the scene – and my hands refused to stay level, weaving and tugging all over the place, like someone trying to cast a fishing line, perhaps: Fine on the river, not so good in the riding school at the Drum. And beneath me, dear Mr Bob waited patiently, doing exactly what I was instructing him to do: weaving his neck up and down, and going no-where I wanted him to. Even though he knew that the end of the lesson was in sight.
Now as well as being clever and handsome, Mr Bob is a very good horse, very disciplined and extremely responsive, so I know very well by now, that he will do what he is asked to do. When I give a signal, he obeys without question. Which is humbling, yes. But he also showed me that my signals are what create an outcome. Not just in horse-riding, but in life too, the signals I give out are often – exactly! – mirrored in what happens next.
So if I want things to go well, it’s my job to offer the right signals. Blaming others – horses, friends, neighbours, delivery drivers – is a big part of what stops me from moving forward; a truth so vividly demonstrated to me by Mr Bob while I was attempting to ride him and going no-where.
In so many ways, Mr Bob has been my teacher. He does not need me to ‘ride’ him – he knows what to do, and does it all the time, peacefully, correctly, and with great dignity. So all I need to do is stay balanced and calm, give the right signals and enjoy the ride.
Lesson well learned. Thank you Mr Bob.
March 15, 2022 @ 4:09 pm
Lovely, Fran. This is a beautiful analogy of life. Mr Bob is wise as well. I didn’t know you enjoyed riding. I do as well, but also need a Mr Bob these days.
March 15, 2022 @ 5:48 pm
Thank you so much, Val. It was a lovely moment and made me laugh.
I often ride on Tuesdays, and today, for the first time in – oh, forever… – I rode alone without help at the side, and kept my nerve. Usually I start muttering anxiously, “I can’t do this… can’t…!” etc, but today I just kept very quiet, and listened as hard as I could and did my best to follow instructions. It felt different, and stronger, for a change. Wow.
I’m glad you ride too. It is lovely, but I’ve learned that I don’t so much ride, as listen, and then I do what I’m asked to do. It’s a peaceful way to be, and very enlightening.
Bless you! 😀
Elouise R Fraser
April 3, 2022 @ 5:18 pm
Hi, Fran. I just checked in and found this gem! I don’t ride horses, but I remember learning to dance. Not the super-formal ways, but in ways that challenged me to ‘let go’ of my body and follow the lead of my partner. So now I’m imagining you dancing with Bob (as he follows your lead, of course)! He sounds like a lovely, smart, wise partner. As for you, you are a huge Risk-Taker, for which I would give you 5 out of 5 stars! I hope this day finds you rested and ready for whatever comes next. Things are getting a bit messy these days….
April 4, 2022 @ 8:07 am
Dancing with Bob… Sounds lovely, and I’ll think of it when I’m riding next time. He would smile at that, too.
Me, a risk taker?? I’ll accept that as a compliment, though the horses at the Drum are so well trained and peaceable.
Yes, I’m glad to be well rested this morning as I head off the the London Book Fair, lateral flow tests in pocket. In the meantime, I remind myself that mess is creativity, which helps to make sense of the changeable scene. :-))) Bless you, and thanks for commenting.