The Dilemma of Choice

Karin was running a little late for Lesson #18, so she told Kathy to give me a choice between riding Maree, Karin’s sweet little Quarter horse and Avenir, the Middle Linebacker of Karin’s Horse Connection.


Ah, a choice.  Everyone loves having a choice, right? Coke or Pepsi? Diet or regular? Ford or Chevy? Or Dodge. Sweet or salty? Chocolate? Peanut Butter? Both? Left or right?  Plastic or recyclable bag? Democrat or Republican…

Well, not so much that last thing. But I wasn’t given a “None of the Above” choice. It was either Avenir or Maree.

Or Avenir?


I weighed the pros and cons of each horse. Avenir is big. Maree is small. Avenir is harder to get going. Maree is harder to keep going.  Avenir is wider and I would sure be feeling that in a couple of days.  Maree is too short for me. After Avenir figures out what I want, he does it. After Maree figures out what she can get away with, she does that.  Both are very likable horses. Much better company than Democrats or Republicans.

Of course I didn’t vocalize all this while Kathy was waiting for me, grain scoop in hand. She needed to know what horse to feed first.

All Kathy heard was: “ummm…. well…. ahhh…  big…. ohhhh…. little …. ahhh… Democrat…. no, peanut butter… ummm…. not Donald Trump….”

And so on.

Having a choice empowers you to become part of the solution to any given problem. However, the problem with being part of the solution is that you also become part of the next problem. There are consequences to choices.

But indecision is also a choice. And a decisive guess is often a much better choice than useless waffling.

When it comes to riding horses, this is especially true.  If there is anything I’ve learned in the last 7 months, it’s that horses are mind readers and if you’re not making deliberate choices, they’re gonna know it.  And they’ll start making their own choices.

So I think it’s best to approach a riding lesson with a decisive attitude.  You’ll make mistakes, but you can learn from them.

I did finally make a choice.  And I’ll tell you about that next time.