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  • joysilha

Buck For Your Life!

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

When I see horses frolicking in an open pasture, I’m thrilled to watch them leap in the air, race around, and buck for the sheer love of it! You can tell they’re feeling great expressing all their power and strength. They run, they buck and they love to play. No one tells them, “Don’t buck, don’t play, it’s not good for you.” Instead, we watch in awe as these magnificent animals show us who they are.

That’s the feeling we want in our lives! We want to be free to be who we are, even if it means bucking from time to time. We yearn to express, to feel that enormous feeling of life in our bodies.

When I think about other times I’ve seen (or felt) horses buck, I realize the reasons they buck often parallel our own lives.

Horses buck as a defense measure – to get a predator like a lion or a human off their back when they feel or sense danger. This sounds like myself and many of my coaching clients - bucking to protect ourselves from someone attacking our ideas, our life, or our choices. Getting people off our back.

Horses buck when they’re in pain - when their saddle hurts, their bridle pulls or they feel too constricted. Or maybe when someone pulls too hard or asks them to do something they are not ready or able to do. Sound familiar? We buck when we’re in pain, when the life we’re living is not our life, and when someone is pulling or pushing us to be something we’re not.

When horses get confused, when they don’t understand us, they give a hearty buck. They’re saying, “get clear, don’t give me these hazy instructions.” Kids do the same thing when their parents don’t take the time to understand them, to see the world from their eyes. Employees buck when their bosses ask them to do unreasonable or unethical things. Young adults buck when their parents prevent them from making their own mistakes and attempt to chart their life for them. And seniors buck when they’re told to go quietly into old age.

Of course, we can’t forget that horses who are leaders buck to move another horse. In a herd of horses, the leader is the one who shows the most confidence and can get other horses to move. If a horse comes too close or tries to take food, a horse may buck or give a warning kick just to let the other horse know their boundaries. We may also buck when someone comes too close, gives unsolicited advice, or tries to take something away.

And then, of course, there’s the idea I initially mentioned. Just bucking because it feels good, it feels free. We humans do that…we dance, we laugh, we run, we express our opinions, we protest and we create art. We show the world what we think and how we feel. We say, “I’m me, I’m feeling good, and I’m showing people who I am. I invite you to join me in enjoying the pure pleasure of being alive and expressing ourselves.”

So, when you feel you’re on the wrong trail, when people are pulling you from all angles, when you’re not setting boundaries or when the stress is just getting to you…it’s okay to buck a little. Reach inside, breathe, and find your own trail!

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