I’ve often heard this advice in many forms: ride the horse you own, ride the horse you have under you today. In other words, deal with the issues you are facing that day, on that particular ride, at that moment and don’t obsess about either what the horse did in the past or what you hope to achieve in the future or even how well everyone else’s horse is doing. That last one is a biggie. Probably every rider at one time has looked at the competition or at a riding friend’s horses and thought, “Gee, they never had to deal with X like I have. If only I could find a horse that would be (fill in the blank: easy, sound, more talented, less sensitive). Sure, some horses are less complicated than others but really, they all have issues. Ride the horse you own now is becoming a mantra for me, because I’ve always been a person who has a hard time living fully in the present. I am forever chewing over the past or worrying about what will happen in the future, neither of which I can do anything about! We can only affect the present, so live it and enjoy it. And to be a good rider you have to be in the present, fully in the present, just like the horse you’re riding. When you are, it’s liberating and becomes almost like a meditation. So for you non-equestrians out there reading this (if there are any!), “ride the horse you own now” is a good metaphor for life in general.
To see more of the beautiful work of Kim McElroy, go to her site http://www.spiritofhorse.com