Episode 59: Experiencing a ‘bad’ riding lesson

In this episode, Stacy and Ginny discuss the power of using curiosity to overcome challenges.

Stacy tells about here experience with a ‘bad’ riding lesson.

Ginny discusses getting bucked off a horse she trusted and having to decide if she should sell the horse.

Stacy & Ginny discuss the power of the rider’s mind to make different choices and how that can impact our riding, relationship and enjoyment of our horses.



Click Here For The Full Show Notes
[00:00:03] Hi, I’m Stacy Westfall,.


[00:00:05] And I’m Ginny Telego and we are broadcasting live today from Stacy Westfall cabin in Perrysville, Ohio,.


[00:00:13] Otherwise known as that little cabin on a hill and today. Thank you for joining me.


[00:00:19] Thanks for having me.


[00:00:20] I am excited because we’re going to be talking about curiosity and how can that not be exciting? I love curiosity. I know this because it came up during one of our other conversations.


[00:00:31] That’s come up in a lot of our conversation.


[00:00:34] And you know, today, what I want to talk about… my little notes, of course, I was drawing my little. Oh, what’s it called?


[00:00:48] I keep calling it a plus sign with the riders mind, the riders body, the horses mind…


[00:00:52] Quadrants.


[00:00:53] Thank you for the word. You always give me a word, right? Starting out strong. So inside of those quadrants, you know, I was thinking about curiosity and that fairly obviously fits into the riders mind, maybe. Definitely. But the reason I’m saying maybe is because it’s funny how all of these quadrants, as much as I want them to all be separate. They all bleed into each other.


[00:01:17] Oh yeah.


[00:01:17] Because they all have an impact. Were the impact each other. But just to control myself and keep myself in the rider’s mind for just a minute on this idea of curiosity,  I ended up writing down inside the writer’s mind. I see two different areas that need to be addressed and I’m going to call it task knowledge and emotional knowledge. And when I was prepping for this, I was thinking, you know, task knowledge is probably, as a teacher, something I pretty easily fall into teaching people how to do with their horses.


[00:01:53] This is how you get the horse to load in a trailer. This is how you get the horse to achieve any physical task. But I know from my own work in my own life and my own goals and my own things that I’ve wanted to do, that a much bigger part of this is that emotional knowledge.


[00:02:15] Absolutely.


[00:02:16] And what’s really interesting about this, listen to this. I see it. See if you’re tracking with me on it. With horses. Probably the biggest thing people see when they saw the bareback bridle this ride is they see the emotional kind of connection, they see the horses emotions must be under control. They see the task of riding the horse being achieved. Right. But if that was the only thing they were seeing, they would still see the same thing with the saddle and bridle. Right. Because I’m still spinning and sliding and changing leads with the saddle and bridle. But they’re seeing something different when they see the bareback bridleless.


[00:02:53] Agree.


[00:02:53] And I think what they’re seeing is a reflection of that horses emotional state of being. And what I’m saying is, as much as everybody wants that…the place to start. Is over in the rider’s mind.


[00:03:09] Ewwwww!!!


[00:03:09] I know I like how you’re wrinkling your nose as I was going there. You’re like, oh, you mean I have to work on my emotional control to get there.


[00:03:17] I WANT HIM TO BE IN CONTROL!!! (Stacy says jokingly about the horse).


[00:03:26] Right. But it’s funny because even when I phrase it like that. Even when I’m silly and I get myself all worked up phrasing it like that, but even when I say emotional control, I’m not really in love with that phrasing. There’s something about it that I don’t like it.   I don’t know, it feels like I just roped and tied it down or something.


[00:03:53] To me, that’s more of emotional awareness.


[00:03:56] Right. OK. Yes.


[00:03:57] You’re becoming more emotionally aware of of how you’re showing up. And then and how it’s impacting the horse. You know, that type of thing. Because, yeah, I agree. I think when when we use the word control and it just in general, we’re thinking like I have to be in control of my emotions. So that means that I need to… Yeah, wrangle them in.


[00:04:25] I love what you just did, though, as you would think as I go physically, like as you were saying, ‘control your emotions.’ I’m not kidding you…the motion with your hands was like gathering up the reins. It literally look like you’re sitting at my kitchen table, but you literally look like you’re just shortened up your reins like. Yeah. In inches. Yeah. As you were gathering that control.


[00:04:44] Yeah, you’re right in that. And that’s what I love, by the way, word number two for this conversation is awareness. Thank you.


[00:04:53] One of my favorite words.


[00:04:55] And so I do. And so what’s interesting is when I look back and and I look at like the illustration of Roxy being ridden bareback and bridle was to me actually a great way of saying it would be that she was very emotionally aware. And oh, my goodness. Like for her, she experienced a lot of vulnerability going through the training process for that horse to choose to be with me and be open in front of 5000 people. It’s giving me goose bumps.


[00:05:29] Yeah,.


[00:05:30] Because to that is thinking about what that takes, because, you know, as a human, like the vulnerable feeling of when you fully say, I will follow you wherever you want.


[00:05:42] And for her to do that, that is a seriously the goosebumps won’t quit. And I love that it was more of an awareness type thing was coming up.


