Years ago, a student and dear friend was going on a trip to China. She wanted to surprise her husband by being able to eat with chopsticks… So, we would have lunch together at different cafe’s and bring our chopsticks. The first time, as I sat across the table from her and pulled my sticks from my purse, I had a brain fart and could not show her how to hold them. The more you think about something, the less tangible or memorable it becomes, I think.
After just starting to eat and visit with her, I could then stop, hold my chopsticks and show her just what I was doing. These lunches served her well and she became proficient. I found my hand cramping from the effort and soon was back to forks and spoons.
What I gleaned from the experience was how a person can be an accomplished rider but not be able to teach (or even train, maybe) horsemanship. The doing of something and the ability to educate just may not go together naturally. I think the teaching comes from the deep ability to empathize with both the students and the horses. Way beyond the attempt to teach chopstick handling – the education of a rider depends upon the instructor’s full spectrum knowledge and ability to communicate immediately and clearly as if translating between horse and rider.
Sometimes, the best thing we can do within any communication, is to pause and let things unfold naturally so that we can observe what is actually going on and understand how to influence it or decide to just allow it to be, as I had to do with the chopsticks. After my hand recovered, I could use them again quite properly.