Not long ago, Amy and I travelled to Durango for the Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Really great singers, poets, and artists were there regaling us with their works. I’ve always been amazed at people that can pick up a guitar, fiddle, or mandolin and make their right hand and left hand work together to make that instrument tell a beautiful story in notes. People that had not played together for a long time could sit down, talk about what “key” they wanted to play in, know what notes and words to put together and then just sit there and make nearly perfect harmonies. Somehow, they all spoke a similar language with music so what they produced always sounded great to me!
Now, I like to sing. You can ask my dogs, cats, horses, Amy, and Ben about that. I don’t know what “key” I’m singing in, I don’t always know the words, sometimes I make up the tune but, I enjoy it. It makes me feel good inside. If I start to have trouble with a project and find myself getting uptight, humming a little tune can get things calmed down and on the right track. I don’t have to be as good as the folks that sing and play for a living. Music can be an important part of my daily life without having to be perfect. I can enjoy using music in my own way for my own purpose!
Today, with most of us using horses for recreation, we don’t all have to be fantastic riders to enjoy our horses. Most of us just want to be comfortable in the saddle and feel like we have enough of a connection with our horse that we feel safe. If we’re smart, we’ve found a horse that will put up with our imperfections. One that’s more gentle than handy. Given that, our responsibility is to ride with balance, softness, and respect. Understanding how our horse operates and then using that understanding to feel our horse and create harmony in our going together.
A rider who “finds” their perfect seat can be a confident, secure rider who can relax on their horse. They will feel balanced and will allow their horse to find its balance. A balanced rider and horse will always operate more softly than those out of balance. A horse and rider that have found a mutual respect for one another will have enough confidence in one another to travel many miles enjoying each other’s company.
Don’t feel that you have to become the worlds greatest rider. Become the very best rider you can become. How it feels between you and your horse is more important than how it looks to the outside world. Enjoy each moment you have with your horse so your horse can enjoy the moments you have to share with them. You don’t have to be in the right “key”. You don’t have to know all the words to the song. And, you don’t always have to sing in tune. You and your horse can go down the trail making a joyful noise enjoying the harmony of just being together. There can be no more beautiful music than that!