Monday, January 31, 2011

All The Little Pennies

For the last couple years every time I had some spare change I threw it in a jar.  The jar turned into five jars, then a half gallon apple juice jug, then another.  I'd taken change out on days when I was starving as a college student and needed a few bucks to go to the store.  I'd also taken out enough money to buy a pair of jeans once!  So, with that in mind, I figured I had enough to open a small savings account.

I counted all the change, except the pennies...well I counted $6 in pennies and decided that I'd be there all day if I attempted to finish!  I took the jars to the bank and they counted all my coins in their change machine. I took the grand total and subtracted the amount I had counted out in quarters, dimes, and nickels leaving me with my penny total...I had almost $200 just in pennies!!  I couldn't believe my pennies had added up to so much money!  $200 is an amount worth thinking about!  It could be a student loan payment, fuel in my truck, a month of horse board, 5 new pairs of Wrangler jeans, at least a month of groceries, or a Parelli bareback pad...

Imagine if I hadn't saved the pennies, thinking "oh, it's just one cent, or three cents"... What if I didn't bother to bring the pennies down to the bank, or had just tossed them away, or left them in the penny pots in the checkout line, not seeing their value as a big picture?

Thinking about the pennies made me realize that taking the time to see each penny as a part of a dollar left me with more than just a pocket full of change, it left me with $200!  So what does this have to do with natural horsemanship? It has everything to do with it!

Think about every moment with your horse, every second, as a penny.  The minutes are your nickels, the dimes are your hours, the quarters are your days, and your dollars are your weeks, months, and years.  In order to have a year you need twelve months, in order to get the months you need 52 weeks, for the weeks you need 365 days, for the days you need 8,765 hours, for the hours you need 525,948 minutes, and for the minutes you need 31,556,926 seconds.  That's an incomprehensible number of seconds for a single year!  When you reflect on the time you spend with your horse, lets say in a single afternoon, you now realize that an hour of time with your horse is actually 3600 seconds.  That's 3600 moments you have to be a leader, a partner, an icon of safety, comfort, and play.  Or it can be 3600 moments of frustration, wasted time, lack of accomplishment, discomfort, and unlearning.

How many missed moments have you had when in the presence of your horse?  You see, pennies are the details, the fine lines in a bigger picture.  By saving all your pennies you're preparing yourself for greater benefit and payoff tomorrow.  It would be foolish to throw your pennies away, even just a single one! They may not add up to a lot immediately, but in the long run you are investing in yourself and your horse for more success than you could have ever banked on achieving.   

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