The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness.
-Oscar de la Renta
Completing acts of kindness completed with pure intentions has an impressive positive trickle down effect. Often it enhances your self-worth and self-confidence, and you have set an example and/or reminder for the recipient to reciprocate to someone else. One simple act can lead to an umbrella of generosity!
The environment around a stable affords many opportunities to share pure kindness without costing a cent. This holiday season I challenge you to complete one random act each time you are at the barn. My bigger request is that you allow this to become a habit for entirety.
1) Video a critical piece of someone’s lesson or part of their ride and send it to them immediately. This is such a helpful tool!
2) Clean a bridle (including shining the bit!) and put it away while your barn mate is un-tacking or riding their next horse. If your program offers full-care service, I almost guarantee you the groom will appreciate the gesture.
3) Express a heartfelt compliment to another rider. Regardless of the level of riding, we are all striving to get to the next “peak.” Acknowledgement goes a long way; from the new adult rider that cantered their first vertical to the trainer that had a breakthrough on a training ride.
4) Ask someone how their day is going and “be present” and listen to the response. For many of us, the stable is our sanctuary. We don’t walk in anyone else’s shoes and sometimes it is nice just to have an outlet.
5) Set an example when you hear gossip. Just walk away. You are not only setting an example, but you are being kind to the person “featured” without them even knowing it.
6) Run an errand. If you are heading to the local feed store or vet’s office for supplies, ask anyone else if they need an item picked up.
7) Offer encouragement.
8) Open or close the gate for someone entering or exiting the arena.
9) If you are on the ground, volunteer to grab an item back at the barn that another rider forgot or needs. Water, gloves, crops, spurs and a different bit tend to be needed.
10) Make eye contact with a smile.
The list is endless... I encourage you to add more!