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.