As equestrians, there are riding instructions that are so ingrained into our brains, that they echo all of the time: Heels down, soften your hands, half-halt. Recently, our daughter Lizzie has been working on her leads coming off of her fences, and she has a tendency to look down at her pony's shoulder to see if he picked up the correct lead. Inevitably, as any well-school horseman will tell you, that movement secures the lead the pony will pick up, whether it is wrong or right for the direction, as she is subliminally cuing him. So as her trainer, Jeff Gogul, likes to tell her, if she looks down towards that ground one too many times, she'll be in it!! I can still hear my teachers telling me the exact same thing! Riding lesson number one: eyes up, steering the horse where you want to go.
As I was listening to her lesson the other day, I realized what a great metaphor for life that is. Often we get so mired in the day to day, that we forget to focus on the big picture -- where we are heading, what we have already accomplished, what our ultimate goals are. Instead, quite often, we find ourselves stuck in the mud, down toiling in the sand arena! So, I know, next time I'm frustrated on the minutia, I'll take a moment to look straight forward, through the ears of my horse, beyond the fence in front of me and focus on the end result: the really big picture. Hope I get my lead correct!!