[00:05:53] And so that’s what I want to talk about today, is I want to talk about I want to talk about the curiosity that we both literally just did with no planning on how to change my word when I just said emotional control. And then all I did was admit to you that that didn’t feel right with me, that it didn’t sit right with me, that it felt binding. And then you were able to bounce the idea back to me that maybe it’s because of that word and bring up a different awareness.


[00:06:24] And that is what I love about what we do when we get together, so we get our ideas to start bouncing off each other now. Amazing ways.


[00:06:34] And in what I want to do is I want to say that I want to talk through some of this stuff because you and I are going to do some events in the future where we’re gonna invite people to come be in the room with us when this is happening and in the arena. And so we’ll get to more of that at the end.


[00:06:51] But what what I want to do right now is I want to go a little bit further into this curiosity, which is what just led us to change.


[00:07:03] A phrase that I use a lot when I’m like, let’s teach your horse emotional control, and I can already feel, even when I say it out loud right now, that there’ll be places where I’ll still say that because I do want the horse to learn to to control itself in a kind of gathered up way.


[00:07:18] Because that actually is a nice a nice step for that horse to go through when they’re learning how to then make a choice, which I see all of this when I’m picturing in my mind right now, like a horse that’s emotionally out of control is like running around like crazy. And then I teach them how to be emotionally in control, which means that they make a choice on how to stay. But that’s when they go through a stage that I call like kid under the bed sheet, like their feet are still.


[00:07:43] But you can say we could see the smoke coming out again.


[00:07:46] The gears are all turning like you can see they’re there, but you can see that a lot of them guy still like running through a lot of options.


[00:07:53] And then you got to go through that phase to get to that that final phase of that awareness that Roxy was exhibiting. She was no longer a kid under the bed sheets, no longer like frozen, trying to make a decision, aware that they were. She was literally just being right. She was aware and she was vulnerable. And she was aware of the vulnerable and she was aware of the good and she was aware of all this stuff. And so.


[00:08:15] But the curiosity that gets us there…


[00:08:19] I think when we’re talking about things like I wanted to bring up, I wanted to bring up fear of change and fear of physical danger.


[00:08:28] Oh, yeah.


[00:08:28] Because when I think about somebody listening to us on this podcast and they’re driving somewhere or, you know, maybe they’re cleaning stalls or or whatever.


[00:08:39] Yeah.


[00:08:40] You know, I think. Fear of change is something that I’m trying to make my twenty, twenty calendar right now.


[00:08:48] Yeah. Let me do it. Yeah. Fear of change like, oh, I want more than I did last year, but I don’t want to change anything to get there, right.


[00:08:57] Yeah, that would be scary. Yes.


[00:08:59] So I kind of want to talk about fear of change and fear of physical danger, because I think one of the biggest feedback things I get around people when they’re writing into me, I hear a lot of you know, there is the physical danger of being around horses. Now, it’s funny because just a couple of podcasts ago I talked about the physical danger of driving in a car.


[00:09:22] Right.


[00:09:23] All the way. Like I was driving from here down to an event. States where 12 hours in a car. Right. Talk about fear of physical danger. Like you could carry a lot of that physical fear there. Right. And the statistics tell you that you should. Right. And yet you get in the car all the time. Right. So before I end up too far down that rabbit trail.


[00:09:45] Feel free to yell squirrel the time before I end up too far down that trail…


[00:09:51] The two thoughts I wanted to play with today were like that fear of change and the fear of physical danger, because I think that we experience those on multiple levels.


[00:10:02] Absolutely. All the time. Well, yeah.


[00:10:04] Because that fear of change is really around the fear we have of uncertainty. You know, which I mean, this would be a whole other podcast about, you know, how our brain responds to that threat, because we we see change and uncertainty as a threat. Our brain processes it that way. And so so, you know, once our brain goes, oh, my gosh, this is a threat, right? This change, this uncertainty, we start trying to find something certain because that feels safe, you know. And I think that that’s a lot of what happens with our horses. I mean, even, you know, when we think of of change with our horses, there’s that uncertainty of what is that mean? What does that look like? And so we start trying. We start looking for something that’s familiar and comfortable. Maybe that’s why people, you know, go to a clinic sometimes and they get some great information. And then they if they go with their horse and they have an experience where they they realize some things they can do if they change what they’re doing. But when they go home, you know, the moment that things become uncertain, we go back to doing what we’ve always done, because that’s comfortable. And our brain likes our brain likes comfort and brain likes to be where we’re comfortable. And so I think, you know, having fear of change is really normal. We just have to ask a different question. Right. I mean, that’s how can you be curious about change as opposed to seeing it as something to be afraid of?


[00:11:50] So I wanted to relate an experience because I was trying to think, you know, how can I explain that I go through this? Because I sometimes when I go out in public, have the feeling that people think I don’t go through this.


[00:12:04] Well, no. I think this is always exactly perfect then. Yeah, you don’t have any of these normal problems!


[00:12:13] (like I don’t experience…)the stretching comfort zone thing.


