From Endurance to Dressage
Warning: I totally apologize for the following language. It isn't used gratuitously. It simply serves to convey how really annoyed I have been lately.
Boy, can I dish out the advice! I do it every day. Try this product, use this vet technique, trailer like this. Do you remember that post I did a few weeks ago about what makes a good student? No? You can see it here if you really feel the need. In tip number 9, I advised, "Be respectful. This means coming with a good attitude and ready to get to work. If your lessons are genuinely about learning, leave the baggage at the door. Drop all of your problems at the gate, and be in the moment. You will feel refreshed when you are finished and those problems may seem smaller on the way out."
Uh-huh. That was so much easier to write than to actually do. Frankly, I am having one hell of a week, and "stressor" numero uno isn't even thinking about going away. In fact, I am fully prepared for a new attack today. I was so pissed on Wednesday that I truly thought I should cancel my lesson. How could I be a good student with so much crap crowding my every thought? My shoulders were tense, my head threatened to explode, and my legs were even different lengths. No kidding. Something to do with lower back tension, I think. I actually had to move my stirrups around.
I just couldn't stand the thought of a work problem ruining my favorite night of the week. I took a deep breath and started cleaning stalls. That almost always has a metaphorical cleansing effect on my thoughts. Shoveling literal shit is akin to clearing away the mental shit. Every poop pile that makes it in the wheelbarrow seems to remove an equal amount of crap from my mental house. It didn't work on Wednesday however. Even though my stalls were cleaned, my mental house was still piled high with crap.
I persevered. I tacked up and started kicking myself in the butt. Get over it. Suck it up. Follow your own oh-so-easily-dished-out advice.
Okay - quit yelling at me!
I must be an an awesome ass kicker because I had an unbelievably productive lesson. It went so well that JL had me start on a completely new exercise. I'll write more about it in the next few days.
So, what's the moral of this story? Riding is great therapy? Our problems can be dropped off at the gate? Or is it that we need to remember to love ourselves enough to let go of the shit that pisses us off? We'll be better people for it. I promise.
12/9/2011 01:03:22 am
Karen,your mind is your mansion, don't let anyone else dump garbage in it!! The ultimate "revenge" is living a joy filled life. Believe me, everyone can relate to this (different circumstances, but same stress result)and it's hard work to keep the crap storms of life from stealing your peace of mind! Ride your ponies, maybe go to your cabin?? Call me if you have free time, I'm in a two day marathon of house projects, getting ready to host a work party and would love an excuse for a break! XOXO
12/10/2011 11:09:13 pm
Judy, thanks! This particular stressor has been a doozey. I am working vigilantly to keep it out of my happy place, but it's about the size of a boulder. I definitely could use a few sticks of dynamite if anyone's got a few handy. The moonlit ride we did on Saturday probably helped a lot!
12/11/2011 06:38:18 am
Good for you Karen, I'm so glad you enjoyed your Moonlit ride! There is something really magical about riding with a full moon! I don't think my horses were quite as trail savvy as yours, I can remember them doing a funny "high step" over some of the elongated shadows the moon cast on the ground!
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: