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The Lightness of Laughter
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The Lightness of Laughter

“The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly,” – G.R. Chesterton

I usually ride with Mary, who is a strictly-business no-nonsense cowgirl. You can tell without being told that she was a former riding instructor. She's lovely and I learn a lot while riding with her, but I tend to be too serious also. Add my horse Tara to our group, who is seriously intent on not getting eaten by imaginary coyotes hiding in the woods, and it’s just too much tension at times. It’s a recipe that may result in a ride well ridden but not necessarily enjoyed to the fullest.

So it was refreshing to ride with Jody last weekend and learn a lesson in levity. Jody is as goofy as Mary is serious and she had me laughing often during the ride. I noticed a “Let's enjoy the ride!” inner feeling instead of deferring to “Let's survive the ride.” That feeling transferred to Tara by osmosis, as she is very sensitive to my moods, and she wanted to enjoy the ride also.

I also noticed a different reaction from her from when I let out a bark of laughter instead of a bark of command if she refused to halt. I realized that either sound from me earned the same amount of attention from her, but the laughter kept her less startled and reactive, which so happens to be one of the things we are working on lately.  

(Photo courtesy of Jessica Kelley)

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