Age Versus Knowledge

I realize that I worry substantially about my personal riding habits.

I worry that my seat is too light, my leg position is off – that my hands are too heavy on the bit. As such I also find that my enjoyment of riding is indirectly proportional to the amount of worry I carry. The more I carry the more the horse carries and a little bit of weight in the wrong area can mean the difference between a favorable fall and a bad fall. Why do I carry so much of it? Perhaps because I have moved to

On that note I want to bring your attention to a writer who breathes such horse sense into her writing that it is soothing. As I read Anna Blake’s posts the tenseness in my shoulders relax and my worries about being a good rider – my focus on my bad habits – eases slightly. Anna’s most recent post contains a bit of wisdom that has me pondering about timelines:

“One of the very best things about being 60 is that no one wants to see me naked- on a horse or anywhere else. That makes me really happy. Liberated. Free. The meat wagon has left. Friends I have now love me without cosmetic correction, for the same reason horses and dogs have from the beginning. It’s dependable.”

It reminds me that we come out of the womb knowing knowing next to nothing cosmetically factual, yet very much instinctually. Does that mean you have to wait until you are aged three score years to feel the way Anna describes? Should you place a calendar marker on thirty years to acquire a prescribed amount of knowledge? Not necessarily. Age specific markers of knowledge on a timeline are placed there by others. For a large portion of childhood we hear, “You’ll understand [insert-situation] when you are [insert-age-here].” I have reached a few of the ages prescribed by aunts, parents, and an assortment of other adults. Do you know what I have learned? That markers are silly. None of the markers dictated to me were accurate to the ages paired with them. There is no correct age for mastering riding or producing a best seller novel. There is no correct mindset for a specific age. Accept that you are going to process the lesson you learn in a time and way that is unique to you. While yes, we are sometimes grouped by age for such experiences that does not make it an ultimatum. Becoming negative towards yourself because you haven’t learned the lesson for [insert-situation] by [insert-age] does not help either. There are enough people weighing in on you as it is, why add to your load?

When I returned to taking riding lessons at twenty-four I found a lot of riders around me were younger than I and knew more factually about the discipline they rode in. I felt disappointed. However, I stuck with it and while I sometimes feel sad that I did not come into this area of my passion sooner I no longer feel disappointed. I know plenty of things others will not and to write every little thing down would take longer than I have to live. Consider that we pass on knowledge both factual and experiential to each person who crosses into our circle of life. Sometimes the lesson is learning how to navigate the social circle you prefer, sometimes it is learning how to listen to and sharpen your instincts. You will meet people who learned lesson A at fourteen or forty what you realized at twenty four.

In the end age is no consequence. You are a culmination of your experiences no matter your age. Although, just keep in mind that you do not have to experience a situation to be sure you would not enjoy any part of it. Learn from both your negatives and positives. Focus on your positives.

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I hope everyone has a fun weekend~

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