A horse named George

Daily Oats: Food for the horse lover’s soul

It was late  on a warm summers afternoon, and I was out in the shop helping a customer find a saddle that would fit her horse a little better when the phone rang. It was a neighbor woman who called to ask me if she could bring her horse over for some training. She was trying to train the colt she raised, George, herself and was having some problems.

I said yes and she said she would bring him over yet that afternoon. Within an hour, Babe, our German Shepherd started barking, so I went outside to check things out, when I saw George. The neighbor woman  was trying to calmly walk George down the road, which was not working at all. He was anything but calm.  She had led George on foot the entire three miles  hoping to get both George and herself  to my house safely.

George, was HUGE!  He was only three years old, stood over 17 hands and he was massive. He was dark bay with brilliant red highlights and  lots of white trim, including a large white blaze  that ran all the way down his face.  However, George was out of control and she  was just trying to hang on and at the same time try to  stay our of the way of his  massive body.

George was so unruly that I put him directly into the round pen so I could teach him how to lead without either one of us getting hurt. It quickly became clear that George was the type of horse that needed every step repeated numerous times.

Things processed smoothly once George learned to pay attention to his handler. He was big, beautiful and a little slow, not only in his movements  but also in his training.

To slow thing down even a little more, the neighbor lady wanted to keep working with George in his training.    I would work with her on the day’s lesson, getting  them both started and then she would continue on her own once I made sure they were both on the right track.  It frustrated her a little that  George needed things repeated, repeated and repeated.

However,  for his own safety and his rider, George needed every lesson at 100%.  On some days George’s rider  wanted to process forward faster than George did and  this really  became evident when they worked on the WHOA and trust me, George needed a big WHOA.  So I had her start counting  the number of times she worked on the Whoa with George.  I said when you reach 100 times, let me know.

When she reached 100 times, she came and got me and  I watched their Whoa and quickly told her to count  to 100 again.   Repeating the lesson over and over was  just what George needed and I wanted to  make sure George had a Whoa that would work every time.

Some days I feel just like George. I need things repeated,  repeated and repeated again until I learn the WHOA and the Whoa works every time.

Have you ever read the book “The four agreements”?

It is a self-improvement book on how to change your life.   I have read the book now four times and after the last few days, I have decided to read it again.  It is a wonderful  way to change you life because  it offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform your life if you let it into your soul.  So I have been working on letting  the agreements into my core being.

Here are what the  four agreements consists of:


I have to speak with integrity and say only what I  mean.  The goal is to  learn not to  use my own words to speak against myself or to gossip about others.


Nothing others do is because of me, in fact whenever anyone does anything, I have to remember it is  NEVER ABOUT ME! What others say or  do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream and their own belief system. When I no longer take others opinions or actions  personally, I take back  the power in my life and I  never have to play the part of  a victim again.   The best part is that I  avoid  the needless  suffering that goes hand in hand playing the part of a victim.


I have to find the courage to ask questions and to lean to clearly express what I  really want. Communicate with others as clearly as I  can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and needless drama.

I have found  with just this  one agreement, I  can completely transform my  life.


My  best is going to change from moment to moment.  My best when I am sick is kind of on the BAD side.   Under any circumstances,  I simply do my best, and I can avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

I read  this book for the first time  well over a year ago, and have been working on incorporating the four agreements into my life  every since, but needless to say, “NEVER TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY”  can quickly buck me right out of the saddle.

The truth of the matter is that I hate criticism and personal feedback.  At times, I even find myself not liking good feedback.    I quickly  find myself taking  it personally.  I just do not seem to see it coming.

Like I said, I have felt just like George the last few days: repeat, repeat, repeat  the lesson.  It did not dawn on me when I started this blog, and Facebook  that I would have to face negative  feedback.  I did not think about my blogs and the posts would somehow  upset people, so when it happened,  I took their criticism very personally.

However,  after only a  few, almost small, temper tantrums and a talk with my best friend, I realize now that the criticism is a great opportunity for my own personal growth.  My best friend, and mentor, told me that my words meant enough to those people  that they wanted to give me the opportunity to look at things differently.  I do not have to agree with the opinions, but the opportunity that perhaps I was wrong and there is room for change is now available for me to look at.

