“If you practiced nothing but returning to Inner and Outer Zero whenever and wherever it might be necessary, many of your problems with your horse would melt away…” – Sharon Wilsie, Author and Horse Trainer
“Tara did really well!” Carly said as we finished our trail ride yesterday, with a hint of surprise and a lot of relief.
Tara had had “fall fever” when we were on our last ride a couple of weeks ago. Due to a rainy December, the muddy trails were only passable for a day here or there. The longer Tara goes without venturing beyond the fence-line, the more she forgets that she used to be desensitized to squirrels darting across her path to hide their nuts and all the other fall festivities that take place in the woods. The drop in temperatures also energizes her and she was feeling herself on our previous outing, wanting to take off at the drop of an acorn. It was not a relaxing outing for all of those involved.
“I’ve been reading Sharon Wilsie’s book Horse Speak and trying to work on resetting myself to zero, no matter what has just occurred in my ‘conversations’ with Tara,” I said smiling, jumping down and leading Tara back to the hitching post. “It’s something I see you do automatically all the time with your horse, but it takes a lot of effort on my part.”
“Well, it works great!” Carly answered.
Tara and I have been together for eleven months now and it’s high time I stopped constantly worrying about Tara being worried. In Horse Speak, Wilsie says when both horse and rider are equally nervous, it inevitably escalates 2 times 2, equaling 4. But if the rider can return to 0 first then it takes the oxygen from the fire, so to speak. Tara could be at a 2 but if it’s multiplied with my 0 it can equal 0. Instead of allowing myself to also get worked up by the crashing noises in the trees, I pictured myself enjoying a peaceful, restful afternoon at my best friend’s cottage on the lake, which released good endorphins to cancel out the hyper ones screaming for attention.
It goes against everything in my nature to focus on what’s wrong with me instead of what’s wrong with Tara, but every time I forced myself to dial my reaction down she followed suit.
“You DID do really well today,” I told her proudly, giving her a good ear scratch. She blinked peacefully in agreement, awaiting her well-earned treat.