From Endurance to Dressage
I just finished reading R. J. Palacio's Wonder, the book about a boy who was born with a severe facial disfigurement. If you haven't read it, or if you don't know anything about it, check it out. It's worth the read even if you're not in the fifth grade.
Early on in the book, Auggie's English teacher, Mr. Browne, presents the kids with monthly precepts, or what he calls "rules about really important things." The first precept he assigns the class to write about is this one by Dr. Wayne Dyer: "When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind."
That really struck a chord wth me. I like to be right. I also like to be kind. It made me stop and wonder if I sometimes choose being right over being kind. I had to admit that yes, it probably happens.
And then I got to thinking that many horse people, especially dressage people, deal with this conflict pretty often. Dressage, and horse ownership in general, is fraught with people who have THE ANSWERS. It seems as though the second you voice an idea, SOMEONE (or twenty someones) immediately knows EXACTLY what you should do.
There are a couple of relationships in my life (I am not going to name names) where I am struggling with being right or being kind. For the first one, I realized that I couldn't change this person's view, but what I could do was respond to it differently than I had been. Instead of being right, I've decided to be kind. It's funny, because that idea is also addressed by Dyer. He says, "How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours." I haven't had a lot of opportunities to practice this change in my response, but I am prepared.
In the second relationship, it's my friend who wants to be right. All the time. About everything. And it's horse stuff, so you know I have an opinion as well, but we aren't necessarily agreeing. While I haven't been unkind yet, I can feel it coming. Instead of worrying about whether my own opinion gets heard or not, I've decided to be especially kind instead. Mr. Browne's precept for the month of March should be a corollary to the first, Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much. - Blaise Pascal.
I think it's worth a try.
6/29/2017 07:12:30 am
I always say if you put 10 horse people in a room and ask a question, you will come away with a Dozen opinions! Everyone Knows EVERYTHING about horses. I stopped telling people what to do or think unless they ASK. It is easier for me that way. The only exception is if a horse is really in jeopardy - then I try to inform the owner/rider of the risk.
6/29/2017 10:40:36 am
I think so. :0) Thanks for sharing!
6/29/2017 10:41:31 am
Oh, I hear that!!!!! :0)
At the new barn I have found myself in a weird position of being one of the more knowledgeable boarders. I am finding myself trying to balance being right, and being kind. Especially since I am now finding myself seeked out by other boarders to ask questions, particularly health questions, about their horses.
6/29/2017 10:42:37 am
I have had that same experience. It can be frustrating to be ASKED over and over again only to have your advice ignored. I start to run out of patience. :0)
Top Ten Opinions I've actually voiced:
7/4/2017 05:21:06 am
HAHAHA - funny stuff, Mia!
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: