Anger Management

Today’s Tip: Know thyself. Know what you’re ready to handle for the day and don’t launch into something that is not destined to go well. Read on for when I know it’s just not the right day for riding.

Stress Reliever Horse

This is my stress reliever horse. You know, the squishy kind that you can squeeze and squeeze and not hurt it. Come to think of legs do the same thing with my real horses sometimes!

I woke up crabby. I got to work crabby. I did my work feeling crabby. I came home crabby. Basically I decided I was only designed to work a 4-day week and today was the 5th so it just wasn’t meant to be.

It also could have been the fact that winter came back today. March 1 came and BAM! Spring was here. It’s been nice, more or less, since then. Then today dawned gray and cold with a brisk wind trying to force the grip of winter back into every little nook and cranny. The only plus was that it didn’t snow…yet.

My mind knew that winter would make an encore appearance. My heart dared to hope that this year would be different. My body was full steam ahead to summer. It resisted today with everything it had.

Yesterday was such a fantastic day with a great ride and I read a bunch of blog posts from other riders today that made me just itch to get back out there. Driving home from work, though, I wanted to crawl into bed and come out in June. So I compromised.

I knew the bad mood I was going through was not conducive to actually working with the horses. I can be a little moody, temperamental, dare I say “mare-ish”? I’ve come to learn that if I’m angry at the world, I’ll be angry with the horses; if I’m only angry at something (or someone), riding can be therapeutic. Today my moodiness was directed at the world.

Another thing I know about myself is that as much as I read doing something when I’m cold, tired, and crabby, I also know it makes me feel better. My compromise was to pile on the layers and go out and clean. I cleaned stalls, I cleaned horses (well…a little), I cleaned the barn, I cleaned dog poop from the yard.

By the time I was done I did feel a little better. Still tired, but not so cold and not so crabby. And no one got yelled at tonight, so it must have been a success!

If I had any energy left, I’d move on to the house that hasn’t had a good cleaning in… Ok, maybe I better not actually write that…that will make it a little too true and I’m not ready to admit it! Clean barn or clean house? I’ll go with the clean barn!

PS After I first posted this (it’s now about 45 minutes later), I was getting caught up on some of my other blogs. I was reading a post that offered some quotes from Xenophon, the guy considered to be the first “published” horse trainer (ca. 430 – 354 BC according to Wikipedia). One of the quotes in the blog post was:

The one best precept–the golden rule–in dealing with a horse is never to approach him angrily. Anger is so devoid of forethought that it will often drive a man to do things which in a calmer mood he will regret.

Now I feel like I’m in good company! Thanks mugwump for this post!


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