I’ll be the first person to acknowledge that I’m serious in my training and at times a bit too serious. To me every moment that I’m around my horse is usually spent trying to figure out how I can better the both of us. Or more accurately what I can be doing better. So I’m surprised to say that our training has become a bit more playful over the past week or so.
I’m even more surprised to say that his training is progressing faster since we made this shift.
Admittedly, I do get arena bound. And with show season coming up my focus tends to get tunnel like, which is never a good thing. Goals are good but getting caught up in them and not enjoying what’s around you isn’t. So to get out of this monotonous rut like behavior I’ve been doing a couple of things differently.
First off I’m actually taking the time to appreciate what’s around me. The farm that Achates and I are at doesn’t exactly have an outdoor arena (there’s one being put together right now) so riding outside has always been a bit of a struggle. And instead of riding around the rest of the beautiful property I’ve been secluding myself to the dusty indoor arena. But now, thanks to a friend who gently kicked me out of that rut, I’ve been able to ride around the property weaving in and out of trees and thoroughly enjoying myself.
I wish I would have done it earlier! There’s something absolutely magical about riding under a willow tree or stopping to look at a tranquil pond. As cheesy as it sounds you just kind of feel good, peaceful even. Moments like that remind me that there’s more to life than riding around in my 20 meter circle.
The other think that has changed is my overall attitude. Before I was somewhat bogged down by the pressure of getting and achieving my goals. Lately that insistent pressure seems to have replaced itself with an even calm faith. The idea that I know I’ll get to where I want to be one day. And for once I’m in absolutely no rush.
Ironically now that I’m not pressuring myself, everything has started to come together. Achates, whose main issue in the past has been going forward, has been propelling himself with the force of a freight train lately. Sometimes I’m actually not sure what to do with all that momentum. More impressive than that he’s been developing a presence in the arena. There are moments, as silly as it sounds, that you can just tell that he carries himself with pride. That he’s happy to do his job and show off exactly how good he is at it.
If I’m being honest with myself I’ve had my fair share of doubts. I’ll never forget the times I went home, frustrated beyond belief and wondering why exactly I was putting myself through this. But now where we’re at was worth every tear shed, and all I can say is that I’m excited for what awaits.