The sky above, the mud below

Headed north to Canada for a few days.  I’ve been home for a while and getting lots of things done.  I have been riding three horses real consistent and getting a couple of young dogs out and working while moving my tiny heard of cattle around to feed a couple of times a day.  I really have been enjoying myself, and feel real good about the progress we’re making and the way we are making it.

I read a thing on eating a while back that has really changed the way I  approach things.

When eating it said to change your focus from your brain to your stomach.

What a simple concept that I was missing.  I really like to eat, and I’m not real picky on the kind of food, as long as it it’s good.  I eat a lot. Too much.

So I am trying to shift my thinking to really enjoying the eating but having my mind down below rather than up above.  It’s really helping me enjoy eating during and after.

Well I have been thinking about this with other things, and I think it would be helpful for you to explore this way of doing things.  It puts the focus to the place that is effective.

The three things that seem to interfere with doing our best is a lack of self discipline, lack of skill development, and ego.  

If you don’t have self discipline, you may be working hard but the focus is in the wrong area, so it’s not effective.

Developing the skills to achieve something is about learning.  The better we get at learning, the easier it gets to develop skills physically and mentally.  Learning can become a way of life.

Ego can really drive a person to develop skills.  It’s a good thing to a point, but I have been watching this for a long time and people with real strong egos usually end up frustrated and the animals and people around them end up not getting the best quality of situations in life.

As I mentioned I have been riding quite a bit.  At one time in my life I didn’t have any hair on the inside of my legs.  That means I rode a lot.  It’s not that way anymore and I miss riding and crave it.

When I was a kid I don’t think there was a day when I didn’t have my legs wrapped around a horse.  I would ride my pony Pee Wee to the corner of the pasture on the way to the bus and turn him loose.  We just rode, that’s what my sister and I did.

We weren’t training horses, we were just riding and it was our entertainment.  We did things we shouldn’t have done and it’s pretty amazing we survived it, but we did. We  weren’t training our horses, they were training us.  How to ride,

How to catch, how to take care of and all kinds of things.

When I started riding bucking horses I learned to really admire and respect the spirit and athleticism of the horse.  I just can’t explain what an appreciation you get for the horse when you ride them for eight seconds at a time and they are giving it all they have got.  I have been in awe of it since the first horse I got on and really feel bad for the horse when I see someone take the life and spirit out of the horse.  It makes me sad.  When I have to ride that way I will quit for the love of the horse.

The next phase was starting colts and getting horses handier.  I’ve alway rode horses that have lots of go.  I was influenced by lots of different people and I went through lots of ego based horsemanship.  Some of the skills I was learning were real important for what I needed to do.  Getting a horse to stop, back up and turn around in balance we’re things I had not learned before and it was real helpful.  Then it took ahold of me and my ego took over and I feel sorry for what I put some horses through because of it.

I’ll give the example of flying lead changes.  I had a paint Mare we called Major.

I really worked on lead changes and she got to wear I could do pretty good changes every couple of strides.  She was always bothered a little when doing them.  She and another horse  I had named “Count” went through a lot of my ego horsemanship days.

I really never found the need for a flying lead change worth the trouble I put Major through.  I wasn’t showing horses, but I was showing off my horsemanship.  I didn’t take the try out of her, but I sure got her a little bothered.

I think when I got real interested in the cattlehandling is when I started to change my horsemanship.  When I started to try to use my horses not to force cattle to react, but to get them to change their mind and decide to do it, that changed everything.

Now it was about being in the perfect position to create the proper pressure.  That really changed the focus line to a different spot, just like changing your focus to the stomach from the taste buds.

I actually get so much more pleasure out of eating and riding with the shift.  I’m real sure my horses are better off.

As I watch things and create my point of view it is becoming clear that many people get drawn to focusing on the wrong spot.  

Be careful.  Don’t let yourself get focused on the wrong spot.  As I try to figure out how the people who’s skill I admire have gotten those skills, I feel they have learned to shift the focus to what really matters to make it work.

It seems if you move your focus down below it will help in lots of situations.In eating move the focus from head to stomach, in horsemanship move your focus from the body down to the feet, and in if you move your focus to the soil your crops and grass will benefit. 

In all these things it’s real easy to be influenced to do just the opposite.

Think of some of the things that are important to you and see if you have your focus on the right spot.  I hope it helps.


Here is a great song as an added bonus to make the point and enjoy a story

4 thoughts on “The sky above, the mud below

  1. Lorne Hindbo

    Great Monday morning read and listen.
    When you’re are person with many interests it can be a challenge focusing on the right spot .
    I think the sky above was not in those boys focus.

    Have a great week. I’m collaring cougars again this winter, if you’re up and free for a day, hitch up, maybe you could help me with my hound Stockmanship.

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