Thursday, 1 June 2017

Resilience, the art of getting back up...& it's one week to Buck!!

"I've always admitted that I'm ruled by my passions"  - Elizabeth Taylor

It just so happens that, like a lot of you who are reading this, my passions are horses and my horsemanship.  Yes at times it can be all consuming, but it is the lifeblood to who I am.  

Sadly I lost Ada recently, so when you find yourself at a crossroads where you have lost 3 equine partners in 18 months, you seriously start to question if you have it in you to start again. In fact, you start to wonder if you SHOULD start over again.  The time, money, and in particular, the heartache... maybe it is the universe's way of suggesting it's time to hang up your boots and take up knitting.

But no, my boots were made for riding and that's just what they'll do. So last Monday morning off I went to have a lesson at the local stables, in part to remind myself that I can actually still ride, and also to ENJOY it again, and enjoy it I did.  I rode Paddy the cob, who was very patient with me as I quickly realised riding 'traditionally' is now like a foreign language, so instead I tried to concentrate on the universal language of feel and we got along just fine.  All the tension I've been carrying, having ridden my willing mare, who I instinctively knew wasn't right physically and therefore riding had become loaded with second guessing and worry, well it just melted away.  I went back on Wednesday and out came the raised poles and I laughed like a 13 year old as I whizzed round the school.  I can't give this up.. anymore than I could stop drinking wine :)  

Since then I have been contemplating where to go from here.  The fates have conspired against me and sadly despite generously being offered alternative mounts, I won't be riding at the clinic this time.  Cue a moment of frustration and misery, 2 years of excitement and work down the drain.  But no, that's not the case for a few reasons, and I think this post I saw on fb by Bruce Sandifer's California bridle horse page sums it up.  

"All of our plans and preparations can change in an instant, no matter how well prepared we think we are.  Set backs and mistakes are part of the deal with horses, it's how we deal with these set backs that defines us"

Now I believe he was referring to a colt at the time, but when you read that back you will soon realise that it has a universal effect, it's not just the deal with horses, but with life.  

A wise man once said - 
Horsemanship and life it's all the same
 (no prizes for guessing who)

 I choose to remember a few things at this point.  It was a true privilege to ride with Buck in 2015.  What I learned in those 3 days permeated my way of being, not just in the saddle but in how I am day to day, and for that I am very grateful.  My learning was solidified and I will never stop chasing how my horse felt during the clinic and the months afterwards.  Now I'm still just scratching the surface of all this.  Buck gave me the tools to offer the best I can in the horses that have subsequently touched my life.  I will always strive to do better for them and be better for them.  

Additionally I may not be riding, but you can guarantee I'll still be learning and soaking up as much as I can from Buck and the participants.  The fat lady hasn't sung for me yet, hopefully I'll get to ride another day.

Finally, and most importantly I am completely and totally beyond excited for YOU!

Those of you who are spectating or riding for the first time, hang onto your hats because it's just going to be fabulous.  Now without sounding like a complete nutter I am excited that you get the opportunity to learn from Buck.  Leave your ego at the door, go in with an open heart and mind and I guarantee you a great clinic.  Try, try and try. 

 It's not just the slightest try in a horse Buck sees.

Oh and Tina, you legend, THANK YOU from I'm sure, all of us, for convincing Buck to come back and for organising what I am sure will be a wonderful experience for everyone.

So I will see you all at Aintree.  YAAAAAYYYYYYY!!

#roadtobuck is never ending my friends.

See you on the flipside xx