Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Beginning Again

I've ridden for as long as I can remember. I don't recall learning to ride, it's just something that I've always done. I've started babies, finished greenies, retrained horses from just about every discipline and sent them into just about every other discipline.

Now I'm faced with a new dilemma: How to start myself over. I've been sick as hell for the last few years, and my riding skills have slipped. I'm not as fit as I once was, my reflexes and reaction times are terrible, the ingrained muscle memory from years spent in the saddle is slipping away, and I don't know where to begin in getting it back.

So, I guess I'll begin at the beginning. Just get on. Just ride like I'm a kid again, like I'm just learning how to do this. No expectations, no "But I used to be able to do that". Just friggen' ride. 

I have three horses at three different levels of training to ride, which is a hell of a lot better than what most "re-riders" are working with. I've also got a good trainer who understands my weaknesses and helps me remember my strengths. He's always reminding me that my biggest strengths are my willingness to work and learn and my ability to adapt, so I'll be putting those skills to work in order to get myself back where I want to be. It's really not about having the perfect body or the best horse, it's about educating yourself and working your ass off. (Don't believe me? Look up videos of Hilda Gurney on Keen.)

For next year, my goals are simple: ride more, get better. I could set more extravagant goals: take Spider to PSG, Jack to 1st and Spots to 3rd, but I don't need to. If I ride more, I'll get better and the levels will come organically from that. 

But that's next year. We're still in this year, and my only goal for this year is to continue chillin' on this beach. 

6 comments:

  1. Good for you! I think those goals sound better than assigning a 'level' that way you won't be tempted to skip steps.

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  2. I can relate! Trying to take my expectations off and just have fun. That's what it is really all about, right? Good luck!

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  3. Beaches and beers is a great way to start/end any year haha. Sounds like you have a good plan of attack for 2016. :)

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  4. wishing you the best of luck in 2016!

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