Friday, 2 March 2012

Loosening the reins


 Loosening the reins when riding, in some situations, is definitely counter-intuitive.

Like this:

Out riding on Alfie, in the early days, when I was less experienced and he was more nervous. On a sharp bend in the road.

Ahead, Tessa riding Hero.

Immediately behind, a queue of impatient mothers in 4x4 vehicles doing the school run. (In my experience these drivers are The Very Worst; worse even than White Van Men. Why can they not just set off a little earlier so they're not in such a screaming hurry all the time?)

To the left, a high hedge.

To the right, a grass bank on which was Man With Strimmer.


 ...Man With Strimmer and ear mufflers, intent on his task. We were just level with him when he started the strimmer. Alfie had nowhere to go but up, in his fright. My instinctive reaction - pull him back.

 'LET GO!' screamed Tessa.

I remember thinking 'Is this woman MAD? I'm clinging on for dear life on a vertically rearing horse and she wants me to let go?'

But I did. And Alfie went down onto four feet again. (Man With Strimmer carried on strimming. The mothers in the 4x4s gave us a wide berth. I hope they felt suitably guilty but I'm sure they didn't.)

OF COURSE I should have loosened the reins or we'd both have gone over backwards.

I'm a bit like that with work. I hold on SO tight, try to keep everything under control, then it has the habit of rearing up unexpectedly and I must remember to...

'LET GO!'

Loosen the reins.