Enjoy the ride!

By Lorna Leeson
Yesterday I was faced with a particularly irritating scenario; the clients who had booked for the final lesson of the day didn’t show. Not a word of explanation… Nothing!Many riding instructors, I am sure, are familiar with the level of frustration I was feeling when, after ten minutes of ‘busying’ myself around the yard and admonishing myself for thinking the worst in people (it is possible they had a mishap on the way here, you know?!), I finally accepted the fact that they were not coming and I was left with a barn full of ponies, all tacked up with nowhere to go.Then an idea began to form in my mind; small at first but quickly building momentum… What if…What if I were to just take one of the ponies out on the trail, no schooling, no lessons, no ‘being an example’ to all who see me? What if I were to just mount up and ride like I used to ride when I was younger and, quite frankly, just enjoyed the actual ride?

What if we just let loose, not giving a care in the world as to how we looked, not even a thought towards considering all the finer points that I know now but didn’t know or care about then?

And that was when magic happened, literally. As I mounted my favorite pony, I had this feeling of excitement and anticipation that I honestly have not felt in years. Like Christmas Eve… when I was 6 years old! The feeling that anything was possible; the feeling that we were just going to enjoy each other, together, on the trail.

And as we left the yard, it was almost as though this feeling was contagious and this wonderful little mare was reading my mind and becoming giddy with the possibilities.

What a ride we had! I spent that time just ‘being’ with my pony, present in the moment.

I think sometimes, as equestrian professionals, we become so caught up with having to ride a certain way. We are always trying to improve ourselves and our horses, which is not wrong! But perhaps sometimes, every now and then, we need to just let loose and forget all that we know. Maybe that’s the key to being able to return to our work of self-improvement with a renewed passion, and a better understanding of how blessed we are for these wonderful animals to allow us the life-changing experience of riding on their backs, and being with them.