There are great things to be learned about horses and riding from social media. The world is closer for like-minded equestrians as it has never been before. In no time at all you find the people you can relate to, learn from and share with.
My core knowledge has grown steadily by finding people online. As its exponential growth tapers down I find the timing excellent to incorporate the new skills into training. Time is the most precious element that I’m aware of. I know my Facebook friends will be surprised to hear me say my time management has improved. Because I have missed conversing with them for ages. But I suspect going into Spring and better riding weather there is less activity anyway. I’ll check as soon as I get a chance.
Back when I was a kid the g.p. doc’s office was called a medical arts building, and that got me thinking. What are all the facets of life that can be considered Art? A recent little injury suddenly occurred as quite a surprise while working last week. The kind of thing that happens and you think this must be for a reason because there wasn’t anything (much) I could have done to prevent it. As an adult I avoid doctor’s medicine at nearly all costs, opting instead to ante up for what is nutritionally needed and the injury itself calls for, plus time to get some extra sleep. Is that art of healing? The art part of the medical arts? Let’s see what else there might be.
Are all sports pure athletics or part art? What’s the difference? Watching tennis, I’d say Roger Federer is an artist as compared to say the incomparable Venus and Serena Williams who are pure sport. With horses, I have to say watching either Mark Todd or William Fox Pitt is to see art whereas the phenomenal Mary King is straight sport. I probably wouldn’t be having as much fun with these notions if it weren’t for social media though. Through quips and comments and articles I get to know riders who are artful, interactively relating to the life of their horses, and those who are not. The art of horses in social media.
The last time I wrote about the art of horsemanship a little over a year ago was when I just started learning about social media in The Art of Riding and Horsemanship. The topic is one subject I have been struggling to define, share and grasp for the span of my business. My first stab at it the year prior was Traditional Ideas v. New Ideas. Art in sports can be found in all the spectator sports I’m familiar with. Just thinking about the amazing skaters who are art on ice, Johnny Weir is the epitome of it. And to be gender balanced, Katarina Witt was spectacular.
Since establishing an equestrian business in the mid-’80’s I’ve enjoyed knowing lots of rider types and horses from nearly every discipline. And I certainly began practicing equine massage to master the art of it. Actually it flourished out of my desire to become at master at something I loved. While the global commodity markets held me in rapt attention, I knew horses were my true passion. Today, social media has helped me see how all the barn experiences over the years fit together like pieces of a complex puzzle.
At some point I can also use it to share what I developed for horses and riders from the kinesthetic body perspective. Not only as the art of horse care, horse performance, and art of horsemanship – irrespective of the discipline itself being strictly a sport, art or a combination of both. But the actual how to, why for, whereof, and what to expect and demonstration of it. As an artful interaction, of course.
I could not have put the art puzzle picture together without social media. Comments from postings written by trainers globally who train in the style of equestrian arts, and share the same sensibilities share ways of benefiting horses. While other trainers who are strictly for sport have a different sensibility the exposure generates plenty of lively video analysis.
Having established and maintained a strong core commitment to the horse, I speak up for horses from the uniquely kinesthetic perspective. Substantiated by certification in Russian medical massage from Zenya Kurashova, and Craniosacral therapy specialization from the Baltimore School of Massage. I am qualified to distill and define equestrian disciplines even if just as an ongoing journey to come up with a good name for it. (reference 2 previous posts about names)
The exclusively equestrian ‘sport’ disciplines including gaming entertainment will always make the horse vulnerable simply as a disposable commodity. Commodities by general definition traded on regulated exchanges are classified as intangibles. Horses seem obviously tangible, they are very physical to everyone close to them.
Although by seeing them as an intangible it is a convenient loophole for human responsibility and a way to avoid accountability to them. But I can’t get all up in emotional states of making others wrong as often happens in the social media groups and forums. Sometimes it is better to part company when the beauty of the body is being abused. And I don’t want to defend anyone but have noted that god is in everything and the devil is in the details. Yin and yang says enough for me.
In closing I want to make your precious time worth reading this far by giving you a useful tip. Since the the art of social media is about providing value, whether for horses or their people. My time management trick is worthwhile as a practical matter. Because if you are caring for horses, family, farm, work and friends, the element of time needs an artful approach too. I think I have learned one.
From different teachers I have discovered that using a timer has more than the one obvious benefit of telling you time is up, *ding (or in the case of my iPhone, crickets or robot are my favorites). It was Eben Pagan the wonderful leadership coach and internet marketing pro who drummed into our online classroom his 50-10 program. The way it works is this. Focus on one task for 50 minutes then not, for 10 minutes. That is a great starting point. If you think multi-tasking gets more done it does not. It’s all about focus.
Then in Jean Houston’s course on awakening purpose, the fantastic integral teacher, trainer, evolutionary vision coach for aligning your whole being and activating on all burners, she teaches Orchestrating Time. By telling you how I combine them will best explain it.
First I start the timer, next I ‘see’ what I am going to do during the time period (say 50 mins) this takes a full minute to do as I watch all the steps I’m going to take, imaging them in my mind. It is not using the imagination which is an external perspective, this is imaging that is an internal view. And then I get to work.
After digging in, when the timer tones 50 minutes later I find I’ve gotten more done than ever. It takes practice. I didn’t have it nailed when I began. Like riding, you get better at it when you focus. I flub up plenty, the habits of over scheduling, not taking the break not doing the imaging, things like that. But practicing makes me better at it. So when time is really truly tight I have the tool at my fingertips. Massaging time, what can I say?!