Thursday, November 17, 2011

Savvy Equals Safety

I used to have an instructor that if she wanted you to remember something important, she would put it into a little saying, rhyme or an acronym. In a musical context, I think everyone has heard the scale referred to as Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. My current instructor, my horse mentor, Pat Parelli does this as well. Though Pat has so many that I sometimes fail in remembering them all, but the first one I learned is the one in the front of my mind today... Savvy equals safety.

There is just so much bad that can happen. So many possibilities for creating our own demise. This last year there have been a number of horse person wrecks that I have heard about. Broken ribs, broken collar bone, gashed head but amidst this mayhem what stands out to me is that these Parelli students didn't die. They could have. When these people describe their accidents they can explain with absolute clarity, right to the point of impact, what the horse was doing, what the horse was seeing and thinking and things they were trying to do to control the situation, or to offset the damage. The program was ingrained enough that they didn't die.

Ingraining.....My old instructor called this Boy-Book-Boy... get the boy into the book so the book is in the boy. Pat has it a little differently. He says we start out unconsciously incompetent... we don't know that we don't know. We progress to consciously incompetent, where we have it figured out just how dumb we are, but we are learning. The goal is to be unconsciously competent, where the knowledge is so a part of our being that it is automatic. It's a good goal.

So today, I want to take a break from talking about fencing, disease, the onset of winter and all of my other rants to give a shout out to Pat. We may get bashed, bruised, bloody and sometimes, a bit broken, but thank you for keeping us alive, for getting inside of our heads and making our lives better. Some of the people you have saved are very dear to me.


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