I write a lot about how great Keil Bay is, and part of that is true in the most basic ways: he's handsome, well trained, elegant, kind of heart, willing to tolerate my quirks and imbalances in the saddle, and generally easy to manage. He also has a fun personality. He'll nudge for peppermints, untie himself in the barn, bang when he wants his wet tubs, sing for his supper, splash in the big trough when he's hot.
But there's another way in which Keil Bay is great and that is his offering up of opportunities to take what is happening with him, on the ground, in the saddle, and look for what those things mirror in my life away from the barn.
Circling at F has to do with approaching a scary corner and choosing to stay forward, to come back at it again if need be to move through whatever's creating fear or resistance. Stopping at F to find some treasure and appreciate it. Every time I ride Keil Bay into that shadowy corner of the arena it reminds me that sometimes, often, this is the answer when facing larger questions in life.
Over the years I've learned that sitting tall and straight, balancing my weight evenly in the saddle, looking ahead and centering myself is the very best way to let Keil know things are okay, and, that by circling at F, we're affirming that it's a safe place to be. I use this every single day in other ways. That all of this takes place beneath the big red oak, a perfect manifestation of the Tree of Life symbol, makes it even better.
Sometimes that corner is Shadow and monsters, in the summer it is shade and relief from the hot sun. It's the same corner but it takes on different meanings at different times. The answer is always to ride in deep, circle when needed, and stop to experience the treasures when we see them.