How a horse disrupted my thinking

Disruptive thinking

My shoulder is smarting and my body is still on high alert with the remnants of the adrenaline that has been coursing through my veins.  I’d never been attacked by a horse before today.  

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

I love my lunchtime walks. I enjoy being out in the countryside walking my dog and I enjoy taking stock of what I’ve achieved so far and where I’ll be focussing my efforts in the afternoon. They’re a key part of my day and I notice their absence on the days that I can’t fit them in.

I have three or four walks that I tend to do on rotation. I know them well, they’re predominantly traffic free and I get time to think and reflect. It’s a routine.

Today, I knew I had to write a blog this afternoon but I was struggling with the topic. The one I had scheduled just wasn’t doing anything for me; I couldn’t work out the right angle to make it fresh and engaging. My plan was to muddle over that and come to an answer by the end of the walk. It wasn’t to be. At least not in the way I had thought.

Disrupting the routine

Today’s choice of walk includes 6 or 7 fields with various styles and gates along the way. The fields are usually empty of animals but today, just around the corner, just out of sight and at exactly the point of the exit gate were four horses. Cue one of them taking a dislike to me, chasing me out of the field the way I had just come, biting at my jacket collar and shoulder and hitting me with its head several times. The sound of a horse galloping behind you, knowing it’s about to attack is rather frightening, especially for a scaredy-cat like me.

But look what’s happened.

Rather than a blog on engagement (which will be penned at a later date), I’ve found myself sharing a little bit about me, reflecting on what I did or didn’t do that could have aggravated the situation and ultimately considering how some disruption to our routines can spurn some rather helpful thinking.

I know some people in my network are having their houses renovated at the moment and are finding themselves challenged by the disruption this is causing to their working lives, their home routines and their relationships. Others are recovering from surgery and finding themselves currently and temporarily unable to do things that previously were second nature. And others still are facing joblessness through redundancy and balancing the often unusual experience of not working with the pressure of finding the right next role.


For most of us, balance is crucial to our wellbeing. A balanced diet. Moderate exercise. Business as usual. But for every light there’s shade and to appreciate balance there must also be periods of un-balance.

Notice the routines you adopt – the route you take to work, the train carriage you sit in, where you eat your lunch – and do something different. Notice the people you see, the people you don’t see, the things that you are exposed to.

Disruption doesn’t need to be on a large scale to make an impact. Nor does it need to be unplanned. Do something a little bit different and be open to learning a little more about yourself and those around you.

Now, I’m off to see a man about a horse…