The More I Learn…

…the less I know.

I spent last Sunday engrossed in a beginner’s bodywork clinic. It was a lovely crisp winter morning which turned unseasonably warm during the day and I was happily surrounded with like-minded people.

Each person had a buddy and got to work and practice on their own horse plus the other person’s horse which was a great way to see the different responses.

While it was a great day and I learnt so much, towards the end of the day I got that horrible feeling that I don’t really know much about horses at all. And that’s a feeling that really shakes my self-confidence.

But, I’ve been around long enough now to know that THAT feeling, while intense when first experienced, is thankfully fairly fleeting.

Now it makes me go deeper into myself and ask, what else do I need to know and what can I learn from this situation?

It helps me to create a deeper level of knowledge and understanding of my horse.

I watched the practitioner interact with my horse, listened as she described what was going on, what my horse was saying, offering and asking of me. It was all very interesting but I didn’t like the feeling I got that someone else knows my horse better than I do – that really hurts the old ego!

But, once I got my ego back under control, I realized that with the practitioner’s wealth of experience and knowledge in the horse world, if she couldn’t tell me these things about my horse, it wouldn’t speak well of her.

The horse world is always changing, and mostly for the better and it is these changes which are indicative of our quest to learn more and to be better owners, carers and riders.

Now, I don’t profess to be an expert at all, but it’s still a blow to my ego to find out there’s still so much more I’ve yet to learn. Just when you think you know it all, something else comes along, or changes, and you feel like you must start again.

Attending the clinic paid off later that week when she let me perform a couple of the movements on her hind legs while she was untethered in a very large paddock. She was free to leave and go back to the herd but she stayed with me, only walking away for a couple of steps to process and then inviting me back in again.

Last Sunday I learnt to watch my horse even more closely, to see what she is saying to me or inviting me to do. I put my ego away and chose to learn instead.

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Allyssa Carlton

I’ve loved horses forever but only in the last few years have I owned a horse. Now I belong to a grey Arab mare named Aine. When I’m not horsing around, you’ll find me writing, cooking, reading and drinking coffee and wine. I share my home with my barista husband, one of my two daughters and her tiny dog Patrick.

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