Know what you don’t know

Silhouette of horse

Christine, Dr. Warner, my buddy Kevin and I are spending the week in beautiful Colorado at Vista Verde Ranch.

We have been doing a lot of cross country skiing and taking in the scenery. We even went dog sledding Tuesday afternoon.

Of course, since we’re staying at a ranch, we went horseback riding a few times too.

Yesterday, Christine and I were learning how to trot on a horse. To tell the horse to go faster, you click your teeth and squeeze with your legs.

While we were on the trail, my horse got a little confused and took the wrong path when we came to a fork in the road. Fortunately, I had already learned to correct a horse when he does something wrong, so I got him turned around and back on the right track, but not before the others in my group were quite a ways ahead of me on the trail.

I decided to practice my trot, so I clicked my teeth, squeezed with my legs, and even threw in a small kick with my heels.

My horse thought I meant for him to take off like lightning, and just like that we blasted off down the trail toward the others.

The problem was that I had not learned how to stay on a horse that’s running sprints, so I’m gripping the saddle for dear life and screaming “WOAH! WOAH!”

Finally, we met up with the others and my horse slowed down. The instructor told me that when I want my horse to stop, I need to not only give a verbal command but also pull back on the reigns.
I explained that it was not “woah” as in stop. It was “woah” as in “I hope I don’t die!”

This was a good reminder to me that, many times in life, it is important to know what we don’t know.
Don’t pretend like you’re an expert horse rider when it’s only your second time on a horse (in the past 6 years).