A different perspective (horse-riding journal 1)

This is a journal-like exercise pertaining to a 14 h horse-back trail ride, in a region of hills and mountains, between 800 m and 2300 m altitude,  a total of 58 km, in spring time, in a team of 14 individuals: 7 riders and 7 horses.

Hope you enjoy the story as much as we enjoyed the ride and we invite you to tag along in one of the Haidook Experiences opened to the public.

Here is the first “chapter” of the Haidook Experience. The rest will follow shortly.

A different perspective, literally (1)

Our ride started on a beautiful May morning, just before 7 am, with the sun already up in the sky. We headed over the hill right next to the Potcoava Riding Center, then down to the river crossing. We started at 800m altitude, crossed a river on a lower altitude and from there started a steep ascent, with a few downhill segments. We were aiming for Leaota Peak at 2300m.

We rode, and we rode, on unpaved roads, on mountain trails, over and under fallen trees, underneath logs, through the forest and some clearings.

I was enjoying the beautiful light going through the trees’ branches so much that I mentioned the topic probably every 30 min or so. The yellow hue was enchanting.

We stopped for a few minutes on some breaks, needed to get off and the back on the horses several times during the forest crossing because there were a lot of logs blocking the road. At all times I absolutely enjoyed the light.

After 1pm, we were considerably higher that our starting point and the sky became darker. Then there was some rain drops. At that point, I saw the need to take off my glasses. And when I did that, it struck me. My perception and enjoyment were, in part, due to the yellow lens on my glasses. Hold your horses on the “obvious” exclamation!  There is an explanation to me forgetting I had yellow lens on!

I usually ride with sunglasses on: dark tinted lens during the summer, clear during the winter. This habit is so well established in my routine that I don’t feel I have glasses on.

In a context where the trigger and the reward of a particular action were the same, a change in the action blended so well into the routine that I completely forgot about it.

The thing is I never had yellow lens for my riding glasses. I bought this set the week before. And on that particular morning, before riding I put my glasses on. End of story, or so I thought.

A small change, the color of the lens – yellow, in what was for me a well-established habit, wearing glasses during horseback riding, profoundly transformed, for the better, my perception on the first half of the Haidook Experience.

I now have the actual, practical experience of how the “lens through which you look at the world define how you see the world”. It was literally, in my case. Happily, it was a positive distortion. One that I found enchanting.

I love the “lens” metaphor, I use it frequently in my teaching. This time I got to experience it first-hand. The “aha” moment is going to stay with me for a while.

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