Friday, May 29, 2015

The Difference Between Fault and Blame

When one falls from a horse the best possible news is to learn that falling was one's own fault. It is human nature to shift responsibility-to move from finding out who was at fault to finding out who can be blamed.

When one realizes that the fall resulted from an action or inaction on one's part, one can work to remedy the situation. When one decides that the horse is to blame because he is stubborn, mean, poorly trained, doesn't listen, etc--the solution all to often is to seek to ride another horse or to stop riding all together.

Until one recognizes fault and causation one cannot work to prevent future falls.

Least helpful of all are the group post mortem analysis that come from a kid falling from the horse. By the time the other little riders have described what they "saw" happen the event was apocalyptic in nature and only by the Grace of God did either child, horse, or civilization survive.

e.g. "I was riding and another horse bolted up from behind running in at top speed and bit my horse. As my horse kicked back at him we twisted on the trail and I was slammed into a tree. The horse panicked and began bucking wildly. I think I stayed on for the first several bucks but I finally went off. I think one of the other horses must have stepped on me while I was laying there."

Perhaps, but what I observed was that the horse stumbled and the rider fell forward because of poor stirrup positioning. Somehow I missed seeing all of the other fireworks.

Therefore, the fall could have been prevented by having one's feet properly in the stirrup.

Good news kid--you made a mistake. You can fix that mistake. You have the power to do so. You are not merely cast out to be controlled by the fickle whims of fate--you can impact your ride--you can impact your future--you can impact your life.

And no, that does not mean that I am blaming you for falling. It means that I am showing you how to fight off the idea that your are helpless in this life.

There are not a lot of lessons in life more important than that one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like to say: "The horse is never, ever wrong. He is a horse, no more, no less, to expect anything else is unfair to both you, and the horse."

And: You can always...always...every second of every every horse in the world. By that, I mean you can always trust him to follow the nature of a is your job to understand that nature and coax it into a partnership. It will not change. -Lloyd