[00:12:23] I want your feedback on this, because when I’ve gone through all of this thought work, I want to walk you through it in the way that it did it happened. Yeah, because it’s kind of funny if I get far enough away from it. I don’t think of it as a bad experience anymore.


[00:12:39] But I wanted to go back and be like, I want to dig up a bad experience.


[00:12:44] ..Because this is fun.


[00:12:46] Yeah. This is good. This will be great for the podcast.


[00:12:48] So I wanted to give a bad experience that I had and I want to walk through it in the order that it happened. And then get to the point where I sit over here now. And I think I can either tell this as a bad experience or I can tell this as whatever I choose. And I’ve chosen something different for the purposes of this podcast.


[00:13:09] I’m going back and bring it up. The original version again. So just so that people can kind of experience it. Experience.


[00:13:20] An example of, you know, fear of change. Would be that like if somebody signed up for a clinic or somebody signed up for a workshop or somebody signed up for a lesson. So this day I signed up for a lesson.


[00:13:33] You signed up?


[00:13:33] I signed up for a riding lesson. Me and my horse got in the trailer. Yes, I still do this. It’s awesome. Like paying people to yell at you, right?


[00:13:44] Like this seriously is one of my favorite things.


[00:13:48] But let’s not jump too far.


[00:13:51] Right. Right. So.


[00:13:52] So this day I’m going to a lesson with somebody I don’t know.


[00:13:57] Well, but I really am. Okay. I’m paying money and I’m driving far. So I have a level of like respect and hope. And, you know, of course, I’m looking for something. I’m going there. Right. Right. And and and I am aware that when I go to lessons, like one of the things I’m really aware of is that. I mean, one thing I learned early on and sometime I’m going to have to like try to unpack how I learned it, because I’m curious now about how how how curiosity just it is. Well, what happened is I do know how to shift into a learner’s mind, which is I think when people look at me and they’re like, she looks a little everywhere.


[00:14:34] She’s doing mounted shooting, doing reining. She’s a breaking those minis to drive. Isn’t she the one that did the colt starting?


[00:14:40] Like, I look like I’m everywhere, but I love being in the learner’s mind. Yeah, well, to be in the learner’s mind, you either literally are doing something new. So what’s interesting about the learner’s mind is if you’re literally doing something new, you’re very easy to easily. Easily. Well, you easily accept the fact that you don’t know. Right. So you to go away vulnerable. Right.


[00:15:05] But if you if you go like I want to learn to fly an airplane.


[00:15:10] I need some information. You don’t feel embarrassed about it. You’re like, I could die if I get this wrong, right? So you’re like, I need information about this.


[00:15:20] And so the the learner’s mind is that openness to learning? But it gets much more gray when people feel like they’ve got a lot of experience…It can get much more gray.


[00:15:35] I’m a fairly experienced horseman, right.


[00:15:39] So it could be a gray area to go sign up for something new because…am I new? is this learner or is this not? But I personally love being in the learner’s mind. Yeah. So I know how to go to a lesson. Unplug the part of me that could be literally trying to fit it into anything else I know.


[00:15:59] Right.


[00:16:00] I’ve got a few fundamental things. Like if somebody was like, “you should hit it over the head with a baseball bat”. I’d be like, yeah, NO, I’m not gonna go there. You know, so it’s not like I unplug to the point of like, yeah, whatever.  Yeah, there is a saying there’s a fundamental level of whatever. But theoretically if they’re having me move my horse’s hips and shoulders and put its head up and down and go faster or go slower. I know none of this is getting anywhere near some kind of a safety line.


[00:16:27] Right. Just information at that point for you.


[00:16:30] So I know how to do this learner’s mind thing. So I know how to I know how to unplug and kind of shut off all that other place where I am an expert and go.


[00:16:41] So I leave my house and I’m like super excited and nervous and all those different things. And I drive all the way up there and I’m tacking up and I’m excited and I’m nervous. And I’m all these all these emotions.


[00:16:53] I’m just gonna throw those two out there and and and I go in and I start taking the lesson and I get like a few minutes into the lesson.


[00:17:02] Let’s say fifteen minutes into a forty five minute lesson. And I’m thinking I am picking up some seriously bad vibes like.


[00:17:14] I don’t know what she had for breakfast.


[00:17:16] I don’t know if I offended her somehow in the past. I don’t know if what I have done during this lesson has been so offensive that this energy is now turning very…


[00:17:33] Threatening negative…


[00:17:36] And it’s not just it’s not just because, mind you like again, I take a fair number of reasons that I actually I really like it when people, like are very clear and very decisive. But this is different. This is this is this is definitely different. This is like…


[00:17:54] There is a level of… Frustration not in my learning. There is a level of something else coming through and I can feel it. And I still just keep working and I and I’m and I’m trying.


[00:18:08] Now, at this point in my lesson, it it’s funny cause I can feel it in my body as I really.


[00:18:12] Yeah, I can see it.


[00:18:13] You’re right. I tell you, it can feel like in there because there’s that like desire to be defensive like or a desire to like stop and be like, have I somehow offended you? And I’m not even saying that that would have been wrong.


[00:18:28] Right.


