March 19, 2013

The Becky Diaries: Day 8: Gratitude

Since on the 8th day, almost everyone rested, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you.

The experience has been very different from what I expected; it's not about jumping bigger jumps or doing fancier moves.  Instead, it's about teaching me to ride my horse more correctly, to communicate with him more clearly, and to send me home with more tools than I arrived with.  It took me a while to figure this out, but when I did, I quickly saw how much more valuable it was.  Since I don't take lessons regularly, the more effective and educated a rider I can be, the better equipped I am to bring Encore along once I am home alone again.

So thank you, Becky, for giving me what I really needed instead of what I thought I wanted -- anyone can raise a pole, but it takes good eyes and good instruction to get me and my horse to approach that pole rounder, softer, stronger, and more adjustably.

Laura is studying mechanical engineering.
Thank you to Sara, Laura, Sara Beth, and Nobie for showing me what awesome working students actually are.  Three girls are in college at the same time as they are working from sunup to sundown, keeping a steady stream of horses groomed and tacked and ready for Becky, as well as riding their own.  They take summer courses, online courses, and courses to get ahead in school so there is a bit of time for the horses.  I'm pretty sure these four are your "top of the line" students; I feel like I need to take a nap for them, they work so hard!  There is no "I must have the latest fashion" or any other fooling around -- it's all workmanlike, no drama, yet friendly and generous teamwork.  If any of y'all happen to read this, I'm impressed, ladies, and thank you for letting me creep around like the wide-eyed dork that I am.

Mr. Shiny's favourite minion:  she's awesome.
Thank you to Amber, who drove down from Raleigh for the weekend to be media manager and great friend.  She was able to capture possibly the most valuable part, our long lining session, so I can study it 100 times later, and was a collaborating witness to large-scale white-girl dancing at the farm party!

Thank you to Encore for trying so hard and showing up to work every day.  Solo, bless his heart, would not have made it through this; his back would have been sore by day three and he would have been flat wore out well before Sunday, even at his fittest.  Encore is lucky enough to have the young TB magic and has been tougher and sounder than even I thought he might.

The mom hangs out with the Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador
Most of all, thank you to my wonderful mother for this amazing gift, which I never could have achieved on my own.  All of you may have some assumptions, but I can tell you, she is not wealthy either; she has given us this gift anyway out of love and it makes it mean that much more to us (well, I don't know if Encore has any feelings about it one way or another).  None of the wonderful presents she has given us come from some bottomless pit of money or leisure; we have yet to discover the fabled money tree which solves all woes!

As I've said so many times before, nothing we do happens in a vacuum and that is why (ok, aside from it's just fun) I refer to our venture as TEAM Flying Solo.  Without ALL of the people who teach and vet and shoe and support and even send us well wishes, we would be nowhere and I never for one second forget or take that for granted.  I work very hard, but I am also very lucky to be able to take even this crazy version of the journey that is reaching for your goals with a powerful, game, kind, yet ever-so-fragile partner galloping along with you.


  1. Very thoughtful and well-spoken, as always. Believe me, your gratitude shines through to Becky, your mom and all the members of TEAM Flying Solo. We online members think you're Pretty Coolz and just cheer from afar! :-)

  2. Your mom is awesome. So glad you've gotten the chance to do this. :)

  3. Your attitude genuinely never ceases to amaze me. The fact that you take time to share what you are learning is wonderful and I can't imagine anyone begrudging you this opportunity no matter where the money for it came from! I'm sure I'm not alone when I say thank YOU for including us on your journey!

  4. You are most welcome. Following your clinic has made it all worth while. Safe journey home....all my love.

  5. Thanks, RW! And SB, yes she is. And Amanda, I am trying hard for this blog to be relevant and useful!

  6. You so completely captured the best part of working with or owning horses: that it's a joint venture, and everyone not only counts, but is important. Wonderful you took the time to appreciate the team, and love that you found your learning groove. Just love this post!

  7. TLH, it truly is -- I have met so many great people in the horse world, crazy though we may be, that I would never have known otherwise and my life would be poorer without them!