Out of all the videos I have made, there is one video that has gotten more attention than all the others. You can see it below. It says over 7 million views and I keep seeing it show up on other people's Facebook pages as their own, showing over 10 million views. I've seen it on other people's websites and blogs too.
Take a look, then I'll tell you what led up to it, and what I like the best about it.
I agree it's a pretty cute moment.
I was videoing some instructional content for one of my online programs, the Upward Spiral Of Successful Gymnastics course.
In the middle of the session I felt Atomic needed to release some tension so I invited him to roll. He did, then my dog did, then I did!
In the video below you can see some clips of the exercises I was doing in the session right before the rolling moment.
So: What's so special about the rolling moment? It was real and It was playful. Those who know me know that authenticity and light-heartedness are priorities for me. Playful and Real moments can often feel elusive in our day-to-day lives.
I'm grateful I didn't miss this moment. How easy it would have been to think something like: Oh I better not let my horse roll because we are videoing and he has to look perfect and clean. I could have been so busy thinking about what I needed to capture for the lesson that I may not have even noticed that Atomic needed a break. I might have worried about wasting my videographer's time.
In the video you can see what led up to the rolling scene. You can see the moment that I almost disconnect. I see my dog rolling, and I briefly look up at the camera man, aware of the witness. Then a split second later I come back to my animals and just do what feels natural: I join them!
There's something about real playful moments that people and animals naturally connect to. The rolling wouldn't have been the same if it was staged.
So how do we stay present and not miss these real moments that happen every day? Well, it is a life-long quest and practice.
Practice noticing. Where is your mind? Is it In this moment, or on things that happened yesterday or years ago? Is it on everything else you need to do later today? Is your mind busy telling you all the 'shoulds' you should be doing? Are you worrying about what other people think? Stop! Gently bring yourself back to the present.
Having this close energetic connection with yourself and your animals is one of the results of practicing Habits For Excellent Horsemanship. A priority on Partnership as well as a light-hearted attitude is what made this moment happen. Those are 2 of the 9 habits I teach in this particular course (and they are pervasive through all my teaching resources.)
Of course I realize that 'going viral ' is not really a measure of success. It was, however, a moment to be celebrated, enjoyed, and shared. I do believe joy is contagious and that's the best kind of thing to go viral.
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Karen Rohlf, author and creator of the Dressage Naturally program, is an internationally recognized clinician who is changing the equestrian educational paradigm. She is well known for doing dressage with a priority of partnership, her student-empowering approach to teaching, her virtual courses, and her positive and balanced point of view.