Mahatma Gandhi — 'Be the change that you wish to see in the world.'
I've been reading a few blogs lately that have stuck in my mind. One in particular has been shared far and wide with feverish joy. It covers the judgemental and intrusive actions of other equestrians who feel the need to comment or misunderstand our style of horsemanship. On the surface I agree with this fellow blogger and I am in no way belittling what she has put out there, more power to her. She is right when she questions why they don't come up and ask what we are doing, instead of mocking and admonishing others against the way of our practices. Lord knows I've been subject to it over the years, and now have a galvanised s**t shield (patent pending) to most of it.
But....and there is a but.
People react to us this way through fear. Fear of something they don't understand. Something they'll never understand if we label them and close the door. Yes, they can be utter wankpuffins (apologies re language, that's as tame as I can go) and bullies, but people as a species DO NOT LIKE CHANGE.
When they see something different that presents results that means they have to change something about themselves, well that's just too gosh darn hard. They've spent years being told and taught that gadgets and domination work. When someone or something shines a light on that and renders it flawed, it is far easier for that person to think that the someone/something is wrong, than challenge their own beliefs.
Change takes work. Heck, this type of horsemanship takes real personal growth. Not to mention the skills you need to learn to do it. Some people are just too proud to step back and realise that after decades they may have to leave some of their old skills by the wayside and learn new ones. Such as feel and timing. This may come easy to some, but others may never get it in it's entirety. The appeal of staying skilled and proficient in something they've always done, as opposed to learning something new that may make them vulnerable, is all too much sometimes.
We know this journey is exactly that, a journey. Some days I look like I've never picked up a rope and flag in my life, others I look like a semi competent horsewoman. I keep going for my horse, because as far as I am concerned, that's why we all do this, isn't it?
So let people make mistakes by judging us, needless to say don't let yourself be bullied, however smile, nod and keep going. Your horse will do the talking for you. Equally, labels are dangerous. Curiosity is never going to be piqued if it's a Them v us Mentality. There is dark and light in everyone. Not everyone who waves a flag is a good horseman, and not everyone who uses a pessoa is a bad horseman. They just don't know any different.
This above quote sums it up for me. 'Be the change that you wish to see in the world.' Be that change, but remember those who attack us do it because it's awoken something within them. It's not about you. Hard I know, when you are made to feel ridiculous or accused of being cruel. We know we are neither.
Maite and I are moving yards soon. Into the Lion's den. A large competition yard with around 90 horses. I'm pretty sure I may be the only flag waver and lariat thrower, but my shield is polished, without being defensive and I'm looking forward to seeing aspects of good horsemanship around me, instead of fearing the dark.
See you on the flip side xx
P.S..... Tuff passed away in January. I can't bring myself to write about it yet. I have lost my soulmate x