“It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid…At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade”
Ah yes, the soulful tones of the lovely Paul Young singing the opening lines of the ground-breaking, original version of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’.
I’m sure those of us of a certain age will never forget the impact of that song, the US version ‘We Are the World’ and the Live Aid concerts of 1985.
Despite the glitz and glamour of the stars who took part, they are all a reminder of how much we have to be grateful for at this time of year.
Christmas time is also the time for giving and receiving of gifts and today I wanted to tell you the story of one particular gift I received last year which made me very unpopular!
So, I was given this fancy, all-singing and dancing camera, which does away with having a cameraman as it is all computerized and automatic.
It was just what I needed so I could film myself when I’m out with my horses. It’s brilliant as it can do things like track my movements, zoom in when my heart rate goes up, pan out when the horses come close, and so much more.
All very exciting except I didn’t have a clue how to work it!
Luckily my younger brother and my teenage nephews were around at various points during the holidays and gave me some lessons.
“Right, got it,” I told them, but I don’t think they were convinced (and to be honest neither was I).
Anyway, when the warmer weather came, I excitedly grabbed my new robo-camera kit, along with the instruction booklet and rushed out to the horses.
I imagined myself shooting majestic, John Ford like landscapes complete with sweeping orchestral soundtracks.
This is going to be fun!
I set it up and realized that it was all controlled by a touch screen.
Great! This should be just like using my cellphone, I thought.
Except it wasn’t...
Let’s just say that after 15 minutes of trying just to get it turned on and get to the second screen, I was rather flustered.
Then after another 15 minutes of pushing the button that the booklet told me to, and not getting the next screen that the booklet said I should… frustration really set in.
“What’s up with the darn thing? I’m never going to be able to film the horses today…”
Then I looked up and guess what I saw?
The aforementioned horses were all the way on the other side of the field, about as far away from me as they could possibly be.
Oops. I think they’d been trying to tell me something.
I had let my frustration with trying to figure out a new gadget distract me from the real reason I had gone out to my horses in the first place… to actually be with them and enjoy our time together.
My new toy was supposed to free me from having to worry about moving the camera so I could concentrate on them but it had in fact had the opposite effect and distracted me from what was important.
So what did I do?
I thanked them for their insights and intelligence and simply hit the reset button – not on the camera but on me!
I put my new toy back in the box along with all its associated paraphernalia and the moment I did that, my horses came right over to me to greet me like I had just got there. Which in a way I had.
After that, I just spent the next hour just chilling with my boys enjoying the beautiful day and each other’s company.
Listening is an art and it is worth perfecting, not only for our horses, but for our personal lives and interactions with other people as well.
So my wish for you during the holiday season is that you give yourself the gift of taking time out to just listen and watch too.
See what a difference it makes and how it changes your perspective – from being caught up in the middle of all the holiday madness, to being on the outside watching it happen and being able to look at it more objectively.
And when you do, I’m sure you will feel like I did that day with my horses, how very blessed and grateful I am.
I’d like to thank you for all your support and wish you and your family a very Happy Holidays and a happy, healthy New Year.
In my experience many horses suffer from Equine Stress, the consequences of which can be very detrimental to their well-being. The sad thing is many loving owners are often completely unaware of this.
Click the button to take the Equine Stress Test to discover if your horse might be suffering too and what you can do about it: