Think Like a Zebra (Part 2)

Emergency Dismount

Theme song: U2’s I Will Follow. Enjoy the 1980 throwback here.

In Think Like a Zebra the point is that it can take a real toll on your body to stress out about something that you have no control over. For example, zebras may hang out at a water hole with a lion nearby- but they’re not going to run from the predator until it is actually chasing them.

In the above video, you’ll see that when zebras do need to get moving, they do so in a pretty ordered fashion. That is, they follow one another along a known path. No sense wasting energy taking off in separate directions, over unknown ground. They have a plan.

It’s what I call an Emergency Dismount. When I was a girl, I took riding lessons from an old leathery faced woman named Mrs. Stephens. This little, soft spoken woman would have all of us kids riding our horses around the ring and then suddenly yell, “Emergency Dismount!” And we would all have to jump off our horses. A training exercise to teach us how to fall off. A plan.

I would ride through the fields on my horse with my arms raised high in delight- all because I knew how to fall off.

One way to ‘live in the moment’ is to have an Emergency Dismount.

Published by Susannah Smith

At the intersection of wildlife and human behavior

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