Friday, August 17, 2012

Lost. Not a happy word in my opinion. Its kind of lonely and hopeless. Even when used describing something positive like “lost in a good book” or “lost in thought” It still makes me cringe a little. Lost is exactly where I have been in my horsemanship for several years now. I cant explain it exactly. One is tempted to lump it under burn out but it went so much deeper than that and frankly scared the living be-jesus out of me. I questioned even having a horse. For those of you who know me best that’s like saying I’m considering taking a vow of silence. So improbable that you would laugh out loud …no really its ok, I know I yack A LOT….I prefer to think of myself as gregarious on steroids! In any case as I struggled to understand what had shifted and when. I realized that I had been doing the same thing with horses for almost 12 years. The exact same lessons taught, revisited and practiced for 12 years. Oh I dabbled here and there and honestly attended a few clinics that where mind blowing ( Ray Hunt, Charles Dekumfy come to mind) but then I would stall again. Caught up in the daily teaching of clients and new horses. Don’t get me wrong, I learned from each new horse something I did not know. I gained new insight from each clients questions. Even if they where the same as the last client, explaining the nuances for their particular horse was a constant source of information and understanding. I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your horsemanship journey with me! I realized only recently that each of my clients had a horse or two they where deeply passionate about which made their journey all the more fun for me and emotionally challenging for them. Getting them in sync with their special critter was the best pay check I could ask for. I didn’t even realize I had nothing that momentous at home with my own critters. I like all my horses past and present, they have all taught me more about me than I have a right to know ,honestly. However passionate, inspirational, motivating, exciting?…..well, no…. until Cuervo, who inspired all those things and more. But there was a catch. The training I knew and trusted did not work the wonders on him it had on previous horses nor could I use it fully due to his physical limitations at the time. If I pushed through with the repetitions I felt he needed he didn’t stay sound, so the chiropractor would come out and put him right and I would hedge on how to convey to him the lessons I wanted us to share. I wasn’t ready to let go of what I knew. Funny , as I was in the same exact position when I went to John Lyons. But slowly after making statements like “ I don’t care if I ever ride Cuervo, its enough he makes me smile” and “I have Boo to ride when I have time…” I knew these where not quite honest. So I searched and talked( big surprise) and read and watched and tried really hard to ignite a spark that would get my horsemanship on track. Where did I want to be? What did I want to do?, How did I want to ride? What made it all click? Well, part of the problem was in the “trying“. I have always been a square peg in the round hole kind of person. That means push it hard enough and it will eventually , kinda, fit! The search did open up some wonderful friendships and coined me a new way to approach Cuervo that he prefers over the previous way. But I was forcing it and faking it and flogging myself for it. Why? Why? WHY? Its like that line in a song by Pink, she sings “ why do I do that ?”, then , in a speaking voice, as if to herself ,she asks exasperatedly “why do I do that?” Same thing going on here. I wasn’t sparking, heck not even smoldering and I was trying sooooo hard! Then an opportunity arose, that was ill timed for my current circumstances but I knew I needed to take it, even when I was doubting myself in the first weeks, thinking, Ive gone down this path before. And I have. This time though, something was different. That difference was passion. I like every horse that I get to touch, I LOVE my big Boo for the journey we have been on together for 15 years and will continue on for her lifetime. I LOVE my Cuervo who has lit a new way for me to see and continues to wait for me. And my sweet Lacey girl, who through her random trail rides has helped me decide what it is I really want in my partnerships with horses. I like them all, but Ive loved only a few. Love is a funny thing and as most of us have experienced , love it is exhilarating, exasperating, energizing. It sparks! Despite conventional thinking( overrated) friendly advise( much appreciated) and cosmic timing( learn to trust) I am proud to introduce to you Leonidis de Echo my new partner in crime. He is a three year old paso fino gelding whom I was smitten with two years ago at the paso fino show in Asheville. There is a spark now folks, and with proper care and feeding it will be a flame. I want to thank Lori West and Echo West Farm for reaching out to me with an offer I couldn’t refuse and for including me in some very theraputic saddle time on the gorgeous FETA trails that surround their home. I am more grateful than you can ever imagine.