About That Horse
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How to Ride a Horse - A REAL Horse - Plus a Bonus

OK - [email protected] has actually written a wonderful article on how to ride an actual horse. I felt obligated to point to it since some folks are using Google to retrieve that information and coming up with my business and theological advice. Here is is:

How to Ride a Horse

And while I am here, let me learn a few things from this author and skill.

The authors says, "you never know when you might find a time when you are for one reason or another on the back of a horse."

That is so right. no matter what our intentions might be starting out, we might find ourselves in a place or on a mode of transportation that cannot be accounted for by our own manipulative efforts.

So, according to ccunning, we need to take seven things into account: proper attire, proper position, basic control, actually riding, stopping, and getting off.

I don't know what attire you might need in your business, ministry, or other project, but you need to know. Then you need to secure it and wear it. that includes actual clothing and accessories and the ethereal clothing of proper attitude, demeanor, and vocabulary. Read what needs to be read. Listen to what is being taught. Wrap yourself in the attire of good preparation.

Always be preparing for whatever is next. Job 29:14 says, "I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban."

Whatever it takes, put it on.

Getting on the right way is vital because first impressions with horses and people tend to last. Horses will buck us and so will people. The advice to try not to kick the horse is quite transferable. Good starts are more valuable than many, many restarts.

It is vital for the horse rider to acquire the proper position of the horse and it is equally vital for the business rider to position himself/herself as well within the organization, with colleagues, and with his or her support system. With horses, there are varying positions based upon riding style and the shape of the saddle. However, all require making necessary adjustments to equipment and with regard to our own bodies. So it is in business and projects. Adjustments are always necessary.

Basic control is an area of horse pedagogy that is affluent with rules. Most of these revolve around the issues of respect and communication. The rider must respect the horse not just as a vehicle, but as a living sentient being with feelings and inclinations.  The rider must also establish effective give and take communication  avenues and skills. How is that different than working with people in an organization. Power "trips" don't work very well with horses or with people.

There are three general movements in actually riding the horse: walk, trot, and canter.

Walks are east for riders. With the proper posture and, at times, help, anyone can ride a walking horse. It is a good place to start and a wonderful place to spend most of our times.

Trots are more difficult. A trotting horse is impressive to watch with its two foot rough gait, but it is tough to ride. It is good for a show, but not the most comfortable for sustained activity.

Make of these what you like. Most of our business life is spent walking, being "found faithful," and moving forward a little bit at a time. Slow progress is the surest and often, the most satisfying, but there will be times of canter as well, interspersed by showy moments of trotting on stage to receive recognition and give thanks.

The canter is a time of increased speed The gait is rhythmic and the speed can be frightening and intimidating. It is a time of faith in the horse and in the process. Experienced rides and coaches teach us techniques for just riding with it and letting the horse carry us.

There will be all of these moments in your ventures and you need to learn how to ride them.

There will be times when you stop and you need to do these well and with class. The getting off is, according to the author, pretty much just the opposite of getting on. It just needs to be done well and with respect for the horse.

Whatever horse (business, project, ministry) you choose, you need to learn and practice the skills specific to the horse and the riding style. You can do it.

- Tom Sims, The Dream Factory,
Revised article on Optimism,
First in the series on How to Ride a Horse