Spontaneity, as I hinted at last week, is so important in our lives and in the lives of those around us. If we didn’t like surprises, we would never have gift wrapping, movies with plot-twists, and, of course, yelling “SURPRISE” as you jump from behind someone’s couch at an unknowing birthday victim.
Yesterday, as I watched some riders in a group lesson, one of my horses (a Paint named Mom) was trudging along at her usual, painfully slow gait. I used my instructor voice to tell her rider to smack her with the whip. Calm down, all you animal lovers, none of my students beat their horses. Riders just use a smart tap with a crop as a reminder after the horse has blatantly ignored their leg (also keep in mind this was a nine-year-old who gives love taps instead of actual discipline). She did so, as she has done probably a hundred times before, expecting Mom to pick up her pace. Instead, Mom flattened her ears back and tossed up her hind legs in a buck!
Now you’ll probably expect me to say I recoiled, horrified, and eventually disciplined her. Nope. I bursted out laughing hysterically! Of course, the rider wasn’t even unseated and remained with a leg on either side of the horse. Mom then picked up her previous pace and soldiered on.
I’ll explain the reaction I had. Mom is exactly like that recent car commercial: “wonderfully, boringly, reliable”. She is about as spontaneous as an 80 year old High School history teacher. That is why she is a great lesson horse, but also why some of my students dislike riding her. So when she quite literally, “kicked up her heels”, I was astonished and also found it pretty funny.
I have hung the torn shirt next to my closet as a reminder to be more spontaneous. Because life is too short to be boring!
Be more spontaneous. Throw eggs at your son out of the blue like my mom did once. Dance around in your kitchen to Rascal Flatts. Eat a foreign food you’ve never tried. Bring somebody flowers. Also, be sure to try things on before you buy them.