Middle November 2016
I will learn… I will learn to love the skies I’m under… –from Hopeless Wanderer (Mumford & Sons)
In a recent Endurance News article I read: “However your ride season ended I’m certain it didn’t go completely as planned”
Seems endurance – due to it’s somewhat extreme nature – lends itself to necessary flexibility. The potential for something to change your best laid plans is always lurking.
This season was good for me but two rides shorter than I’d planned. One lesson that has come this year through my personal life is that you are always where you are supposed to be. The alternative is insanity. Circumstances can never be what they are not. Ever.
Argue with that and you will lose every time. Either you make peace with reality or you live in pain. This fall I chose peace: in my life, work, riding, relationships and world.
It is crazy to imagine I need anything other than what I have at this moment. It is not possible. The flip side to that understanding is the ability to see that I always have exactly what I need for this moment and will only ever live in this moment forever. Always now… then now… and now.
When I waste my time fretting over what I thought things should be I have completely lose the joy of what is right here right now.
So it’s not disappointing that I missed the last two rides of the season- because I cannot assume I would have been better to have gone to them.
My horse is young and having less stress on her body as she develops into long distances is probably a good thing. Khaleesi is going to get a pretty long off season to rest and rebuild for next year.
Meanwhile I am enjoying some non-conditioning work with her both mental and physical. And those are also good for my discipline. Actually- it’s never truly about the horse. It’s about my mental conditioning.
As I’ve taken my attention off riding event goals for the moment, I’ve been able to enjoy some nice experiences.
I enjoyed a fun ride with some vaquero type riders where they had intense energy in these Spanish and South American little horses that wound all up and moved about 2 mph along the trail with rearing stallions, little boys on galloping ponies running to and fro and gators (the mechanical kind!) bringing the tequila and cervesas up the rear. What a cool experience…
Let me tell you if we could keep our cool through that, give me any endurance ride start!!
Then I rode on a friend’s property that I love and is gorgeous but doesn’t have ‘enough’ miles to really use in conditioning season (well… unless we did laps!) but it was a beautiful afternoon and the light was sublime and the ride with a good friend was perfect.
Sunday I went alone in the late afternoon- borrowing a bareback pad from my barn- and rode in the late fall woods as the super moon began to rise over the mountains.
I loved the bare back pad. It had a little more security than really riding bareback but I still felt all Khaleesi’s movements with each step. How her hips move my hips and what her shoulders feel like depending on what we were doing. Also- as the weather is growing colder, the warmth through the thin blanket pad was a bonus.
It was special to see the moon coming up through the trees and come in as it got dark on the night before the fullest and largest appearing moon in decades.
Wild Heart is still here and settling in to the farm. I visit her almost every day at least for a few minutes. Sometimes I lead her around the grounds and introduce her to the barn, clean out her feet and sometimes I just rub her in the field for a few minutes.
While she’s still separated for now it’s been nice to have Tim on the property as he goes to spend some time with her in the evenings too and they’ve become friends as well.
Meanwhile I hope that finding more balance in my own life is also meaning more strength as a true leader in my equine relationships. That will be good for Khaleesi and me in the long term on our way to a relationship that gets us through our first… and subsequent 100 mile rides.
This is the sky I’m under. It wasn’t what I’d anticipated at the start of my season, but I’m grateful for the reflection this fall is bringing in. The calm and peace and quiet; the ‘death’ of winter that brings the rebirth of spring.
All things new… more importantly all things as they are supposed to be.
Because to believe otherwise would be inconceivable.