PIPER KLEMM, PH.D
I have a confession to make… I have been known to overreact. I panic over things that seem like the end of the world. I’ve been absolutely up in arms over situations that very much seem like life-and-death. And I fear everything, including fear itself.
Taming the emotion and taming the reactions have been, well, decades coming. I’ve been working on it passively, actively, consciously, and unconsciously. I have been getting more experienced in all situations in life, so I’m better prepared. In general, I feel more calm.
In general, I can be introspective and let go. In general, I can put things where they belong. But if you studied me enough, I’m sure you’d see me crack here and there. I am human.
The best way to achieve our goals—with our horses, with our humans, and with ourselves—is often to move right along. Ignore that outburst, forgive the out-of-character moment and not antagonize, blame, or litigate it. A quick correction with the horse and back to being our trusting selves. A quick explanation to the humans and back to our usual selves.
When we overreact, we teach our children to overreact. When we overreact, we teach our horses to overreact. When we give too much importance to any given thing, we fail both our horses and our people.
As the seasons change and we move from summer to fall, I am being conscious of my reactions. I’m taming the emotions and feeling more prepared and more calm. Day by day, I’m moving right along, and I hope you are, too.
*This story was originally published in the September 2022 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!