[00:18:28] But I’m also aware that people do have bad days. I mean, certainly you can have a bad day. You can you can do whatever.


[00:18:36] And so I take my lesson.


[00:18:38] And and I get in the car. OK. So all the hopes and dreams on the way up there are like, oh, this is going to be great.


[00:18:45] I’m going to go and I’m going to get this new information mean to come home and I’m going to work and be the best student.


[00:18:52] And my horses and I will do this.


[00:18:54] And of course, I’ll sweat and there will be work and there will be breathing hard.


[00:18:57] But there’s none of this and plan for it. You know, this has been planned for. So I get in the car and it’s funny because of the way that I’ve trained my body and my mind, like I shut the door and this is now and plug back in. So that’s good that I have a few hours drive.


[00:19:15] All right.


[00:19:18] Because I’m like, what the heck just happened? And so then there’s this.


[00:19:24] This is where the work begins. And this is where I think when I say that as an instructor myself, where I can fall into teaching the task oriented things. She did teach me a lot of task things and, you know, she showed me, but I’ll admit that at least on my end. Like there was also this bit of a tension that was going on between us for whatever reason.


[00:19:49] Right.


[00:19:50] I did my level best to not play into it all, because that is very. That’s a lot of emotional and that’s a lot of emotional. And what I’m saying is. I actually think people. Do a better job in that situation controlling it than they do, like, let me say with maybe my husband…


[00:20:09] I won’t go too far into it, but maybe you’ll have to invite him in one of these times. But I’m sure most people can be like, you know, you can walk into the room and they can look at you like you looked at me. Wrong. Right. Everything is all your fault now. And they’re like, what did I get? It looked up because the door opened. So what?


[00:20:28] But my only reason I bring that up is because I think sometimes when you go to a lesson, you maybe you give, Maybe it’s easier to give that grace or to hold that space or to do whatever you want to. Absolutely. What I was doing there, like I’m picking up on something, but I’m also like leaving it alone.


[00:20:44] I’m not like calling it out. Like, why did your left eyebrow come up? Yeah. I’m not doing what I would’ve done to my husband in some of these cases. So this is good, but I also think this is where people like quickly and easily like start labeling.


[00:21:00] Yes.


[00:21:00] Them selves, their experience. That instructor, what that instructor did to them or whatever.


[00:21:08] And so I think what’s interesting is that. Over the drive home and over the next several days, it and all the way through anytime, I want to pull it up and tell the story because it’s interesting how I can pull it up… I can tell it a couple different ways legitimately that was my experience as kind of as as factual as I can get it.


[00:21:29] She did say words to me that were that were, you know, challenging and right. And but when I come home, it was really interesting to walk through the process of being like, you OK? As soon as I let myself plug back in and feel all the emotions, which, by the way, is what I did on the drive home. That’s good. And it was good. There was nobody else with me.The horse was in the trailer. I was alone in the truck.


[00:21:56] But I think that’s where sometimes people don’t let themselves experience that. They either like the either. Blame it all on the other person or all on themselves.


[00:22:08] Either go like she did that and she was 100 percent wrong and she. And they don’t take any of it. And in that way, I think you can almost like throw off the ability to feel it right. Or they do the opposite.


[00:22:25] They make themselves like, ‘I must have really done something wrong’ and ‘I must have said this’ And I or or I why do I always put myself and why do I always find these people?


[00:22:39]  I think it tends to get played both ways.


[00:22:42] But I think it was a really interesting thing to like be like, I’m really disappointed and hurt and whatever it like all these different emotions that come up and actually, like, label them and actually like feel it and be like, I was exhausted by the time I got home.


[00:22:57] Yeah. Because the closer you get. It’s a lot to process through that.


[00:23:02] And then it was really interesting to come home.


[00:23:04] And then what was interesting, because I say that when I wanted to look back, I wanted to find something somebody might resonate with, like they might have tried at some point. A new instructor, they might have tried a clinic or they might have tried going to a workshop or something like that. And they may have had a similar experience because I mean, if you have the positive experience, you’re like glowing and you’re radiant when you have this experience that you’re like.


[00:23:28] It was the wrong experience.


[00:23:30] And at the end of it and I allowed myself to keep pulling it back up because I would go out to ride and I’d be like, okay, what did I get out of that experience? Well, the first thing that one to raise its head was all this emotional stuff.


[00:23:42] Right. Which is actually an experience in itself.


[00:23:45] Absolutely.


[00:23:46] I literally be like, thank you so much for teaching me all this stuff that didn’t show up anywhere on the syllabus.


[00:23:56] I signed up. I had no idea I was going to be getting this and I didn’t know how much I needed it.


[00:24:02] All right. Oh, great point.


[00:24:05] Because who knew in in then? But then on top of it, like I did detect that although I had that overwhelming feeling that there was this frustration there.


[00:24:17] Yeah. She was trying to get me to do a certain task a certain way. Right. So I could go out there and I could keep digging for that task and dig it like moving that horse and moving around and playing with. Interestingly, the physical body of the horse. But the emotions of what I was doing while I was reprocessing through the lesson and trying to uncover what was being told to me without all of that story, I added to it. Yeah, about the frustration, because I guarantee, as I was as I was, like I say, innocent sounding like that.


