I couldn’t wait to tell you, I’ve just come in from mowing the lawn!
“So what?”, you may ask.
Well, I know it’s maybe not that big a deal to you, but I couldn’t help noticing how much my mowing skills have improved in the last 5 weeks.
You see, since we moved to west country suburbia, I’ve become responsible for looking after a lawn again, after a break of nearly 12 years.
And you wouldn’t believe how inexplicably nervous I was when I first assembled and tried out our brand new lawnmower (a bargain £45 from the local DIY store) just a few short weeks ago.
There’s a funny thing about human nature. We all seem to torture ourselves wondering what other people must think of our efforts. Even something as trivial as how straight – or in my case, how squiggly – the lines on our little suburban lawn must have looked to our new neighbours.
Anyway, I’m glad I got out there and did it, because I think my weekly practice is finally starting to pay off!
Now I don’t know for sure, but I have a hunch that maybe you’ve experienced this feeling too when it comes to doing things with your horses. Especially when it comes to trying something new.
My first riding teacher used to talk about the importance of ‘fridge art’. You know, the totally unrecognisable stuff that young kids produce in school that then ends up displayed in pride of place in the family kitchen.
It’s so obviously true with horses (but also with lawn mowing, I keep telling myself) that no one is born a master.
The first step to getting good at something is getting started. Continuing to show up and keep practicing with the intention to learn from your efforts as you go is the second step, and the next, and the next after that.
As little kids, we all had our first opportunity to create art. And if you’re anything like me, the results probably wouldn’t have marked us out as the next Picasso.
Nevertheless, they absolutely deserved to be pinned on the fridge.
And from those little acorns, and with enough time, practice and support, who knows what mighty oaks may grow…?
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