I am one of those people who tends to become a little sucked into tunnel-vision – I find I am often all work and no play, or all play and no work with my horse. Every now and then something happens, or I do something that reminds me to put some ying in my yang (and vice versa) so that I can create a better balance.
In the last, probably couple of years, my focus with my horse has been SHAPE! FITNESS! CORRECTLY STEPPING UNDER! (and so on and so forth.) While things like these are important, they can be dead boring for the horse (and human) especially if we don’t remember to throw in something different every now and then to break up the monotony. Or how’s this – we could try to find a way to make something that was boring, more enjoyable for all involved.
This kind of creativity and use of imagination can actually be quite challenging for many of us. Take me as an example: I like structure. I like following guidelines. I like having a plan. For me to let loose and be spontaneous requires a sort of conscious effort – as paradoxical as that sounds. I have to almost force myself to let go, and sometimes the process of doing so can feel like slowly pulling a giant band-aid off of half of my body. It hurts. It’s uncomfortable. It feels a little wrong. However – even though my experience of going against my grain feels this way, my logical and reasoning self knows that it’s for the best. I know that I’ll benefit from letting go. And this is why I force myself to go through this rather uncomfortable experience.
Think about it – it’s not just with things like our horses and development in riding that we can get stuck in one way of thinking, or one way of doing things. It’s actually quite easy to get stuck into something like that. I know I often struggle in moments when someone suggests that I try doing something differently (like how I wash the dishes) and I immediately want to screech at them to crawl in a hole and die there. I know that I am being unreasonable in those moments, so (usually) I don’t say anything. What I try to do, instead, is to use that moment as a gift to consider that: maybe, just maybe, there is a different and potentially better way to do something that I have only ever done in one way.
I find that especially as I get older, it gets easier for me to lose myself in my ways of thinking, or of doing things. I become less and less willing to think outside the box – outside of MY box. It’s like I cling onto my ways and mannerisms for dear life, out of some irrational fear that I may lose myself if I were to let go.
Well, I may not enjoy the experience of letting go all the time, but not once have I regretted doing so. This is why I always try to have a little fun, to see things differently, to accept and seriously consider advice, and to think outside of my box.