Alignment. In riding horses and in life!

A medley of horse performance issues stem from the same source – lack of straightness.

Anyone driving a truck and trailer will tell you that in stopping or backing, you’d better have the rig straight. An unnoticed misalignment can magnify into a mess. The same is true with horses.

When your horse has his head, neck, shoulders and hips aligned with his line of travel, he’s straight.  So, curved path or straight, no body part should drift off the track.  Picture your horse’s nose on the line with front and back feet straddling that line.

When your horse’s nose tips to the outside, his shoulder drops to the inside. If his haunches fishtail toward the in-gate, he’ll swap leads or break gait. Horses jump in poor form or even refuse due to a crooked approach to the fence. When your horse isn’t straight, lead changes hop and canter strides lose their flow as if there’s a kink in the hose.

When our lives get out of alignment, we lose sight of our priorities. We get sidetracked from our goals and sometimes our values. We might spend more money than we intended on tack and show clothes, when we know they won’t necessarily put us in the ribbons. Or we might spend our energy chasing those ribbons at the expense of family relationships. Committees, career, fashion and Facebook can worm their ways out of their proper place in line. We feel like life is happening to us instead of the fruit of thoughtful choices, stride by stride.

The off-season is a great time to realign our riding goals with our other commitments and values in this “season” of our lives.

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”   Stephen Covey

 I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. Proverbs 4:11, The Bible.