On the subject of focus

Yesterday was a busy day at the barn. And I say that as an understatement. We were joined in the ring by two other horses, and then a third on a longe line down one end. No big deal, the three of us that were mounted could share the other end of the ring without too many near-collisions.

But then people started opening and closing the doors to the arena, the wind started rattling things, wheelbarrows were bumping by, a couple dogs ducked in and out of the ring, the horse on the longe line was plunging and rearing, and one of the horses being ridden took off on his rider. In short, it was chaos.

So I sank a little deeper in my heels, sat deeper in my saddle, took a firm contact, and prepared for the inevitable spook. Backwards, forwards, or sideways, I was ready for whatever Addy threw at me.

She didn’t even blink.

Oh sure, she flicked an ear at the horse taking off when he got a little too close, and she definitely took a good look at the wheelbarrows going by (those could have hay, you know), but she re-focused immediately and did her job like a champ. And while that was awesome in a “my horse takes such good care of me” kind of way, it was also the perfect way to start the week.

It was a reminder that no matter what distractions are going on, you can always choose to focus on your task. There’s no need to ignore what’s going on around you, but neither do you need to react to everything.

So, my goal for this week is to be like Addy- calm, focused, and ready to do what I need to do with a smile.

What lessons have you learned from your horse lately?