• Elaine Sanders

Ignoring the Problem Won't Make it Go Away (3/3)

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

Over the past couple weeks, I've talked to you about the concrete pile.

In part one, I revealed that I’m not perfect. (I know, it’s hard for me too.)

In part two, I shared my theory to explain a horse’s (not-so) random behaviour.

In this part, I’m sharing what I learned from Kali and the concrete pile.

If you recall, Kali freaked out at the concrete pile that she’d seen every day for the last 6 months. I didn’t handle her seemingly “random behaviour” well. At all.

So after I got off the blame train and gave myself a break, I went back out to regroup with Kali. I knew there was something about this damned concrete pile. And I knew it wasn’t Kali who had a problem with it. I knew it was me.

I also knew that it wasn’t the concrete pile exactly.

Right now, you’re probable wondering, “Elaine, WTF are you talking about? If you didn’t have a problem with the concrete pile, then what did you have a problem with??”

Remember those 2 questions last week?

1. What was the situation?

2. What does it remind me of in my own life?

I answered them. Here’s what I came up with.

What was the situation? The situation was that Kali was concerned about something. I wanted her to ignore it. To pretend it wasn’t there. To just be normal. I was pushing her. I was not doing the things that I knew would help.

What does that remind me of in my own life? Oh gosh. There it is. Like a slap in the face from my own reflection. There’s been something on my mind - something that I’ve wanted to share with someone, but I just haven’t found the courage. It’s been burning me inside. I’ve been trying to ignore it. To just be normal. Trying to pretend it’s not there, but it’s as undeniable as the concrete pile. I’ve been punishing myself. Pushing myself. So hard. I haven’t been doing the things in my own life that I know would help with the issue.

The mirror was undeniable. Kali was re-acting to what was inside me acting out an exact play-by-play of my inner world. (Was she doing it consciously? I have no idea. I don’t know if it matters.)

And it all made sense. Kali was feeling my own baulking at something big. And she baulked. And I handled he baulk the same way I was handling my own baulk. Ignoring. Pushing. Blaming.

It was just a pattern that repeated.

Not a very effective pattern, mind you. So I had to change it up, starting inside me. So that next time, she would re-act in a different way, a more effective way.

Here’s what I learned in horsemanship and in life.

  • Ignoring something that is clearly there is insane. Ignoring it will literally never make it go away.

  • The more you try to ignore something, the more energy you give it, the bigger a “thing” it becomes. (Try not to think of a white elephant, and a white elephant is all you can think about.)

  • A problem in one area of your ride (or life) can affect all other areas of your ride (or life)…even if you try to ignore it

What problems are you trying to ignore with your horse?

What issues in your life are you trying to pretend aren’t there in your life?

Now that you see them…what are you going to do about them?

Here’s to You and Your Horse!

With Heart,


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