Bluebird Lane Blog
Bluebird Lane Blog

Create Your Ride, Don’t Just React to It

by Lori Albrough

The Thinker
Sometimes it’s hard not to bring your day (or your week!) with you into your interaction with your horse. You get to the barn and the irate customers, looming projects, unreasonable co-workers, and that cop who pulled you over for speeding on the way, well, they all show up with you! And maybe as your horse comes face to face with this vortex of mixed feelings, he starts giving you even more challenges to cope with!

So, I want to share with you a four-step process I have learned, that you can use before going into a situation with your horse. By following this simple process of setting intention, or mini-intention as I call it, you will change from being in a reactive position to instead creating the situation that you would prefer to have.

By the way, I love that the words reactive and creative are made up of the same letters, just rearranged. This symbolizes to me that a small change in approach can result in a very different outcome.

Here is the process. Before going into any situation with your horse, you want to get clear about these four things:

– Who you want to be in the ride.
– How you want to feel.
– Desired internal outcome.
– The best-case scenario.

1. Who you want to be

I think we can agree, nobody wants to be a wimp or a heavy-handed jerk, right? But we can become those things when we feel rattled, thrown off-center, or reactive. So take a moment before your ride to think of who you want to be. “I want to be an athlete who is sure of herself.” “I want to be a bold and confident rider.” “I want to be a clear leader who communicates effectively.”

2. How you want to feel

OK, this is related to #1, but it’s an important element. By adding the emotional side of how we want to feel during the ride, it amps up our results. And when we intend positive feelings, it begins to lift us out of our negativity and teach us that we can actually generate our own joy, etc. “I want to feel grateful for the opportunity to ride and the partnership with my horse.” “I want to feel enjoyment of my time with my horse.” (Gratitude and fun are always great things to intend.)

3. Desired internal outcome

This means how you want to feel as you walk away after the ride. Deciding this in advance really helps move you from being a reactor to being a creator. “I want to feel proud for noticing and rewarding every time my horse did something right!”

4. The best-case scenario

I honestly don’t think we can use the Law of Attraction to change outcomes or manipulate situations. If I am going into a lesson with my horse, I can’t intend we ride clean flying changes. If the building blocks that have to be in place before we can even attempt a change that day aren’t coming together, the instructor will have us working on confirming the basics, and I would end up walking away disappointed. On the other hand, if I have done steps #1 through #3, that particular outcome wouldn’t matter and I would still be feeling great.

However, deciding in advance what outcome would constitute a “home run” for me in the situation is still a great idea. That way I’m clear about my preferences. And, what the heck, I am at least giving the Law of Attraction an opportunity to work!

To be clear, I’m not talking about a 30 minute ritual here. 30 seconds might be just right. And while I will sometimes use pen and paper to write a few words if I really feel the need to crystallize my thoughts, you can also set mini-intention in the blink of an eye as you go into situations. The more you practice this habit the stronger and more powerful it becomes for you.

And, have you noticed that this technique need not only apply to your rides and training sessions with your horse? I use it all the time. I use it when I have to call the doctor’s office, before meetings, before a workout, before I sit down to write, before I do an interview… the list is endless.

As you practice this four step habit of setting mini-intention, you will begin to notice more and more powerful results that seem effortless. Not at first maybe. But definitely the more you do it, the more clarity you will have, and I guarantee your horse is going to love you for that.

Here’s to creating your ride!


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