Losing Your Mojo…. and Learning to Wait!

Mojo …… it’s a funny word…. the meaning differs in various dictionaries, it can mean magic charm or spell – but is often used in the context of ‘getting your mojo back’, i.e, getting your enthusiasm back!

I have lost energy and enthusiasm for the horses at present – I’m going through the motions – that’s all. I haven’t ever felt like this before – even after my broken bones – so what’s going on?

…….and that’s where I left off writing this a week or so back……

I now know the main reason for losing enthusiasm. While I was meant to have fully healed by this time, what has been brewing is more eye pain. It seems I have some puzzling pain which is still being investigated.

In the meantime I’ve been focussed on keeping the pain at bay. Pain is exhausting – particularly pain in the head. It is all encompassing. I very much feel for those who live with chronic pain.

I look at Magnum’s hooves – they really need trimming – but each time I put my head down my eye is not happy. It’s frustrating – I don’t even really want to be around the horses!

………. I started writing the above at the beginning of the week and a lot has happened since then.

It has taken four trips to the eye specialist to work out what is going on. The surgery took a toll on my lower left eyelid – it has become loose and other muscles are working hard to compensate – hence the pain.

But let’s get to the point of this post…..

When I first started writing I had lost my mojo – and I was going to write about that and what you can do to get it back. It’s now almost two months since I originally had eye surgery. I thought after a month I would be back to normal – but that didn’t happen. Instead I had complications from the surgery.

I was frustrated that I had no enthusiasm for the horses. I started to think about ways to get interested again – yet nothing would have helped. I would have been pushing against the underlying problem – which was that I had unrealistic expectations of the healing time and the brewing complication of the surgery.

My body was telling me ‘Not Yet!’ and I wasn’t listening.

What’s this got to do with horses?

Well, how often do we have unrealistic expectations of our horses! And how often do we look for a solution without realising we have bypassed the main cause! With my eye, I was going by the eye surgery rule book that told me I could resume normal activities after a month – but the rule book in my head hadn’t made allowance for extra problems.

And I’m happy to report that now my pain is being brought under control, my mojo is returning! I felt up to trimming Magnum’s hooves (just a little!), cutting Saadi’s mane and playing with Danny and Ducati.

For me, the answer was extra time and healing, but I know that’s not always the case. Sometimes we have to just make a start. For example, yesterday we walked through some of the forest on our property – no track – it required lots of manoeuvering over logs and through dense parts of the forest. It was exhausting for me. My eyes were working overtime to find the next step. But when we finished – and it was only a short time – I had gained so much confidence!

Our forest!

I mentioned in another post about walking on uneven ground with new eyes, this was similar – only harder! Now I’m ready and enthused to do a little more! I thin sliced the activity into a small portion – I stayed under my threshold. But had I thin sliced getting my mojo back with the horses at that particular time, it would not have helped.

So what have I learnt in terms of horse training?

I’ve learnt that a horse may have the pre-requisite skills to learn more – and the starting point may be correct. See this post https://horsemagic.blog/2019/12/10/14-science-camp-errorless-learning-by-mary-hunter/

The slices of learning may be perfect….but….there may still be something missing. And it may be something we cannot find at that particular point in time.

What’s the solution?

Let’s take my situation. If I had been observing myself and gathering data, I would have said I just needed to build up to it and suggested to myself I need to take small steps and add more activities to each feeding time. That’s all reasonable – but it ignored that fact that my eye didn’t feel right as I was going about the chores – I didn’t even express it to myself as I thought I should be over it! This was happening before the intense pain set in.

What would others have suggested? I think much the same as I suggested for myself, thus missing the underlying problem.

So – the solution to this? Sometimes, we just have to wait in order to get off the train of thought we have been on, or to let the solution find us.

In my case the solution was to spend more time healing. In the case of the horse not responding to thinner slicing etc., we may need to experiment. Do we need to change the whole training plan – or re-examine for a possible physical issue.

Or maybe we need to do something us humans aren’t very good at – and that is – we just need to wait……



7 thoughts on “Losing Your Mojo…. and Learning to Wait!

  1. Thanks for the post Heather. I’m glad that you’ve found the answer to your eye pain and you can now do what it takes to recover. I had cataract surgery on my left eye last Monday, so I sympathize with your condition. I like the way that you make use of your life experience, reflect on it deeply and then apply it to your horse training situations.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Heather,
    I love that you discovered the idea of “wait”. Tonnerre and I practice the multitude of waits that exist and can be created. We wait on the mats in the barn aisle on the way into the food in his stall. We wait on the way out of the barn so that we don’t get surprised at the door and that we don’t rush to get to the grass or paddock that is calling us outside. The wait lets us check in with each other, are we both listening to each other.
    We wait for responses from each other. We wait to unwrap a peppermint and we wait while Tonnerre has just one more mouthful of grass. All of this waiting has taught both of us to be patient with each other. It has taught us to be tolerant when one of us doesn’t get it quite right. It has taught us that good things come to those who wait. Sorry about the cliche but it is true. In this new world of lining up for everything, waiting for things that are back ordered and to make appointments that are backlogged I am grateful that we have discovered, practiced and employ the idea of wait. The wait allows us to breath, process and manage almost anything, even if it is scary or difficult.
    I am glad that your eyes are feeling better and that your mojo is returning. Most of all I hope that you find that waiting can open up so many things for you, like Alex says, everything is everything else , I believe that includes “the wait”. Hugs, Sue and Tonnerre

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  3. Glad to hear from you have wondered how your two ops went. So pleased that your doctor came up with the reason and your pain has eased. No pain is a walk in the park especially as you said in the head. Your horses will also Wait for you to heal they will calculate exactly when you are back for them. So each day paying attention to yourself and seeing each day getting better. See you soon. LV arvai

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