[00:24:52] I’m picking up on her negative emotions. What do you think it did to my body as soon as I started thinking that?


[00:24:57] Oh, my God. Thing that absolutely your body was tense.


[00:25:00] I got stiffer or worse.  Like sitting here in the chair. I’m getting stiff. I can feel it over here.


[00:25:08] And so it was real interesting. But I think so many times. For the greatest breakthroughs like those for me have come when I really had to go do the work.


[00:25:20] And I’ve gotten so much out of that lesson intended and unintended that I’m going to sign up to go have another one.


[00:25:33] This is when you start to sound like a crazy person, right? OK.


[00:25:37] You might need to talk before that…


[00:25:42] Let’s talk just a minute about like. How? It. I think, you know, because I think it’s tempting to get to the end of a. There is so much power in knowing that at the end of that lesson, the lesson didn’t end right.


[00:26:01] So much power in knowing that that was the right lesson for me, even though it felt so wrong. Right. Do you know what that does to me as an instructor? I’m an instructor. Right. OK. I was a learner in this situation, but I’m an instructor when I’m coming back home and I’m teaching.


[00:26:20] That was such a powerful lesson.


[00:26:23] On all kinds of different levels, because I’m going to experience a student that’s going to be picking up on me and I need to be aware of me. I need to make sure I’m aware of me.


[00:26:35] And I need to be like I need to be OK with stopping with a student and and talking.


[00:26:40] And I don’t find a lot of value in going back and trying to rehash, ‘how I could I have done that, different’. But if I go back for this next lesson, I am open to the idea that this next lesson, if I if I go fifteen minutes in, and I feel a level of frustration, I’m OK with riding over. And if that means dismounting to have a talk. And I don’t mean “have a talk” like I just got called in the principal’s office or something.


[00:27:04]  My responsibility as the learner is to make sure that I’m having the experience that I’m having.


[00:27:23]  I was there on as best a level I could be that day, right. But I’m aware that and that’s why I say going back and trying to beat myself up or rehab, that lesson quite literally makes no sense.


[00:27:33] The next lesson I go to when I say it won’t be the same. It’s not because I’m going to put on boxing gloves and go pay for a lesson.


[00:27:42] Like there would be no sense in that either.


[00:27:46] That would send a message. The moment you walk into the arena of your boxing gloves. LOL


[00:27:54] So if I go to this next lesson, I have to be curious.


[00:27:57] Right,.


[00:27:58] About my full responsibility in what happened at that last lesson that I could so easily blame and walk away and just be like, there’s another 50 instructors that I could drive to.


[00:28:14] Right.


[00:28:14] And I could go do that. And so I hope that made sense on the curiosity room.


[00:28:19] Yeah.


[00:28:20] And I hope that going back and retelling the original version of what I experienced, because when you think when you experience it, like I originally experienced this as a negative experience as well,.


[00:28:34] I’m experiencing that experience listening to the story and putting myself in that situation.


[00:28:43] And what I’m hearing from you is a couple of things where you in in looking at going back right again, realizing that that other experience.


[00:29:02] Was something that helped you grow as a person, as as an as an instructor, and, you know, when you’re talking about you, when you’re in the instructor role, being aware of, there’s going to be times where, you know, something comes up when you’re coaching someone and you kind of get that feeling like somethings not right.


[00:29:23] You know, this is something excuse me when I’m teaching people to facilitate equine assisted learning work. And in my own work as a facilitator, I have to constantly be aware of my own stuff because I have to be aware of when something happens that I get triggered.


[00:29:45] Maybe it’s someone says something. You know, when I had to learn very early on in doing the Equine Assisted learning work that I can’t get defensive when somebody says something about one of my horses.


[00:30:00] Yeah. You know, I mean, when when you, like, Stupid Horse won’t go in the box.


[00:30:06] Exactly…this horse is so stubborn.


[00:30:11] You know, just any anything people comments because they’re frustrated in the moment potentially, you know, because things aren’t going the way they want it to. And so they’re looking for something to blame it on. And so I was thinking about, too, when you were talking about, you know, when you got in the truck and how one conversation might be. Well, she was this and she was that. And she did this and she did that. And she said this and she did that. And I was the victim.


[00:30:37] Yes. Right.


[00:30:37] So that’s called external locus of control. And or you could go to the opposite end of that spectrum where you were kind of blaming yourself and saying, oh, why do I always end up with these situations?


[00:30:52] Why do I get myself in these? Why do I find these people?


[00:30:56] And and that’s an internal locus of control, because then you’re taking it, you know, in yourself. But, you know, the reality is, is if you can stop and ask a different question, which is the curiosity part. Right, of you know, I wonder what was going on for me out there. I wonder what was going on for the other person out there.


[00:31:23] And, you know, and and stopping because a lot of times when you do that, even like when you when you were out there, when you were on your horse and you’re in the lesson, she was also having an experience.


[00:31:35] She was right. She was she was having her experience.


