Horse Play

May the Horse Be With You: Riding By the Jedi Code

The author with Darth Vader himself, utilizing tall boots and rust-coloured breeches for more than just an equestrian fashion statement.

With the newest instalment in the Star Wars film universe being released in a few short days, there’s no time like the present to figure out how we can all incorporate the way of the Jedi into our daily equestrian lives.

For the uninitiated, in the Star Wars universe the Jedi are peacekeepers of the galaxy. They are a monastic-like diplomatic organization that believes in the power of the light side of the Force, a universal energy with both good and evil aspects. Known for their stoic wisdom and lightsaber combat, the Jedi were a force to be reckoned with, and often faced off against the Sith—those who follow the dark side of the Force and are more about chaotic control than lawful peace.

Like many theocratic organizations, the Jedi have a code. I’d like to believe that we equestrians have a code too, and that it might just relate to how the Jedi kept the peace and looked awesome doing it across the galaxy.

(With some liberties taken, of course, to make things a bit more horsey.)

There is no emotion, there is peace.

As riders, we all know that we can’t get emotional when times get tough in the saddle. Your horse is bucking, snorting like a dragon, and carrying on like a feral beast—breath, relax, and bring out your inner Jedi. You’ve got this.

There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.

In the equestrian world, sometimes it’s hard to throw your ego aside and admit that you need to learn. Let’s face it—horses are a never-ending educational experience, and sometimes you’ll end up with the bruises to prove it. Don’t be a hero, young Padawan—ask questions, and don’t be afraid to seek answers.

There is no passion, there is serenity.

We are all passionate about horses, and sometimes guilty of forgetting about the other aspects of our lives—including taking time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride! Stressed about an upcoming show? Take a hack. Frustrated after a challenging training session? Pour a glass (or six) of wine and kick up your feet. Haven’t seen your family or non-horsey friends in months? Schedule a (tolerable) length of time to be out of the barn and remind them that you exist.

There is no chaos, there is harmony.

There is always a constant stream of chaos surrounding the horse world: a busy lesson barn, a hectic show, or even the hectic commute from work to the barn multiple times a week can be an absolute chaotic mess. Don’t forget to enjoy the little moments with your horse, though, and relax in the harmony that they are more than happy to share. There’s a reason we’re all crazy for these 1000 pound animals—it’s the feelings they give us in the hours spent with them! When was the last time you sat and watched your horse munch his hay?

There is no [failure], there is the [Horse].

In the Jedi code, this reads “There is no death, only the Force.” But I think we can take this in a more equestrian sense. In horses, there’s no such thing as failure—there are only learning experiences! Don’t be afraid to fail and to learn, and to grow as an equestrian along the way. Horses aren’t just a destination, they’re a journey!

And last but not least, remember….

May the Horse Be With You!

(And preferably not at the other end of the arena, with your butt covered in sand)


About the Author

Mallory is a complete and total Star Wars nerd and adult amateur dressage rider from small-town Ontario, Canada who lives on her own small 50-acre farm with two horses, three dogs, a cat, and an axolotl. She is not only guilty of naming her show horse after a Star Wars character, but is also covered in Star Wars tattoos and is known to go to conventions dressed as either a Jedi or a Sith, complete with replica lightsaber. She believes Han shot first.

 

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