Ride that Big Yellow Horse.

Being close to a horse, any horse, unknown and therefore unpredictable, can inspire a certain amount of caution. And so it was between me and the big yellow horse. I needed a trustworthy mount – and she had been set aside, unused for over a year. Surely, this had the makings for a good fit.

She was impressive in presence and stature – more than any horse I had previously ridden. She was nervous about being handled and had protested saddling. But I liked her and brought her home. Now what? It was in the coming weeks that I learned a few valuable life lessons about what to do when you have a goal, but are faced with a daunting task.   

1.      Start with what you know, and learn what you can. Each bit of information gained leads to new discoveries. I asked questions.  I learned her background and her prior use.  So I handled her, moved her around, and worked around her to learn more. Get started somewhere with what you know and build from there. 

2.      Get your mind right; Avoid the temptation to fill in the gaps with negatives.  In the absence of certainty and confidence, we often fill in the gaps with the worst-case scenario. In anticipation of a bad result, we then fail to act. Would I be bucked off? Would I be able to stop her if she ran off?  I’m not suggesting recklessness, but instead I suggest diligence. Build confidence into the gaps with knowledge, hard work and preparation.    

3.      Remind yourself of the goal OFTEN; Don’t hide in activities. My goal was a no-nonsense companion for hours of exploring in remote locations – often out of cell range and miles from access roads.  Instead I was still on my own place. I had to take a hard look at my daily activities - brushing, handling, moving, adjusting tack. Was this activity getting me to my goal? I was avoiding what I had to do - hiding behind the “busy-ness” and comforting myself that I was at least doing something. Don’t hide behind lists, research, reports, discussion, meetings, and planning without getting to the implementation.  

4.      Ride the Yellow Horse. There is a moment in which you have a choice – to go all in ... or to compromise your goal. I had to step on and ride that yellow horse, or be content braiding her mane. And so I saddled up. The result? In each ride, I prepared for the worst, but encountered the best. Successes and achievements encouraged me to continue until - goal achieved!