Ok, perhaps I am getting closer to counting to one hundred on this one  than I think.

So,  here is my promise to you,  at any time, if you feel that you have the slightest inkling to express your opinion on any of my posts,  please feel free to do so knowing that no matter what, I will post your comments.   I may have not made it counting to the first 100 in this lesson, but I now realize  the opportunity does exist.   That you, my fellow horse lovers,  bloggers and friends  love me enough to give me the opportunity  to change, so keep up the great work.

All I have to do is remember George and how counting to 100, repeat, repeat, repeat, turned him into a  wonderful horse and I have the same hope for Daily Oats, that it will also be a wonderful place where  all the readers  will love being  a part the Daily Oats’ blog.

My whinny for today is to George for leading me to  my new found love for feedback, good or bad  and my newest lesson on “NEVER TAKE IT PERSONALLY.

Today, I get to Cowgirl-up.

Here is  carrots to  George, right back at you:  WHINNNNNNYYYYYYYYY

Be the whiny and greet the world like your horse greets you with a huge smile and an open heart.

Daily Oats: Food for the Horse lover’s soul

Love Roberta

Roberta Edstrom
Knot-A-Tail Bringing the connection to you with our authentic Cowboy horse hair gear and Cowgirl jewelry.

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Published in: on February 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm  Comments (16)  

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow! Never take it personally! Now that’s a hard one to accomplish… but a good place to start- at least my husband would think so 😉 and the Don’t make assumptions – communicate clearly would completely put us back in sync – thanks for making me think!! these are simple words and theories but sometimes one has to be reminded of them again—-ie. count to 100, repeat,repeat,repeat- I guess I need some retraining :)). Thank You, Michelle

  2. Roberta – “don’t take this personally….but….”

    Just thought I’d try to make you giggle!

    I want to let you know that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blogs! They inspire me and make me want to be a better horse-person. I think that horses look at things entirely different than people do (why their eyes are on the sides of the head) and when we observe life like they do it makes us better people!

  3. That was just what I needed to read! Honestly I haven’t had time to read everything via email, but Kharma brought me to this latest blog! Well said and I look forward to reading more!

  4. I had a difficult relationship with my mother all of my adult life. It finally took my then 17 yr old son to teach me to let it go. He finally convinced me that when my mother criticized me, it was about her not me. It has improved my whole life immensely.

    • Here is carrots for you and a whinny. Love Roberta

      • Thanks Roberta!

  5. Honestly, this is exactly what I needed today. Thank you!

  6. All right! I will get this book…it keeps surfacing in my life and rings true! Did you know there is now another book The Fifth Agreement- possibly by the author’s son? I loved this story. Thankyou!

    • I will look for the other book. That sounds very interesting. Roberta

  7. I LOVE this post!! So many times I am like George and need it repeated 100 times!
    The book sounds like one we ALL need to read and digest!


  8. Very nicely said.I came across your blog from Yahoo and found it helpful. How long have you been writing on the internet?Just the other day I recently set up a blog on my own and its been a enjoyable process. I’ve met some new friends since then although it is frustrating at times! Anyway, much appreciated for your article!

  9. Great update – I too require repeat. I’ve read the book loved it. Its been awhile. Just had a difficult relationship weekend and now you have guided me back to pick up the book again and repeat. Thank you for reminder – it is ok to be human.

    • It is perfect to be human and be who you are. Remember number 4, Do you best at any given moment. Love Roberta

  10. Hi Robert,
    Another example of how great minds think alike. A facebook(and true) friend of mine discussing the Four Agreements today. I got your link in email, but just now got to read it. So amazing when things come full circle.
    I fall down on #2 & #3 , especially. I am working on it. Taking things personally is so much a part of me as someone who wears her heart on her sleeve as part of her daily wardrobe.
    I love you for this post and all the others. Thanks. V.

  11. love reading your stories. sometimes they really talk to me . thank you so much.

  12. Thanks so much for the wonderful blog!!! I LOVED the whole thing. It was a true eye opener for me. I am at a time in my life where I really need to stop taking everything so personal. I don’t mean too at all, but it does happen that way. I too will start counting to 100 over and over and over again…So thanks again for sharing your daily inspirations with all of us. I’m sure that in some way we all need them.

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