Des, Sami, Jenna and I have enjoyed time riding with Shayne this week and receiving his instruction and feedback. One of the phrases he has offered us to remember is “Their (the horse) feet are your responsibility.” He is adamant that we ride the horse in such a way that his feet are ours to direct. Shayne is teaching us some movements of the horse that keep their withers elevated and lighter on their feet. He said the horse is so much happier when his front feet are not buried in the ground, and you have access to any of his movements at any time because he is more balanced and rocked back over his hocks.

 Shayne is always asking us, “What are you willing to accept?” Exactness and precision (which horses understand and respect) or inconsistent and haphazard movement (which horses abhor).  I have seen this question come up not just in my riding, but when I lead my horse, when I do my daily chores, when I communicate with others. There is wisdom in knowing what you want, knowing what you’ve got, and what you are going to do with it.

As I have been learning from Shayne this week, I find myself thinking on the wisdom of King Solomon in Proverbs 4: 23 which states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” I know I need to guard my heart from impatience with myself or my horse and guard my heart against surrendering to defeat and embracing challenges that stretch and strengthen me. How blessed to have the opportunity to be more than I was the day before. Riding is a journey of seeking clear communication and precision with horse and rider to create harmony. First we have to have harmony within ourselves.