Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Plan: Have A Plan

Late last month I had the opportunity to ride in a dressage clinic with Henrik Johansen. I love riding in clinics with him. He's a wonderful teacher. I always leave excited about riding and knowing where I need to improve. 

This time was no different. I rode my friend Fable because Eddie, although back to work again, is not far enough along in his rehab to endure the demands of a weekend clinic. I've ridden Fable in the past couple of clinics and it works well, since I bring the lessons I learn home to Eddie. I did this time too, of course.

As I was riding one of the exercises Henrik had coached me through at the clinic, I started thinking about something else he'd said. "Ride with a plan. Don't ride by reacting to the horse."

Was I doing that?

Well … sort of. I had a plan, but I was very intent on figuring out if Eddie was actually doing it. 

I changed my thinking. I took a deep breath, squared up my posture and let go of all that "gotta do it" tension.

"I am doing the exercise correctly myself," I said, not entirely believing it. "And when I do it right, it feels exactly like this." (insert active imagination here). 

Then the most amazing thing happened: Eddie improved in one step.

Go figure. Although I should have known. After all, it's not news to me -- I "talk" this stuff all the time.

Guess I don’t always "walk" it.

And that got me to thinking -- is that what I do in my daily life? Do I fret every minute to be sure everything is "just so," checking to see if all my ducks are lined up properly? Do I have a plan I focus on, or am I reacting to each moment, watching for things to go wrong?

Maybe I should just march forward and let all my ducks line up behind me while I lead the way. After all, not all of us can follow. Somebody has to get out in front. It's my life. It might as well be me.


  1. Great post. I found that a horse that is well matched to me is an extension of me. Sometimes I like what I see, sometimes not.

    1. Thank you, Mary! I trainer I once worked with used to say that, as well. And horses are such good imitators! They will "do as you do" -- which can be very enlightening ... or very frustrating!

  2. good post about

    The Plan: Have A Plan

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