When I went horseback riding in Hawaii, I didn’t think that I would get a life lesson out of the experience but I did.

When I first saw the horses at the stable, there was a brown horse with a blonde spot in his mane that was eating.  When the bucket was empty, the horse tried to get to the other horse’s bucket.  I thought to myself that I don’t want that horse because it was aggressively trying to get to the other horse’s bucket.

As the tour guide started to pick the horses for each rider, it became apparent to me that the brown horse was going to be mine.  The tour guide told each rider a little bit about the horse while picking the horses.  My horses name was Meko.  The tour guide told me that Meko liked to be first and liked to eat.  I laughed internally because this was a good description of how I used to be.

As soon as I got on Meko, he went straight to the water and started to drink.  The tour guide told us while we were riding not to let the horses stop and eat or drink until we got to the river.  Almost every time we passed a puddle, Meko would try to stop and drink.  It had rained the day before and it was muddy.  I laughed internally because it reminded me of myself when I passed doughnuts. I would always want to eat.

The tour guide also told me that Meko didn’t like any other horse to pass him.  The tour guide started out in the back of the group and tried to pass Meko to take some pictures of me.  Meko would get in front of the tour guide.  The tour guide had to go off of the trail to get in front of Meko.  Meko and I ended up being second in the line.  I could feel that Meko wanted to be in the front.

The group stopped to take pictures at the top of the canyon.  My pictures were taken first and then Meko started to go down the trail.  I tried to pull the reins and get him to stop but he wanted to be the first one on the trail.  The tour guide had to get him to stop and put him back with the group.  I started to talk to Meko in my head and told him that it was ok to be second in line.

As we became comfortable with each other, Meko became calmer and didn’t try to get in the front of the line anymore.  After the first hour, I didn’t have to pull the reins anymore.  Meko knew what to do and I trusted him. There was another woman whose horse was just doing his own thing.  The horse was going off trail a lot and wouldn’t stay with the group.  The woman was scared to pull the reins.

On the way back, I was watching Meko.  I wanted to pay attention to the change that I felt that Meko had undergone.  Meko was looking down at the first horse’s feet.  The first horse was slipping a lot on the rocky trail.  Meko and I weren’t slipping a lot on the rocks because Meko was looking at the first horse’s steps and adjusting his steps.  I learned a lesson from this.

Sometimes it is better to be the second because you can learn from the first person’s “mistakes” or missteps.

Meko hadn’t changed completely.  The second time we passed the river and let the horses drink, Meko was taking a long time drinking.  The third horse tried to pass behind Meko and get behind the first horse.  As soon as Meko felt the other horse, he stopped drinking and cut off the other horse and got back into second place.  I laughed out loud and told the woman sorry.  He literally almost head butted the other horse out of the way.

Over all I had a great time horse back riding.  I didn’t expect to learn a life lesson or to meet one of my spirit animals.


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