Once a year, I have an opportunity to sit and listen to talks given by people from around the world about the Energy Industry. SMU University has an invitational round table weekend out at the ranch each spring. I offer horseback riding as an activity during the guest’s free time and with the ranch looking particularly beautiful after the spring rains, I had a lot of riders. Butterflies escorted us on every ride as we walked our horses along creeks running with fresh rain water. Wildflowers thickened the air with their strong and mesmerizing scent.
One of my riders, a woman from Oman, had accompanied her husband to Texas for the first time. Originally from Switzerland, she had been on a horse before but had fallen and was now very nervous but determined not to miss her chance.
I admired her courage. Why do we like to see what we are made of?
I read somewhere that we have the innate knowing to gravitate toward those things that make us feel better.
Is that why we like to “conquer” our fears? It doesn’t feel good to harbor a fear, having it lurk behind the scenes in our mind, ever so quietly but effectively keeping us from the freedom that accompanies “No Fear”.
“Just Do It” says the Nike Brand slogan.
So, she and I worked out a plan. I would ride my horse next to hers and although she would have the reins in her hand, on a long lead line, I would still have control of her horse for that feeling of safety she was needing to take the first step.
We began our ride in the gentle rolling hills of the blue bonnet wildflowers that are blooming so profusely this time of year. The rhythm of the horse and the scenery kept her distracted while her mind and her body began to relax into the simple joy. It wasn’t long before I heard the rewarding words, I’m ready.
I rode my horse up next to hers and looped the lead rope around the saddle horn in a way I knew would be secure and we hardly broke stride as we continued on as if she had been in control the whole time. Her horse even trot a few steps to catch up to mine and she laughed. Is he running, she asked? He is happy for you, I told her.
She easily glide in and out of the natural obstacles along the way and soon was carrying on a conversation and her grip on the saddle had loosened.
She said it was a life changing moment. It was for me too.