[00:31:38] So, you know, if you were to have stopped and been able to go to say, you know, here’s what I’m feeling. Acknowledging it. Labeling is so critical. And, you know, I’ve had so many conversations about being able to do that.


[00:31:52] And but even going further than that is then saying, OK, here’s what I’m experiencing. My first thought is that this person doesn’t like me, right?


[00:32:05] For whatever reason, this person doesn’t like me, even though I’m paying her to give me tell me what I need to do differently.


[00:32:12] But if you can if you can be curious and say, I wonder if there’s some other reason that this dynamic is happening between us.


[00:32:25] Yeah, right.


[00:32:26] Because at that point, you’re able to then open up your mind to be more aware. And you’re you’re willing then to be like maybe something happened before she came walked into the arena.


[00:32:42] How many days it took me to get to that point?


[00:32:45] Right. It takes a year sometimes for us to get to that point.


[00:32:50] So, you know, it did lead me eventually to.


[00:32:53] Right. Right. And but but that’s that’s how you are then able to make it into something that is not in that moment of. She did this to me or or or. Oh, I always make bad decisions.


[00:33:07] I always find the wrong instructors or whatever that is to being able to look at it as information.


[00:33:15] Right.


[00:33:15] And your feeling during that experience ends up just being information that you now can go through and process, which is what you did right when you came home and you you went back out to ride your horse. You had the task piece and you’re like, well, OK, here’s this task stuff that I learned and I’m going to see how I can incorporate this into what I’m already doing. Doesn’t mean you’re going to, you know, just stop doing what you used to do and all of a sudden like, OK, now I’m going to do this. Right. But it also gave you the opportunity because you were open to doing that, to process through it and go, OK. You know, just I wonder what else might have been happening, you know, to have created that. And even for yourself.


[00:34:00] Just for myself, because it. At the end of the day, it kind of doesn’t matter. You know, what happened to her before the lesson that she showed up the way she did. Right.


[00:34:09] I even if I could solve all the mysteries of the universe at the end of the day, it’s only how I handle what shows up.


[00:34:16] Right. And there is the key right there.


[00:34:18] Yeah. And so that was where kind of releasing that side of it and being like it kind of doesn’t matter how we ended up there. What did I do? How would I show up differently? Which is why I have that curiosity going back.


[00:34:31] Right.


[00:34:31] So interesting that if we have a quote unquote, ‘good experience’, which is like a warm, fuzzy, happy one. Yay! I wanna go back!


[00:34:38] Yeah,.


[00:34:38] But the really tough ones are the ones where you you it’s like this nut to crack But is me. I’m the nut to crack!


[00:34:47] Yeah.


[00:34:48] And I got to go get myself into those situations. I got to go put myself into these situations where, you know, it’s not it.


[00:34:56] No, it wasn’t dangerous. It wasn’t right. There was nothing in danger. And she wasn’t telling me anything that was like illegal, immoral and ethical.


[00:35:04] Yeah, that’s good clarification.


[00:35:08] It’s just it was just this it was a more challenging situation. But those are the ones where I know in life. I know those are the ones that make me grow. Right. So I want people that push me out of my comfort zone and stuff. But I also want to know like why I had that experience on that particular day. So that’s what makes me look a little bit funny, that I’m like. You know, I’ve processed there. I think I’ll go through this again now to slightly shift gears.


[00:35:38] The difference being like I wasn’t in physical danger, but physical danger is something that comes up as a fear.


[00:35:46] People experience. So I was kind of talking about a fear of like change or fear of uncertainty, as you thankfully gave me a third word for this Uncertainty. That’s a great word to look at. Yeah.


[00:35:56] But but physical danger is a reality for people around horses.


[00:36:02] It’s also a reality. People around cars and and planes.


[00:36:07] And like walking down my icy driveway,.


[00:36:12] The moment you get out of bed starts


[00:36:16] And so. Yeah. So what? What advice could we give people with the fear of physical danger around horses? How can curiosity help with that?


[00:36:29] Well, you know, I think again, it comes back to the self awareness piece, you know, of whether or not your fear of the physical danger is is is valid from the perspective of, you know, Is this horse maybe not the right horse for you? Right.


[00:36:51] I mean, that certainly is something that is very realistic. If you don’t have a lot of experience and you go by that green horse, which. Right. The standard rule of Green horse/ Green Rider, not a good combination, but happens all the time because people are like we’re gonna learn together or the green horse is a little less expensive. And so so there’s that piece, that component.


[00:37:13] Yeah. Sometimes I call it the car without brake.


[00:37:14] Right.


[00:37:15] You’re like it’s a car and it hasn’t had the brake system like worked on. So it doesn’t have brakes. You should be in fear, right. Right. That’s no brakes.


[00:37:24] But I you know, I think usually the the fear of physical danger is the result of having had something happen to us with the horse. Right. And so, you know, my experience with this is, you know, I used to work professionally in the horse industry and I showed and competed and coached riders and learning those things. So, yeah, I’ve started lots of colts. And and so many years ago is about 11 years ago. And I had the experience of being bucked off my own horse at a horse show right outside the warm up pen into a pile of mud.


