Virtue, Handicap or Indulgence?

Worry- is it virtue, handicap, or indulgence?

Many people struggle with worry- worry of making a mistake, worry of whether the horse, perfectly quiet, might spook or move too fast. Some proudly display their worry as a mark of moral superiority, fretting over the quality of feed, restocking a full bin of hay, second guessing the care and handling of paid professionals.

Maybe the worry is well founded- maybe there is cause to worry with the horse that snorts at his shadow, or the horse isn’t being fed. Maybe the horse is too much for us, unprepared as much as we are, and we know it somewhere deep down.

Sometimes worry is a signal to explore deeper- something needs changing. The horse needs a better environment with better care. You need some help with your horse, help with your seat, or maybe a different partner. Maybe you need some coaching on better guiding your thoughts, your breathing, your attention.

But often, worry is an indulgence that steals from your horse- it steals your attention, steals the ability to give presence and guidance to the horse. It signals to the horse, you are not there for them, and so they must look elsewhere. It steals from everyone around, requiring more attention to the worrier- it steals resources, and time that can’t be made use of, because the cycle of worrying spits out help, and indulges in its own spiral.

A horse has worry, and plenty good cause to have it- and a human lost in their own worry can’t help the horse.

Whatever the cause, whether the reason be valid, or fabricated- the horse needs you there. So take the stirring of worry as a sign that something needs deeper exploration, maybe a change in environment, skill, or in you.

But a worrier can’t be there for the horse, and it is our cross to bear to learn how to be present, and useful, for our horses.

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