Then, in a small town in Italy, the first mechanical clock was built. People were spellbound. Later they were horrified. Here was a human invention that quantified the passage of time, that laid ruler and compass to the span of desire, that measured out exactly the moments of a life. It was magical, it was unbearable, it was outside natural law. Yet the clock could not be ignored. It would have to be worshipped. —-Alan Lightman.
Time. It is a valuable commodity. It is an endangered species. Who has enough time? I often hear people complain of not having enough time. Not enough time to relax and enjoy life. Not enough time to spend with their children, with their partners, with their parents. Not enough time. How does this lack of time affect riders and their horses?
The Young Riders
Carl Hester has spoken about what he sees as a disturbing trend with the younger riders. Their parents deliver them to their riding lessons just in time to get on and ride. They do not tack up or untack their horses or ponies. Right after the lesson they speed off to their dance class or their violin lesson. Carl Hester feels these young people can never be true horsemen or horsewomen. I know there are still young riders who love to hang out at the barn and spend time around horses. I believe that this is time well spent and not time wasted. If the young person is not happy with ‘hanging out’ at the barn they will never be a true horse person. So it would be best if their parents stopped taking them to riding lessons and found a sport or an interest that the young person really loves. BTW…I am not suggesting that the two young riders in the photo are not keen riders who love to spend time with their ponies.
The Adult Amateurs
I have always had a passion for horses. But there as a 30 year period in my life when I did not ride. I was pursuing a career, and then raising young children while still working. There was no time for riding. Many adult amateurs have careers that demand time and energy.They get to the barn late and perhaps are tired and stressed. They feel guilty about not having more time to spend with their horses. If they have a family there is an even greater squeeze on their time.
The Professionals have horses to ride; horses in training, sponsored competition horses, horses they own themselves. It takes up hours of the day to ride and train several horses. Then the professionals also teach. Lessons have to fit in around the riding schedule. If they have families where does the family fit in? How do they carve out time for a family, a relationship, a life?
Oh, I know there are courses on time management, day timers and planners and self help books and online planners that will help you to “manage your time.” But let’s face it “finding time” is a lost art.
My Grandmother had two children and ran a business in the 1920s and 1930s. She had a children’s clothing shop.She designed the clothes and had cutters and sewers to make the clothes. She would go to the East End of London and buy fabric, ribbons and decorations for her designs. I have been told she loved to go to the East End and sit with the fabric merchants. Why? Because after choosing her fabrics they would sit down with her and have a cup of tea and chat. They took the time to do that. She took the time to stop and have tea and enjoy the time.
Leaving aside the daytimers and the planners and the advice we get about time management we just have to be ready to stop. Just stop. And forgive ourselves for stopping. Forgive ourselves for not getting it all done. Take the time.
The clock does not have to be worshipped.