[00:38:10] Not only did I have some physical injury, not anything serious, but I did have a little bit of physical injury. But my pride was really injured, you know. But the reality is, is when we when we have an experience like that, even for me, who, you know, having my experience is in the in the horse world. Having the experience of coming off my horse like that and he’s very tall, he’s 16.3, so it’s a really long way to fall because I went up in the air and then came down, you know. So that’s a really, really long way. And but it did impact me because our brain again now has this reference point


[00:38:53] evidence


[00:38:55] Your brain is like I told you, I told you I told you this was bad. I told you this was dangerous. You shouldn’t do this.


[00:39:03] And so from that experience I had, I had to go through a process of recognizing that that that fear was kind of just percolating. And as much as I tried to ignore it and and I tried, I blamed my horse that he was terrible because he embarrassed me like that. And how could he do that to me? Because I feed him and he has the best life, you know? Right. So all those conversations I had around that of, you know, why did he do that to me? That was the main conversation.


[00:39:36] That was your car drive home, right?


[00:39:39] It was. And and I had I had an hour drive home with him in the trailer. And I was.


[00:39:44] Yeah, I’m I was I was mad. He was mad because my ego had been damaged and.


[00:39:51] And so along with the pain, I was having my back from, you know, the combination. But anyway, so, you know, we went through a period of time where, you know, I was really try. I was trying to figure out I was trying I was ignoring that I had this fear now that I hadn’t had before. I’ve always had awareness. I think, you know, we’re aware the what’s know, the moment we put our foot in the stirrup, we’re aware that there’s, you know, there’s potential there. But now, now and I’ve been on I’ve come off of horses before. But there was something about this that was different.


[00:40:26] And and it manifested itself on several different occasions when I got back on and was riding him. And I came to a point where I really realized that the that this was much bigger than just me coming off And I actually came to the point where I had to ask myself, do I sell this horse? Or do I try to figure out how to move through this? Why do you think I was resistant to move through it?


[00:41:02] Right. Because moving through it was going to mean that I was probably going to have to look at some information that I didn’t want to know about myself. Yeah. And so I was resistant to that because it’s so much easier to blame it on the horse. It’s so much easier to be like, OK, well, I have this fear, but I’m going to put a bigger bit on him or I’m gonna do this or that.


[00:41:30] And so. So I ended up I made the choice because I really didn’t want to sell them. But I knew I needed to figure it out. So I went and worked with a coach for three days with him. And and, yeah, you know, the first five minutes of our session was she said, well, you do realize that it’s not him that’s the problem.


[00:41:51] So I had to be willing to be vulnerable. Yeah, right.


[00:41:54] To move through that. And that’s what I’m hearing. Like you’re willing to now be vulnerable, right. To go back and work with this instructor and and be willing now to pay attention and be really emotionally aware. And I think this is a perfect piece of what you talk about the riders mind, in your quadrant, because that we are really good at sort of putting that off to the side.


[00:42:21] Yeah.


[00:42:21] Because it’s harder. The task stuff is so much easier. I’m going to move my horse as hip, move my horse’s shoulder, do this or that. And so, yeah.


[00:42:31] And I think even in the riders mind quadrant, people are like, oh yeah. In my mind means I need to understand how to move the shoulder and move the hip to get the lead change.


[00:42:41] Right. Literally estuary and task oriented part of the mind.


[00:42:44] But when you and I are talking about is the emotional side of that quarter, which was so interesting when I was when I was thinking about this ahead of time, I was thinking if we if we look at this from a horse, so we got the horse, we’ve got the riders mind and the riders body.


[00:42:59]  So, so many times people get stuck when they’re when I see them thinking about the right, the riders mind/riders body and let’s flip it to the other side and let’s play with this. So horses mind/horses body. If you only did task oriented with your horse, then what you end up with is that classic horse that people are like, I don’t want just a robot. I don’t want a horse that just acts like a robot.


[00:43:25] I mean, it’s great if you can like pick up your left lead and will lead change, but I don’t want one that’s been trained in a robotic way. I want one that understands. I want one that will connect with me. I want a relationship with my horse.


[00:43:36] All of that is emotional. So but at the same time, like so again, like we put the lead change or the whatever kind of into the body side of it, into the body, our body or the horses body. Yeah, but that very thing you want so badly with your horse that that extra connection where I could give you a robotically ( And this is why I think there’s such a change in the mentality right now going on between like when you look at like the old let’s just call it like the old cowboy way of like just rope him, tie him throw make it happen) you could end up with this robotic type of a thing going on. So, like, yes, it is technically responsive to you.


[00:44:19] Right.


[00:44:20] But people like I don’t want just that. I want one that likes me and wants to be with me. No, you’re talking about the emotions again.


[00:44:26]  When you’re talking about let’s just say like loading in the trailer, the lead change or whatever. Be careful that in your own self and your own body, you’re not just after the task. Right. Because if you’re not willing to open up to that emotional awareness over there, How come you’re expecting it from your horse over on that side? And to me, that’s why this whole quadrant thing balances itself out really well. Right. Because the deeper you want to be able to do that with that horse, the more willing you’ve got to be able to look at that in yourself.


