'Always smile when you are riding because it changes your intent.' - James Shaw
My younger sister has no wrinkles other than two frown lines between her eyes. I asked her one day, "How do you have frown lines? You are the sweetest person alive. I never see you angry."
She smiled her sweet smile and said, "They're not frown lines. They're concentration lines. I read a lot and write a lot, and that takes a lot of concentrating." She glanced back down at the paperback in her lap as I finished folding laundry and soon, sure enough, it looked like she was frowning at her book.
After reading the above quote by James Shaw, I wondered how often my Sportie sees me frowning as I concentrate over what amount of hooflex to put on his hoof, which hole to put his new throat latch through, or worse - frowning at a text that I should have left unread until I could properly deal with it at home. I wondered if an innocent bystander would have any idea how much I loved my stable time just by studying my face, as Sportie studies me.
Before, during, and after our ride today, I tried to remember to smile more and to have more pleasant conversations aloud to Sportie as we rode instead of commenting to myself internally about him. I am a receptionist, and I know if I smile as I speak on the phone that the person on the other end will hear that smile in my voice. I know Sportie could clearly feel my happiness and appreciation that I always feel in my heart when I'm with him, but often gets buried under concentration and, even worse, frustration.
"Thank you for the ride," I say with my biggest smile ever, as I turn Sportie out at the end of our happy and relaxed time together.