The Owls Approve is my favourite, pure awesome) -- I hope that horses stay sound and safe and riders get to achieve even more than they thought!
I'm not one for goal lists, which is not to say that I am goal-less, but perhaps since my brain has never acquiesced to operating in a linear fashion, it doesn't understand partaking in that process. My heart still burns for the T3DE jog strip and a little part of me was hoping I could qualify Encore for Southern Eighths in May, but I know that is both fiscally impossible and an unfair level of sudden pressure for my horse. I know, as part of the event staff, we want people to ENTER ENTER ENTER, and every inch of me wants to fill out that form, but I can't do it alone, I need my partner to be ready too!
There are no guarantees that we will even be able to compete at all this year, as all of my money has fallen into a sinkhole named Flying Solo Farm. Any of you who have hung around here long enough know that I do not event for the competition, but it IS the only way you get to run a correctly designed, marked, and wonderful cross country course. Why do you think we put up with all the other craziness, duh?!!
|Appalachian mountain high.|
There is one thing that I want to drill into my body and mind (what's left of it) this year, however. It may seem small, but the past years of watching and listening oh so carefully have shown me that it defines the effective, thinking rider:
I want to become significantly more aware and more consistent of riding the HORSE and riding the gait/movement/line I want and not riding the horse's behaviour.
|Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...|
The horse may throw his head or wiggle or be excited or get distracted or do all those things that horses do, but he will come back to find the same set of aids creating the same space and energy for him to move in. THAT is what I want to achieve for Encore more often. It is a big little thing because it is a huge mental challenge to remain that patient and focused and non-reactive (even when I'm not on the horse).
It's even harder when it's 98 degrees and 4500% humidity.
So I suppose that is my goal for 2014: to ride my horse(s), as simple (and as difficult) as that.