Flinching is for Sissies, Right?

Society teaches most of us to put on a happy face. I was taught to smile in the face of fear - no matter what. So we all 'man up' or 'woman up' as the case may be. Some of us walk thru this world and don't flinch, no matter what we see coming in our business or personal lives. We don't let on to anyone that inside we're afraid, tensing up, ready to explode. Then something finally pushes us over the edge. If we've held our flinch inside for too long - we explode.

That's what happened with my Maverick this week. Remember Maverick? He's the Mustang my trainer Deb is working with, and whom I'm adopting. My brave boy.

Check out this video taken just last Friday after 2.5 weeks at the ranch. Wow - he's cantering around like he's been ridden forever.

But yesterday, Mav was scared. He went out for his first-ever ride in the training yard all alone. He was in a big open space - without another horse - and it was a little much for him. He's always been with his herd, after all. He went over that edge - and erupted into bucks and broncs. Deb bailed to avoid going over a log with him, or under him.

Today she has five fractured ribs and is in the hospital.

Maverick wasn't as calm, cool and collected as we all thought.

He was afraid. But he was being brave in the face of his new home, his new humans. His instincts were telling him to be strong to survive. But when the pressure became too much for him, he exploded.

Maverick didn't know how to raise his hand, er hoof, to ask for help. He couldn't flinch because he's running on pure instinct. Those instincts tell him to do anything but be weak - since weakness is a sign for any predator to come running.

We humans do know how to raise our hands. We do know how to ask for help. Many of us have just been trained to keep our mouths shut instead of flinching, showing our underbellies.

Yes, there are predators in our world too. But we have the intellect to manage them - and our flinches - for a positive outcome. Just think how much easier life would be if we had the courage to raise our hand and ask for help, to admit we were afraid or unsure. And just think how our business will improve if we admit we're over our heads, concerned about a course, befuddled in a new role.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness in the human world. In fact, flinching is for the brave of heart. After 50 something years, I'm learning to flinch, to reach out and ask for help, to show my underbelly. And ya know what ? I'm no sissy.

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