Chocolate is more popular than World Peace, but Horses are more Satisfying


According to Google, only 110,000 people search every month using the words World Peace.  Isn’t that sad.  I guess none of them are arms manufacturers.  1,220,000 are interested in slavery.  I wonder how many of those are actually looking for potential slaves.  Scary thought.  Depression – 6 million.  Crisis – 5 million.  That’s understandable.

But top of the pops is chocolate, with 20 million, and coffee a close second with 13 million.  I would have thought that if you were obsessed with either coffee or chocolate you’d need to drink it, eat it, experience the pleasure of it.  What’s the point of reading about it and looking at pictures?  Choco-voyeurism.  Choco-sadism.

Well, somewhere in between lies a fascination with horses.  They get the same number of hits as depression.  6 million.  I can understand that.  I started horse riding lessons a week ago, and had my second lesson yesterday with a horse named Moolan.   It’s the most amazing experience so far.  I think words are going to fail me.

I’ve looked at horses all my life with awe and a pretty passionate desire to be able to ride them.  It seems so strange that it’s taken me all these years to start.  One good thing about starting anything after postponing all your life is the immense relief of finally saying yes to yourself.   I wondered if I’d find that I’d been in love with the idea of riding but wouldn’t like the reality of it and having to go through the learning process, but that didn’t happen.

My thigh muscles are weak as dishwater.  I don’t know much about how to relax and focus on everything you have to focus on all at once, let alone communicate with a horse, but I still feel as if I belong there when I’m in the saddle.  The whole world and its complexities, the challenges of trying to live my life in a way that brings me fulfillment and doesn’t land me on poverty street; how quickly time is passing – it all falls away.

Just me and Moolan, learning to be aware of what I’m communicating to him all the time, all the mixed messages I’m giving him, learning how to be clear about the ones I want to give, and what I have to do with my whole body to give them.

It’s a strange thing, the relationship between horse and rider.  I’ve often heard people say you’re the boss and you have to know and show it.  I didn’t like that, it sounded like bully power.  But actually I don’t think it is.  It seems to be more about being sure of what you want and telling your horse in a clear, unapologetic way.  It’s also about respecting the horse and its incredible power, intelligence and sensitivity to your every movement.

One thing’s for sure.  I can’t rescue Moolan and apologize for giving him an instruction, he just ignores me!   I have to deal with my own emotions – I certainly can’t take my anger out on him,   I’d be likely to get a kick in the face and be thrown, and it would serve me right.  I definitely can’t be a victim – I’m scared to ask for what I want.   He won’t feel sorry for me.

But he is a patient horse, and he’s gentle and understanding that I’m a beginner.  I feel pretty moved by that.  And when I got my messages clear we had a couple of moments of being in a kind of rudimentary harmony.  I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life.  I had a sense of what it is to be independent and accountable for myself and connected with another being.

It beats chocolate, I tell you.

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12 thoughts on “Chocolate is more popular than World Peace, but Horses are more Satisfying

  1. hi jennifer,
    i loved your article on the horses-very funny as well as inspiring.
    great job.
    much success with the riding,
    my best,
    sue

  2. This is an excellent article and not just because I love horses- I have done it the other way to you. I rode for years as a child and took it up again about ten years ago only to stop again. Every year at some point I will say ‘must start riding again’ but never do! But I love your description of your synchronicity. Enjoy! (and the article was informative too)

  3. I loved the way you started the article with statistics and led into it. Both of my granddaughters have horses and are riding as often as they can. They love it but you have explained the whole phonomenon (msp) in a unique way. Congrats on your new adventure! Fran

    • Good question, Bob! I remember my first new car very well, it was incredibly exciting. A Fiat Uno 1100! I drove it like a sports car. Yes, it was just as fine getting on a horse. Different. Hmm, calls for another blog!

    • I learned a few things. Of course FB works!! Probably about 20% of people responded so far. It spiked my blog stats, and also drew in some people I haven’t met before. But I don’t know yet whether they’ll want to come back or not. And I haven’t quite figured out why but I wouldn’t want to do this again. Something to do with respecting my friends’ rights to read what they want to read. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

      Definitely FB is a way of accessing a big audience, but how you keep them is something else. Relationships, I suppose. Visiting their pages, participating. Give and take. In any case, it’s those connections have meaning, and that’s really what I’m looking for.

  4. When you describe your relationship with Moolan, it sounds so much to me like a woman’s relationship with her man. I’m communicating to him all the time, all the mixed messages I’m giving him, learning how to be clear about the ones I want to give, and what I have to do with my whole body to give them. I’ve often heard people say you’re the boss and you have to know and show it. And sometimes there’s harmony!!! I’m so impressed you’re taking riding lessons. Actually, to be honest, I’m jealous!

    • You just gave me an aha moment! I haven’t had a relationship for an awful long time, but if I think back I can see how none of them worked because I didn’t know myself or that I had any rights, and I gave mixed messages – and received them! I think we do have to be the boss, but just the boss of ourselves, not in the relationship. I don’t think there should be a relationship boss. As for the riding lessons, I’m just loving them. Why don’t you go and check out a riding school? I can see you on a horse, I reckon you’d be great at riding.

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