“CONFIDENCE”…what is it? Can confidence be misplaced? If so, can we get it back? Have you enjoyed watching the Olympics? What event (s) did you show most interest in? I certainly found myself quite excited by many events! Holding my breath at times then yelling “YES” when the finish line was crossed. Listening to reporters, I became aware of a repeated word and that word was ‘confidence.’ Some athletes had some injury or an event that shook their confidence, and it was important to get it back in order to accomplish the possibility of winning a medal. What is confidence? One definition is simply, “standing up on the inside.” I like that. Another definition is “internal security.” When you look into the Hebrew language you discover the word “trust” directly connected with the English word “confidence.” Whether considering your own journey or being around a horse, confidence must come from within. One can show another a piano, the keys on the keyboard and the bench in which to sit and instruct with some basics, however, the music comes from within, doesn’t it? Likewise, one can present a person with a horse, instruct safety and savvy to the point that the individual gets upon the horse’s back , yet riding comes from within. The focus, the balance, the rhythm come from within the person and the horse. What a dance when there is that unity and oneness with horse and rider! What beauty! What ‘awe!’ As a water tower, a water line, and a hydrant are sources for water, let’s look at some sources for confidence. Understanding, knowing, remembering are single sources of confidence, and when braided together create a leader worth following and a follower worth leading. No one single animal has contributed more to the spread of civilization than a horse. Think about it. There were great distances between peoples and societies prior to the domestication of horses. Horses have served humanity in travel, most certainly in war, in agriculture, in rehabilitation and in recreation. UNDERSTAND: Understand yourself. Understand your horse. Take the time to lay a foundation with your horse that you can build upon. You don’t get your identity from a horse, but it is important to identify with your horse. That simply means that you see and discover how to be with your horse in a safe, connected way. You appreciate yourself and your horse and you have value for yourself and your horse. One of the many things I love about Native American people is the honor, value and respect they have for the land and for nature. KNOWING: Know what your intention is in being with your horse. Do you just want to hang out and just sit in their presence, studying their behavior and/or their position in the herd? Do you want to groom? Go on a trail ride? Get ready for a performance? Develop some trait in yourself or your horse? Be deliberate. Be expressive. Come up with a meaningful plan. Have a sense of direction for you and your horse, knowing when to move forward and when to stop. Have fun and enjoy yourself and your horse. REMEMBER: Keep in mind what has worked and what needs to be worked on within yourself and with your horse. Retain information from books, videos, clinics, and friends that you have spent time with in considering yourself and your horse. Learn by heart consistent cues. The keyword here is ‘consistent.’ Yes, confidence can be misplaced; usually because of a measurement of some fear or disappointment, or a perceived set-back. With support from savvy friends and other horse people, you can recover and so can your horse. Confidence is a two-way street. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward, Hebrews 10:35. Is it possible that one of those rewards to holding onto confidence (or getting it back if it got away from you) would be in being taught how to ride into new directions to awaken and discover your own freedom and power on the back of a horse!
Your NEIGHbor, Deb Kitchenmaster Corral Connections: Connecting with LIFE through a horse Animal B.E.S.T practitioner dkitchenmaster@mchsi.com

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