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.

Please share: