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Posts tagged ‘friendship’

You have to do it right, to know it’s right (79)

Photo from ceiling's Flickr photostream

A few years ago, I had a brilliant riding instructor who progressed my riding further in two years, than all the other instructors had in over fifteen. Her impact remains with me, and today I suddenly remembered the turning point in my learning. For some reason I had blanked it from my mind. I often talk about a chestnut mare called Dancer, with whom I bonded virtually instantly, and who taught me a great deal, along with my instructor, about lateral work, classical riding and how to build a relationship of trust that can be transferred to the most difficult and stressful situations. After all, if you don’t have trust then a chestnut mare is not going to do anything for you. If you are horsey, you will know exactly what I mean.

Today I realised Dancer was not the turning point I thought she was. Riding her was not that moment. The progression with her was great, but it wasn’t that second of realisation. That realisation came with another horse (and the same instructor) called Clown.

Clown was temperamental, big, white and highly strung. He towered above the other horses and was stocky like a train – or maybe that is just how I remember him. He was a livery and was only ridden by the very top rider in our lesson, Livia, and my goodness he looked beautiful with her riding him. He was the untouchable. Then, one day, my instructor let me ride him. And I. Was. Terrified.

But I was determined to prove to my instructor that she was right to let me take him, so I listened intently to everything she said, did it as best I could, and he was AMAZING. It was with Clown that I had that moment when I learnt what the right ‘feel’ was, and how a horse should feel when it is working correctly. He also taught me what was the right and wrong way to ask for movements and bend, but the important bit is that moment. When you know you have it right.

Since that moment, I’ve had the same feeling with other horses and it makes my heart soar. But without having felt it in the first place, I would have no idea whether it was right. I would probably push past the point where it was correct.

I think this holds true throughout life. Without writing a great piece of writing, you will have no benchmark for your own great writing. Without taking an amazing picture, usually completely by accident, how will you learn about your own creative composition.

Maybe these examples are not the same, because there is truely no way to explain that feeling when a horse is moving correctly. It just feels right. Maybe it should be more compared to falling in love; if you haven’t fallen in love, you won’t see it coming.


Can Members of the Opposite Sex be ‘Just Friends’? (42 #oneaday)

This question is often debated in social situations. How often is it speculated about when a girl spends time with a boy (or vice versa) as ‘just friends’? It is always assumed that one must like the other. And even when it is not explicitly said, it is implicit in most people’s internal conversations with themselves. I’m no innocent in this, I often think there must be something further than friendship there.

Arguably we hold friendships with the opposite sex innocently in all areas of our lives; from the teachers we have in school, to our co-workers, to our suppliers and contacts, to our hair dressers and our friends on Twitter.

This leads me to my point. I believe that members of the opposite sex can be ‘just friends’, but, and this is a big but, that person you are good friends with, you are attracted to them. Before you start yelling at the computer screen, hear me out. You like, you might even love, aspects of their personality. You might admire their style. You might find them fun to be around and ‘easy on the eye’. Think about it. You are attracted to them. Something about them has made you want to be their friend.

In girl-world (yes I think I might have just made up that word) we call the extemes of this  ‘girl crushes’. This describes that feeling you get when you want to be their friend, you want to hang out with them and you want their wardrobe/ to learn how they make their hair perfect/ to learn how they are so nice all the time. Just the use of the word ‘crush’ implies an attraction. You admire something in them. This doesn’t mean you want to sleep with them, it doesn’t even mean you want to kiss them or hold their hand, but don’t you dare be fooled. The attraction is there under the surface.

So can members of the opposite sex (or indeed members of the same-sex if you are that way inclined) just be friends? Yes. Does that mean that the relationship is completely platonic without attraction? No, it definitely does not.

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