There are things we do in life that we have been doing for years and years. Like riding a bike. Then one day, like me yesterday, we decide to ride that bike without holding onto the handlebars.
I was riding my bike down a long stretch of forest path – straight and flat. With nothing better to do, I figured, why not give it a try? Not just a little bit here and there like I’ve done in the past, but really master it. The entire bike ride, I had been sitting steadily in my seat, focused and quiet. As I was preparing myself to let go of the handlebars, suddenly I leaned forward and my center of balance got thrown off.
Of course, it didn’t work. I stopped practicing for a moment and thought about it. Then I sat in the bike’s seat as I always do, let go of the handlebars, and instead of slowing down my pedaling due to uncertainty or shakiness, I sped it up. Almost going faster than before, I was pedaling hard and confidently. All of a sudden it worked. Within 5 minutes I was able to bike without my hands and even took out my phone for a quick look. Like a real 21st Century adult!
How does this relate to animals… we often change how we hold and conduct ourselves when one aspect of something that we are comfortable doing, changes. For example: when you ride your horse for the first time without reins, a lot of people lean forward and give cues completely different than they normally do. We can’t be surprised when our horse doesn’t understand what we are asking. It’s as if an entirely different person is riding!
Or when you are taking a walk with your dog/s and another dog comes up in the distance. Up to that point, you were probably sauntering along, minding your own business, lost in your thoughts, relaxed… you get the picture. Then a dog comes and BAM. There you are, frantically turning around toward your dog who might be off the leash, grab him or maybe you just get tense and change the way you walk, without even noticing it yourself. Maybe if you had kept your calm demeanor, nothing out of the ordinary would have happened.
It’s something we can slowly become aware of. All of this came to me while I was riding my bike for the first time, hands-free. It was so easy! I just had to go on doing what I had been doing all along. Just with that one little change.
What is something you have struggled with? Do you find yourself getting tense or changing your posture when you mix things up? Tell me about it in the comments!