Posts Tagged ‘Horses’

Control
Verb
a) to exercise restraining or directing influence over.
b) to have power over

We take the word control for granted most of the time.  We believe we control our time, our work, the direction of our lives.  At times we attempt to control other people, our children and circumstance.  We use terms and phrases like quality control, control variables, controllers, and self control as ways we can express how we exert power over things.

On an unconscious level control, or perceived control, can play into how we feel about our life and the world.  Take expectations for example, the energy associated with the word expectation, added to this unconscious idea of control, can make us feel like victims of circumstance.  The very word expectation implies that we have control not only of ourselves, but of other people, environments and circumstances.  It makes us believe that a plan will always go perfectly, and when it doesn’t we are frustrated at best or compete failures at worst. With expectations we either get what we plan and move on ignoring our great luck, or the day is a complete wash (disaster) because it didn’t work out as we expected.

A better choice when planning and executing is to have the energy of intentions instead of expectations.  Intentions give us a map to follow to get to a goal, but unlike expectations, detours are allowed.   When we do things from an  energy of intention we are super happy when things work out perfectly.  With intentions we know we only have control over ourselves and that many variables must fall into place to be successful. When things don’t work out perfectly, we are open to modifications to reach our end goal and we are entertained by the adventure.  With intentions we really enjoy and appreciate when things work out perfectly and when they don’t we enjoy the ride.  In making this small choice of energy (intention over Expectation) we find more satisfaction with our day and our choices.

Real life example:

I was getting some family and professional photos taken with my horses and I decided it would be fun to get a photo of me meditating on the butt of a free (no ropes, no saddle, no nothing for control) horse.

The Goal: photo, horse free in the pasture, me on horses butt cross legged, meditating.

If I use expectation: I’m assuming control of the environment, the horse (who I remind you I want completely free), the photographer, the weather, other horses, my hair, my clean cloths… you get the point.  I may even think that, since I’ve trained my horse well and I’m a good rider and the photographer is a professional we can pull this off fairly quickly.  I may expect I jump on and BAM picture perfect.

I may even test to make sure my horse will let me sit on her butt.  If the test works my expectations might be even higher.

This, perfect, picture was taken while I was testing to see if it was even possible.
Thank goodness I’m not an expectation girl.

Things of course don’t always go as planned with horses, I think they enjoy playing with us if we have expectations (yes, I’m anthropomorphizing my horse).  Expectations are a bad plan especially with so many variables including a very playful and mischievous horse.

Luckily I went in with intentions, not expectations.  Here is what happened.

First few attempts she wouldn’t stand still.  So I moved to physical control.

Of course when I let her go she walked off

That’s cool, I can flow with that.  And we got a great picture when she stopped, except….

Horse butt in the background.  Grrr. 

So I went back to basics.  I wasn’t going to try and control her as much.  I was going to put her in an area I liked and wiggle on her back, while she is free until she stands still.

 

This worked because this is what she knows.  It’s how I trained her in the first place

 

And finally, with patience and humor we get the perfect shot.

Here is the takeaway.  We can’t control everything, nor should we try. We can only control ourselves and the way we decide to be in our world.  We can make plans, they can be really good and sometimes they work out perfectly!  Instead of expecting perfect to happen,  really celebrate and enjoy those times. If you think about it, those perfect plans are really hard to create.  Go into your plans with a sense of adventure, with intentions, and enjoy the ride as you create the, sometimes winding, path to your goals.  By controlling what you can, and enjoying the rest you won’t feel like the victim you will have control where it matters most.  In YOU.

Special thanks to Kim Beer at Midnight Productions, inc. For taking all of these really fun photos!

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horsesMy alarm seemed to go off very early this morning so I hit snooze.  Shortly there after my phone rang.  Turns out my horses decided that today would be the perfect morning to escape their field and storm around the countryside.

As I hurried out to collect them it occurred to me that whenever I spend time with my horses I learn something new about myself. Today, it was the knowledge that when I move with purpose, I move very easily.  In this particular case I had to run down the horses before they disappeared over the horizon!  I bounded over wood fences, dove under barbed-wire fences and sprinted across fields.    All the skills I practice in the park, and all the time I spend playing on the floor with my son has had the intended effect.  When I need a skill in the moment my body is prepared, fluid and capable.  Even more so then I sometimes realize.

When I finally caught up with my very winded herd, they looked at me and seemed to say “See! You CAN run like the wind!” This morning’s adventure made me so happy, it energized my day and gave me a new perspective on my skills and abilities. I so love my herd for that!

It’s been a crazy last couple of days.  I live in Colorado and for a good portion of the summer it has been hot and dry.  That was until September 9th when we received some much needed rain, and then some more rain on the 10th.  Woohoo!  Then more on the 11th.  Wow, what an odd Fall.  Then nature let loose on the 12th dumping 9.08 inches of rain and an outrageous flood ensued.  Between September 9th and mid day September 13th we got a whopping 14.62 inches of rain!  To put this in perspective Colorado’s average precipitation, including rain and snow melt, is 14.92 inches.  So in 4 days we received just under our yearly average.  To read more, and see pictures,  of this 500 yr flood, check out this weather channel link.

I live just on the north side of the St. Vrain river (one of the major rivers that flooded) and my horses live 5 min south east of me on the south side of the St. Vrain river.  At around 7:30am on September 12th I went to check the horses because there Cold and wethad been reports of high running rivers and flooding in the area.  At first things seemed, for the most part, fine.  The land where we pasture our horses is on a bluff 50 yards or so above the river.  I could see the river was high and everything was getting really muddy but the horses were safe.  They were, however, very nervous because the river below was raging.  I fed them and then went to explore the area.

What I came across on the flat lands north of my pasture took my breath away.

The video was taken in the early morning and by late afternoon I was no longer able to get across this river to see or care for my animals. The north and south sides of my town were cut off from each other as flood waters moved east; taking out all roads and bridges in its path.  I wasn’t able to get back to the horses until early Saturday the 14th.  Below is the video taken Saturday morning of the same river, still extremely flooded but down from where it was.

Most of the roads close to the St. Vrain looked something like the picture below of Airport Road (this is the road I usually take to the pasture).  This picture looks south toward the St. Vrain and the trees in the distance on the right side show where the river normally runs.  The flooding was incredible!  As of today, this road is still closed, but it is drying up nicely.

flooded road

Not taking this road for awhile

There are so many more pictures I could post but I think the Weather Channel link above has the best pictures where you really get a feel for the damage.  Colorado has had a few floods in the past but none of them have been on this scale.  I guess that’s why it’s being called a 500 year flood.  But for all the damage in Longmont, our neighboring  town, Lyons, was hit so much worse.

I’m so very grateful at this time.  My house is high and dry, my horses are safe and happy, and my life was only slightly inconvenienced by this whole storm.  Others were not so fortunate,  Many lost homes and some faced life or death situations with no one to rely on except themselves. Some lost their lives and others are still trapped and waiting for helicopter rescue by the National Guard.  IMAG1156

On Saturday when I was finally able to reach the horses I moved them back into a grass field.  They were so happy to get out of the muddy pen they had spent several days standing in.  I told them that they were very fortunate, but I’m not sure they believed me.

Life is a school, experience is the lesson and there are so many lessons a natural disaster can impart.  Stay tuned for future posts and see how playing around and moving like a child could be the most practical (and important!) thing you’ve ever done.