Horsemanship Applied

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I recently moved down to Delray Beach, Florida, and needless to say there is a lot of traffic.  I have been thrown into the world of six-lane highways, endless traffic lights, and crazy drivers. In some ways it’s hard to imagine that people even have souls anymore.  While I’m on the look out to help anyone that may need it, others seem out there to try to kill one another.  (The photo above is my 2001 Toyota Tundra, pulling 2 horses, cruising by this old yellow beater of a car!  I think they call them Lambos?)

I try to find a balance between smooth and quick actions that will fit the traffic in a way that I’m not hindering the flow or stirring the pot.  I have completely changed the way I used to drive and/or prefer to drive out of the necessity of avoiding death.  When I am driving, I tend to think about the same things that I think about when riding and training horses, such as feel, efficiency, and awareness.  Here are a few examples:

Feel: smooth transitions, accelerating, decelerating, right, left, forward, backwards, lane changes, flow of traffic, people in vehicles, etc.

Efficiency:  cleanliness of car (at least the inside), route management, gas mileage, organization of car, supplies, tires, oil, engine, time differentials based on day/time, etc.

Awareness:  neighborhoods, timing of lights, time of day, businesses, gas prices, emotions, how others drive, route memory, experiment, etc.

Route management is another thing I think about when driving. For example, I took three routes, broke them down into distance, took each route around the same time of day, counted the lights on each route, and took into account the locations that I passed along the way.  Here are some of the things I found:

At about 9 a.m. if I took the highway too far I would hit a traffic jam. Two out of the three routes had 20 stop lights and many long, delayed lights over major intersections. The other route took 5-10 minutes fewer having only 15 lights, many of which were over insignificant light intersections.  One route had a business plaza on it that slowed traffic, one had a school on it that slowed traffic, and the other went past a lot of gated communities which took less time to pass.  Depending on errands I might have to run, certain routes have a bank, post office, coffee, tack store, etc.  For efficiency’s sake, I was also jamming to an audio book by Napoleon Hill!

That is just a quick breakdown of how I apply the study of horsemanship to my daily life, but I also enjoy doing this, especially since I just moved here and have never lived in this type of atmosphere before.  I’m learning new things every day on all levels down here, and the journey has been a whirlwind!  What better way to apply the horse philosophy that I love, than to apply the philosophy to every aspect of my life?  After all, horsemanship isn’t just something you apply to horses, it’s something you live and breath!

Can you find a way to apply what you love into all aspects of your life?  Would what I do work for you? Why or why not?  What would work for you?

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