Did you ever think to yourself, ‘I’m in over my head’?
I’ve made a choice, and I really never thought I’d be here, having to face up to the consequences of that decision.
Is it better to swim out and risk drowning, or always stay safe in the sand?
I’m not typically one to worry about being in too deep, and I’m usually the one who realises half way through an intense argument, that she is completely wrong, but will continue to push my point until hopefully the opposer gives up.
When I landed in Portugal, I remember walking out onto the street, the train station behind me, thinking, what now?
I didn’t want to go home to Australia, but I didn’t know a single person, and I didn’t have a single thought as to what I was going to do.
I told mum I’d just stay a week, then a month, and then the months kept on going, and I kept on pushing my way towards where I realised I wanted to be.
After walking onto a lawn one day looking for a cheap room, one of the strongest Portuguese mothers I’ve ever met introduced me to her daughter, and her daughter became my angel who would connect me to Portugal’s Equestrian Master, and now head of the National School of Equestrian Art, Mr Joao Pedro Rodrigues.
Perhaps I was very lucky in that people helped me, but luck didn’t help me at the station that day, and it would have been much easier to hop on a plane and go home.
Truth was, I was ready for a new beginning.
If you’ve never been “in over your head” then perhaps you’re more of a game referee than an actual player?
With horse training, I’m learning that too much control can limit your ability to feel and progress with your partner.
Sometimes you can for example collect the canter, and support the horse so much that he learns to rely on your guidance.
If instead you prepare and then abandon him, letting him learn to support and find his own will and impulsion, you allow him to build his own strength both physically and mentally to carry you both forward.
The best kids are the ones whose parents show them, and then let them learn by themselves.
The value the Portuguese place on family is something truly special, and it took a Portuguese film to really drive home to me just how wise the Portuguese mothers are in raising their sons.
The actor in the film gave her son just a simple look of disappointment, touching the side of his face and lifting his chin up to meet her gaze.
She didn’t stop him, or scold him, or tell him what he should do, but warned him that getting in too deep will have consequences, and that he must learn for himself to live, but live with values and respect.
Is Portugal the place for me?
Is the Lusitano the horse that will take me to the top?
I don’t know if I made the right or wrong choices, we never do. I could have gone back to Australia, and maybe I would be living a completely different life. Trouble with most of us is that we assume we have time. Humans as a whole believe that you have to be sick or old to die, but you don’t. Those two things make it more likely but they are not a requirement.
If you only had today what would you do? That’s the thought I had in my mind when I took the train to Cascais, instead of the plane back to Australia.