Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas is just days away and in a matter of weeks 2011 will end. It has been quite a year; surgery, therapy, graduation, vet bills, vet bills, and more vet bills. I think I will be happy to see it end. I decided that 2012 will be "The Year I Learned to Live". Getting back to the basics and foundations of personal happiness and not conforming to the expected progression of normality and routine that is your post-graduate career. It may not be conventional, but conventionality doesn't really provide happiness as much as it does security and protection in an ever conforming world. I am working 50+ hour weeks in a restaurant. Its exhausting. I don't want to be a career restaurant worker, but for the time being I am happy. I have horses, a way to support them, and I am not constantly saddled with anxiety regarding finances.

Looking back on the year I wanted to address and identify the improvements I wanted to see in the coming 12 months. In the end the answer was always better horsemanship. I don't have poor horsemanship,  I just want to have better horsemanship. I recently watched the documentary about Buck Brannaman and one theme held true throughout the entire movie, "One of the biggest challenges with being a horseman is being able to control your emotions". And in a recent lesson with Roddy Strang, the same principles were stressed again and again. Roddy said for years he never understood how the great clinicians of the horse world could get so much done in such a small amount of time. That was until he realized that they remained emotionally static. It is so easy to lose your temper. To become frustrated. Then you regress. All week since then I have been taking both Roddy and Bucks' words to heart. I won't lie, it can be so hard, but I have seen positive outcomes in just a few short rides.

Every night I work. I work towards Aiken. Towards hay. Towards farrier costs. Every dollar earned has a value for my necessities as a horse owner. It is so easy to become consumed in your finances when you own horses. Where can you be frugal with your own spending to provide the best for them. I think that is where the rut begins, because then everything we work for goes into this one goal. A goal that often times is set-back due to an injury or unforeseen change. Amidst financial planning for Aiken I decided I needed to do something for myself, free of the financial burdens of my horses. I bought a ticket to Puerto Rico. Now my work isn't just towards Aiken, but also toward a much anticipated week of beaches, rainforests, and hopefully a lot of beach volleyball.

The coming months will be filled with work. Long days and late nights. But I am ready. I am ready to begin finding out the things that make me happy. I think happiness and success are not without the other.

Roddy said to not get upset with day-to-day difficulties in riding, but to look as these moments as opportunities for improvement and clarity. Cheers to staying true to that logic.

Merry Christmas and may God bless you and your family this season.

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