January 3, 2011

I Didn't Think We Could

I was cleaning up some draft posts today -- I store snippits of thoughts and ideas for later pondering.  At the top of the sorting list was this one, from late in March of this past year, 2010:

Can Solo even make it to Training Level? Can he take me to my goal? Have I aimed higher than his body can accomodate? Perhaps I am being too ambitious and we won't be able to get there.

I remember well the grave and lingering doubt. The spring season was almost over and we had not completed one event and finished in 18th with a pulled back muscle at another. My horse felt tired and I wondered if we would ever be able to conquer Novice level.

We did another HT that weekend following my troubled thoughts. I believe I recall flying jump rails, although I also recall a thrilling dressage score.

But the flickering wings of doubt still hovered around mental corners and I studied my horse with many a furrowed brow.

And then there was summer and field season and me working myself to death and then there was heat and more heat and still more heat and Solo's summer break.

And then there was fall.

I studied my goal and I got back on my horse. Vitamins had brought his body back in balance. A vacation had pricked his ears. Hmmm....

Then I had a conversation with Becky Holder. I asked (trying not to appear tipsy and idiotic even though I'd already thrown back a wee bit of barn aisle wine...) if I was perhaps a moron for wanting to take a horse to a classic 3-day when he would be 16. Becky had just taken Comet to WEG at 14 and I wanted her insight. I believe her words were Absolutely not. And we talked about management and fitness and timing and all of a sudden, I found myself able to believe again.

Two days later, my horse hopped up and down double steps on the cross country field and popped through combinations without blinking. And my goal was resuscitated, the doubt shoved back into its cage, and I knew we could do it.

The point of all this rambling, you patient readers, you, is that sometimes, yes, this whole crazy journey seems impossible. There have been times and probably will again be times where my willpower staggers in the face of uncountable variables. And the place I am in today, the place that Solo and I are in right now, is not one that I expected. It was beyond my visible horizon, and yet, here we are, getting ready to embark on Training Level and storm the barricades around our 3-Day goal.

Which brings me to you: all of you out there who have some thing you want to do with your horses. When we start out, sometimes it seems too big or too hard, but I am standing here today and telling you -- just because you can't see it on your horizon, doesn't mean it's not waiting just beyond the curvature of the earth. Just because you can't see the entirety of the road that takes you there, doesn't mean that path doesn't exist. All it requires of you is that you keep putting one foot, one hoof in front of the other and that you keep trying.

Because before you know it, my friends, you will wake up one day and, surprise, you will be there. Maybe not along the route you thought, and maybe not at the time you planned, but progress will indeed have found its way to you.

Solo and I still have a long way to go. It means a great deal to me that you've participated in our journey thus far. We really have come to a place that I wasn't sure we could make and I am stunned and thrilled to be here. We're going to keep on trying and keep our eyes on the track ahead. And the message that I want all of you to hang on to, even when you feel discouraged or too far behind or too tired, is that, whatever your goal is, whether it's running at Prelim or jumping a crossrail or going on your first trail ride, if you keep at it, you can do it.


  1. :) Thanks for this. Before checking Reader, I was watching videos from our last show thinking: "Ugh. Will we ever look relaxed?" I guess I'll believe you that maybe someday we can.

  2. You absolutely CAN, SP. I mean, that's why liquor exists, right? We don't have to BE relaxed, we just have to LOOK relaxed!! ;-P

    Although I am steadfastly sure that I will never feel relaxed in a dressage arena, ROFL. I can maybe make my horse appear relaxed though!

    All kidding aside, yes, you can do it. Will it take time? Yes. Will it take 400 laps of the white sandbox? Yes. But, a bit at a time, that nervousness will fall away until one day you will march in there thinking, "You know what? We've GOT this shit!"

  3. This is an awesome post. Thanks for encouragement! :)

  4. Thanks for this. As you know, sometimes goals just look so unreachable.

    As for you and Solo going Training, I never doubted. Can't wait to read about it!

  5. *applause*

    That's why blogs are so awesome. Over time we can see how far we've come.

    You and Solo ROCK. I can't wait to see pictures from your first T3D :)

  6. Aw, thanks! I am rooting for y'all too and I have faith that we can all learn and grow as horsepeople in pursuit of our goals!

  7. Just so you know, you and Solo are a huge inspiration for me as well. I am planning/ striving for a long format in 2013..... if only we can follow in your footsteps!

  8. Ya know what you need right now? One of those t-shirts that says "I'm Really Excited To Be Here"!! And then you could wear it at the T3D, too. :-)
    Congrats, you and Solo have made loads of progress and have really been improving in leaps & bounds (literally!). Keep it up!

  9. Go molly go!!! Woot! (that is my cheering noise!)

    Ooo, I like that, Frizz; just in case people couldn't tell from the shit-eating grin on my face after every XC run!

  10. After interminable, unavoidable time off, I needed to hear this. Thanks. I'll break it down (again) to it's most manageable point: show up. Once I've shown up, I start working. Once I start working, I get better.
    Clearly, you get the idea!

  11. Showing up is always a great start and sometimes is far harder than it looks!

  12. What an inspiring post. I have a bit further to go than you in my equestrian goals, given that I don't even have my own horse yet, but I know I'll get there someday. It may be in a buggy BEHIND the horse when I'm old and decrepit, but by golly, I'll be there! I really admire how you've stuck to your goals and aspirations for you and Solo, always with his best interests in mind. I know you guys are going to do great at Training Level!

  13. Thanks, RW -- and behind the horse still counts!!