As a person with a “red” personality, I occasionally (ok, more than I’d like to admit) offend people without meaning to. I come across as not caring when I’m really just so busy and absorbed in my goals in life that I don’t take enough time for much else. We all have multiple roles in life, and sometimes it’s hard to switch from business owner to wife to instructor to daughter to friend all in one day (or hour). It’s at these times when I’m incredibly grateful for people and animals that are forgiving.
People usually see dogs as the animal that is most forgiving. While I agree that dogs are incredibly so, horses also exhibit this characteristic in abundance. It is true that they have superb memories and don’t forget, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t forgive.
I see forgiveness daily in my lesson horses, whose backs, mouths, and legs ache from hours and hours of teaching girls how to ride. My horses are immensely well taken care of, and receive every precautionary measure possible to ensure that they stay so, including leg wraps and extra saddle pads. But no rider is perfect 100% of the time, and it takes a certain type of horse with an increased amount of forgiveness to endure the accidental bumps, pulls, and kicks that come from a child learning how to ride.
Their perseverance and uncomplaining attitudes may be hard to see to the untrained eye and unrecognizable to the student at the time, but I see every day what they go through and how forgiving they are. After all, I don’t think a 70 lb. girl would win in a battle of wills if the 1200 lb. horse she was riding decided it didn’t want to be quite so forgiving!
I also see forgiveness in my daily dealings with people. Running your own business requires a lot of a person, and sometimes I just drop the ball. Double-booking, having to cancel things at the last minute, or simply forgetting to shut the pasture gate resulting in 6 horses running wildly around the farm (yeah, that might be my least favorite) is just some of the things that tend to happen. So when a client sends me a text saying “It’s okay, don’t worry about it,”instead of getting upset, it means more to me than I can say.
I know for a fact that I’m not as forgiving as I’d like to be. But this week my goal is to remember how much it brightens my day and helps me out when someone is willing to “let it go” and not get offended. Oh, and I’m going to try to remember to shut the pasture gate, too.