[00:44:55] Yeah.


[00:44:55] And that is why I’m so excited that you and I have decided to team up and do some workshops this coming summer.


[00:45:02] I know. I’t will be amazed.


[00:45:04] It is gonna be so fun there in coffee and tea.


[00:45:08] Yes, coffee and tea for sure.


[00:45:11] For sure. And I think, you know, what we’re talking about here is there’s also something that applies with the work I do with leaders as we’re talking about emotional intelligence. Right. We’re talking about if we want our horses to have emotional intelligence, which is which is your horse being able to manage their emotional response to stuff. Yeah, right. That we have the ability to do that as well. And and what I’ve noticed for me is, as I’ve been able to grow my emotional intelligence myself, it’s impacted my relationships with my horses. And, you know, just with with Wager (my horse), after all of that happened and I went and worked with the coach and I really I was open and willing to look at my own stuff and. Start paying attention to my own emotional responses when things were happening. And, you know, it was about six months later after that after that experience. And remember, I had gotten bucked off at the horse shows. I had the physical thing. I had the emotional thing. I had the fear going on. And, you know, he was terrible horse for embarassing me and all of those things. And six months later, after we worked, I really worked with him on our relationship.


[00:46:30] That was my focus. I didn’t work on a task. A task was part of it. We had a task we were working on walking up to the mountain walk and standing there and stuff. But it was more about my emotional ability to to pay attention to how I was feeling in the moment and his response to me. And eventually I was able to get on him bareback with just a rope halter and a lead line on out in the round pen at nine o’clock at night. It it was snowing, you know, and and it was it was an experience. And the moment that I that I slid my leg over onto his back and I realized six months ago I was thinking about selling this horse. Right, because I wasn’t willing to examine my own thinking processes. But now, because I had been curious to try and figure it out and I was curious about how how do we work through this relationship so that we can move forward because of that. I was able to sit there on him and and he was like, great.


[00:47:40] You finally got it.


[00:47:42] And from that point on, he’s ended up. But if he’s been a phenomenal horse and he’s the best coach I have in my herd for my clients. And so I think when we’re talking about what we’re, you know, the stuff we’re doing, I mean, that’s what we want people we want other people to have these experiences that we’ve had. Right. Of where you got to the point where where you weren’t like, you know, holding on to the negativity of your experience, but you were willing to be like, huh? I wonder. Right. Yeah. It’s that curiosity. I wonder what would happen if or I wonder if there’s a different way I could look at that experience and and then look at how it helps you grow.


[00:48:23] Yeah. And I’m so excited because what we’re gonna do at these workshops is we’re going to bring people in and they won’t be bringing their horses.


[00:48:31] So you get to travel to my house in Ohio without your horse and for the cabin, to the cabin and to the barn. And we’re gonna get together and we’re gonna sit in like a workshop type thing and work together and we’re gonna explain thought work in one session. Then we’re gonna go to the barn. And I think that I’m so excited to bring people to the barn where my horses will be. And your minis.


[00:48:57] Yes.


[00:48:58] And your horses will be there. And we’re going to have people pulled out of the group.


[00:49:03] You know, if you want to if you don’t want to, you won’t be forced to. You want to you can volunteer and go out and work on a task. Because to me, there is that balance between the task and the emotion. Yeah. We’re gonna give you a task with one of my horses or the or the cute fuzzy little minis. And and we’re gonna give you a task and have you work on it so that we can then come back and we can go back into the workshop and actually unpack and talk about that. And it’s gonna be more than just, you know, like the task that we gave you. Isn’t the main point. T


[00:49:39] he main point is gonna be like we’ve got different subjects set for the April versus the July versus the October and they’re all gonna play off from each other. But you can come to just one or you can come to all three.


[00:49:50] But the idea is like for the April one with goal setting, I think we can really make some big shifts in the way people look at the way they have set goals in the past and ways that they can set goals going forward to where they can experience things on a whole different level. And we can we can help illustrate that in the barn with actual horses while they’re here.


[00:50:15] Yeah.


[00:50:15] To the point where they have this experience that they can take home and they can coach themselves at home. Right. And that’s what I’m so excited about being able to offer people.


[00:50:26] Yeah. One and we’re gonna be able to help them maybe figure out why why goal setting that they’ve done previously hasn’t worked for them. Right. Of unpacking some of that of of really uncovering some of the thought processes that may have impacted them achieving their goals previously.


[00:50:48] Yeah.


[00:50:48] And so now we’re gonna be able to combine, you know, our discussions and then the experiential piece of the horses to help them uncover through their own curiosity of. Maybe what they can do differently. Yes, when they’re setting goals and be able to be successful with those.


[00:51:07] Yes, super exciting, very exciting. That would be Noah in the background. He’s cheering us. He’s even excited. That would be the little parrot he’s taken up on us on the energy level. So I think we will wrap it up for the day. And happy New Year, everyone.


[00:51:23] Yeah. Happy New Year to everyone. And we look forward to lots more conversations. Yes. More coffee and tea conversations. Thanks, guys. Thanks, Stacy.


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