Ever since I can remember, I’ve had this nagging fear of being in a rut. College/medical school and residency suited me very well in that every semester in school and every month in residency saw a big change. New classes, a new rotation, new schedule. It was paradise.
My adult life has few opportunities for change. I’ve worked in the same building for 5 years doing the same stuff on the same schedule. Wyatt gets dropped off and picked up at the same time at the same place each day. Heck, even the weekends are pretty static: laundry on saturday mornings, grocery shopping sunday mornings, etc… It’s a lovely life and I am not complaining about getting to live this one. I’ve set it up this way and with work and a 6 year old, well, structure is a necessity.
Its just…well..there is that nagging little voice worrying about being in a rut.
A couple of months ago I listened to a podcast on this very subject. When looking at your life, are you in a groove chugging steadily along working towards something or are you stuck in a rut spinning your own wheels? It was one that really hit me hard mostly because at the end of the day, it all comes down to perspective.
Ignoring the rest of my middle aged angst, I want to focus this topic on my riding. Groove or Rut?
With Gem, I was very solidly in a rut. Sure we were making some progress and I was doing some things, but by that point in our relationship we were both pretty solidly stuck in our ways and I had neither the time, money or skills to advance her past some pretty major road blocks. So she got retired and is living, um…large…in the pasture happy as can be these days.
I refuse to be in a rut with H’Appy. Its all about the groove now folks. I find myself in an odd place currently with him. I’m a bit…gasp….bored. Wait, what?! No, I’m not bored with him as a horse. His potential and my future with him is currently limitless. I ride him and I can feel the future moving under me. Its amazing and motivating.
I have however moved past my own self prescribed “getting to know him” phase. Its taken longer than I anticipated and had more bumps that I would have preferred, but after my last several rides I can honestly say that I am comfortable with him, his base line reactions, and his ability to take pressure and deal. He isn’t always an easy horse. He has his days when he hates the world and everyone in it and oh by the way why don’t I take my ideas for the ride and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine. He also has his days where our guinea pig could ride him and he would do everything as asked. The thing is that now, I am finally comfortable with both of my bi polar horse’s personalities. Not always super effective or knowledgeable about riding him both ways, but comfortable with it. That is a big step for me.
It means that I’m ready to push beyond simple walk/trot/canter rides and single 2′ fences at home. Beyond the ground poles I can figure out how to set up and ride over. Most importantly, I am ready to push beyond “good enough” and into the real work of riding. Except…this is where my knowledge base and skills in this discipline run out. I’m out of ideas on my own. Out of things to do.
For that, I need a trainer. A real trainer versus an instructor. One who rides and competes and is able to hop on my horse on a bad day to get a feel for what I’m feeling. A trainer who is able to push me beyond my comfort zone but is also able to read when it is too much, too fast or my addled brain is getting confused at what I’m trying to do.
I’m finally ready to get serious. To start working in my groove towards something. Right now that something is a HT at amoeba level (w/t dressage, 18″ stadium, 18″ xc with only 3 mandatory fences and no time) though I may be convinced to try tadpole (BN dressage, 2′ stadium, 2′ xc with a full course and a time limit) if things are moving along nicely and we are doing ok in the canter work. The 2′ height doesn’t bother me, it is the canter work that has me feeling really iffy.
To that end, I will be on a mission this week, as the never ending thunderstorm continues to pummel the area leaving everything under water, to contact as many training facilities as I can find within a reachable drive to locate this mystery trainer. Someone who I can build a relationship with over time and who will help me reach my goals. It is time to stop meandering and start working!