Learn How to Drive – Ride a Horse
A few months ago, I was watching a friend of mine pony a horse when the horse he was leading pulled back. Hard. My friend refused to let go, and was pulled literally out of his saddle. He got back on to try again, and was again pulled out of the saddle. While watching this (and laughing), it occurred to me that if nothing else, horses teach us to be stubborn. Then, I got to thinking about a few other life lessons that horses have taught me over the years…
1. How to drive a golf cart while leading a hyped-up halter horse. I think this will be very helpful when I’m reaching behind the seat to retrieve my kid’s sippy cup years from now. Same principles in multitasking, fewer hooves to worry about
2. Driving in general. Trying to navigate the pen at the Quarter Horse Congress is akin to driving through New York City traffic. At least you don’t have to worry about your car being scared of that piece of paper fluttering off the wall.
3. How to paint a line of hoof black to avoid the newly washed white leg. Again, you may never know when a steady hand can come in handy.
4.How to take hoof black off your hands (for future reference, liniment works pretty well.) Had to get all that straight line practice in somehow.
5. How to listen to 20 different instructions at once, all from the same person. All being yelled at you across an arena while everyone, and their mother, watches. Trust me, it is possible to try to contort your body in 12 directions, and still forget to put your heels down.
6. How to keep smiling even when your horse is bucking behind the judge’s back. (…at least the judge never saw)
7. How to be a morning person and to appreciate coffee. Lots of coffee. Very early in the morning.
8. How to make that gut wrenching decision when it comes time to sell your horse. There will be other horses out there, especially ones you don’t have to ride for three hours before going in a class to avoid an explosion in the ring.
9. How to watch the horse that went around on the wrong lead for ¾ of the class get a blue, and appreciate your own flawless ride and lack of any placing (after a few choice words to your close friends.)
Horses have taught me many life lessons, and most of them unexpected. How to get back on is one of the most common, but there are many more that are from out of left field. What lessons have YOU learned? Feel free to comment and share them here!