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It’ll Be Fine 2 by Doug Lindgren

Doug Lindgren

Doug Lindgren

A few weeks ago I was able to buy a new truck, used but new to me. No big deal, lots of folks buy new trucks every day, but I haven’t done that in eleven years. The old F-350 has been a great truck and it feels like I’m deserting an old friend when I leave home without it. After driving the same truck for years I’ve become very comfortable with everything about it. I know the sounds it makes and the way it feels when pulling a load. I’ve always known I could count on it to get the jobs done I needed to do. It sounds a little fluffy doesn’t it, sorry about that…

Now about the new truck…it’s nice and shiny, it’s red like the old one. It’s an F350 with duals and a stick shift. The old one has an automatic without duals. The shift pattern is different than any truck I‘ve driven in former years so it’s taken me a little while to get used to the feel of the transmission. I’ve also had to train myself on finding the gears I want when shifting. I know it sounds like I’ve never driven a stick shift but I have and I’ve run about every kind of equipment you can think of so a new truck shouldn’t be a big deal. I just have to get some miles under my belt and I’ll become as comfortable as I’ve been the last eleven years in my old truck.

I guess I’ve done it again. I’ve started another article off with a bunch of stuff that’s got you wondering what the heck are you talking about this stuff for??? Well, I do have a point or two I want to get across about us and our horses.
The feelings of anxiety and discomfort I have when I get into my new truck aren’t that different from the feelings lots of folks get when they get a new horse.

We are creatures of habit and we also like to feel comfortable in our world. We don’t like to feel out of control and we don’t like to feel inadequate.

Every time we put ourselves into new situations we have a period of time that we question ourselves and try to figure out why we’re doing this or that. Then, once we get involved and engaged in the new activity we become comfortable and realize we’re ok and the world isn’t going to come down on us.

 

 



 

I know I’ll be ok in my new truck because I’ve been able to learn and adapt to all kinds of systems within lots of machines in the past. I just have to be patient and learn the feel and hear the sounds of the engine that will tell me all I need to know about the truck and its performance.

Now, let’s talk about you and your horse. Everyone reading this has experienced the feelings and felt the anxiety I’ve been talking about with the purchase of a new horse. You get your horse and it is not the same as the horse you had before. It doesn’t act the same. It doesn’t respond the same and you start to think, why I am doing this. Then you remember you were the one that wanted a new horse. You were the one that was excited to have a new project with lots of plans for your life together.

Reality sets in and now you realize that you have somwork to do. You know you’ve got to get busy building a new relationship with your new horse. It’s up to you to put in the time to learn all you can about your horse. You have to figure out what he knows and what he doesn’t know. You have to pass on to your horse what you know and what you don’t know. You have to begin a conversation that will go on for the entire time you have that horse.

The only way I’m going to get really comfortable in my new truck is to drive it for several miles in several different situations. Some of the miles will be on the open road and some of the time will be spent in close quarters. Some of the miles will be pulling a trailer loaded with horses and some of the miles will be in just the truck itself.

The only way you’re going to get comfortable and good with your new horse is to get on him and ride, ride in lots of different situations. You need to get experience in lots of different environments. By putting in the time you’ll be able to know the feel of your horse and you’ll be able to understand him.

Every time I get on a new/ different horse I get to experience a lot of different feelings. That’s ok because even with all of the experience I’ve gained in some fifty years I still have more to learn. I have to figure out what the horse knows and what he doesn’t know all in a few minutes. I’ve got to understand how he feels and what he expects from me all in a few minutes. Every time these horses give me a new perspective because I’m paying attention to how they feel, react, move, respond, and accept or reject my cues.

If I try to shift my new truck into a gear that is too high or too low for the speed and RPM’s of the engine it responds with a chug or a buck. Once that happens it’s likely I won’t do that again. I just have to pay better attention to the feel and sounds of the truck along with the speed and RPMs to get the response I want. A smooth uneventful shift that gets me down the road easily and comfortably is the goal.

My reference to a new horse can mean just that, you bought a new horse. It can also mean that you just threw your leg over a new/ different horse than you have ever ridden before. It’s all the same; every horse you ride is new if you haven’t been on him before.

“IT’LL BE FINE” when we take the time to learn new things and by doing so we all become better at whatever we wish to accomplish. Maybe it’s driving a truck or, better yet, it’s riding a horse.

Doug and Jody Lindgren own and operate Hay Creek Ranch, Nemo, SD and HCR-AZ, Oracle, AZ.  Both camps focus on guests vacationing with their own horses.  Doug rides year-round, training horses to be great trail horses.

Visit www.haycreekranch.net for more information about both locations.

 

This article was printed in Performance Horse Digest, Volume 9, Issue 10

 

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