Thursday, April 3

the heart of the issue

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you probably know I have a thing for horses and what they can do for people. And with my recent employment as a therapeutic riding instructor, I've become even more of a proponent. 

A learning moment
But my exuberance was muffled just a bit this morning when I spoke with a woman who wants us to come speak about therapeutic riding at an organ transplant awareness organization.

"I'm hoping to get a kidney by the end of this year," she said.

Uh, yeah, sure we can come talk about riding horses; it's almost like needing a life preserving organ.


I feel like I've been cursed all my life with this need to save the world, to do something meaningful and important. It's probably why I could only tolerate selling donuts at Krispy Kreme for one summer.

I find myself constantly asking, Is what I'm doing really worthwhile? Is waking up at 5am on Saturday mornings to put people on horses really making a difference?

Another call hit home for me this week. I spoke with a woman who's looking for riding lessons for her 13-year-old daughter who is about to have spinal surgery for scoliosis. There in the mid-morning of a Tuesday, I was whisked away to my thirteenth year when I, too, was faced with the eminent possibility of spinal fusion. That is a heavy thing for an adolescent (heck, it's a heavy thing for anyone).

I really wanted to help the woman on the other end of the call, to reach out and make things easier. But all I could do was share my own experience and pray that the weight might be lifted soon.

Last week, a volunteer mentioned how a rider was helping him learn the proper way to tack up a horse. It reminded me of one of my favorite phrases: Teach to learn; Learn to teach.


I'm nearly asleep on the couch when my sister calls last night. Although we live in the same time zone, we almost always hold opposite hours.

She told me that the studio director where she teaches dance had had some constructive criticism for her teaching style--a director who is five years her junior.

"I was immediately defensive," she said. But taking a breath, she started to really listen to what the woman had to say, and realized it was actually helpful advice that, if she took it to heart, would make her a better teacher.

So, I'm reminded lives are always changing, everywhere. I guess I'll keep on teaching, and keep on learning...