“Unplugging from technology, practicing focus, and doing single task activities are all good for brain health. Perhaps good barn time is good brain time.” Susan Friedland-Smith – Writer, Teacher and Equestrian
When I am at the stables I am off the grid and absolutely focused on two things: Sportie and myself. Once I get there my cell phone is used for three things: playing relaxing background music, taking lots of photos, and responding to emergency calls or texts ONLY. I will not answer any calls or messages from anyone other than immediate family members, and that’s because they know that they had better have a good reason for interrupting my sanctuary. I am never in my horsie haven for more than four hours at a time so most questions can remain unanswered at least that long. Remember the good old days, when someone could be completely unreachable for hours at a time without the world coming to an end?
Susan Friendland-Smith recently attended an educational lecture where she came away with the above quote forefront in her mind, and she carried over the day’s instruction into her work with horses. As the speaker shared much useful information about teaching and learning, he also informed those in attendance that multi-tasking is a myth for the majority of us. In actuality, only .2% of the population are capable of doing more than one thing well at a time. I know I am not in that .2 percentile, and I struggle with sticking to the one task at hand on any given day. It is always tempting to try to catch up on my email and simultaneously try to watch the Patriots game, but there is no such struggle at the stables. I am fully present in whatever is in front of me, soaking in the warm autumn sun, breathing in Sportie’s fresh minty breath after he’s just earned a treat, brushing out his gorgeous mane. Nothing can distract me.
Good barn time is, without a doubt, good brain time. The stables absolutely keep me stable.