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  • Elaine Sanders

The Power of the PAUSE

We all have a million things on the go. And us horse people have two million! Even with these insane lockdowns I find I’m always busy with one thing or another.

There’s nothing wrong with being busy. In fact, it’s a strength. But just like all strengths, we can overdo it sometimes.

And sometimes I overdo it.

Often with my horses.

Horses aren’t really in a hurry. They don’t have a million and one things to do. They really only have two: eat and connect with friends.

In other words, horses are by nature, quite chill.

The problem arises when my busyness and my horse’s chillness collide into each other.

What happens then is that I want her to rush and do what I ask!

I want her to snap to it and say “How high?” when I say, “Jump!”

I want him to do what I want when I want it!

That’s ok. It’s ok to be busy. It’s ok to want to rush.

But we must observe these tendencies in ourselves and cultivate patience.

There’s zero point in beating ourselves up about it.

Just observe your tendency to rush. Laugh at yourself just a little bit. Say to your horse, “Oops, there I go again, sorry!”

Then pause.

Oh, the power of the pause.

I know you’re busy. Trust me, I know.

But your horse doesn’t get it. They only get food and connection, and when you’re busy, you’re providing neither.

So pause.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you ask your horse to pick up her foot. You bend down and ask her to pick it up. But she doesn’t.

“Hurry it up,” you think, “I don’t have all day.”

Then you notice… “Huh, there I go again…rushing it, being busy. Sorry Ol’ girl.”

Stand up. (No, you’re not training your horse that it’s ok to not pick up her foot. She’s not an a*hole just looking for ways to tick you off. Humans do that. Horses don’t. So don’t put that on them.)

Breathe. Pause. It’s ok that you want to rush, but your horse just does’t get the concept. Laugh at yourself a tiny bit.

Now when you’re ready, ease your hand back down her leg and patiently wait for her to understand what you’re after, shift her weight, and pick up her leg.

I know you want her to do it NOW. I know you want her to do it faster one day.

But not today, and not by rushing.

The way to make a horse act faster is to go slower.

How can you slow down with your horse today?

Do you rush? Do you judge yourself for rushing?

Where do you want your horse to act faster? How can you do that task more slowly?

Where else in life do you rush? Where can you laugh at yourself a tiny bit, and then pause?

Here’s to You and Your Horse!

With heart,

Elaine

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