The Itch

It’s getting worse.

Thank goodness for trainers who text lots of pictures

Thank goodness for trainers who text lots of pictures

I haven’t ridden since my lesson in August. If anything, it only made it worse – the itch to ride again. The itch to have my riding muscles back. The itch to be at the barn, in the saddle, as often as I can. In my heart, mounting up again felt like coming home. My body begged to differ. I know it’s a matter of strength. But building strength takes time in the saddle – something I am short on.

I think I’m normally a pretty positive blogger. I’m feeling a little down so hopefully I can indulge myself in a little self pity and move on.

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The reality is that, with Nibbles in training, my only opportunity to ride is in lessons or through a lease. Being out of shape, I don’t have a whole lot to offer by catch riding or offering to keep horses in shape. Heck, I need them to get me back in riding shape. With a horse in training, I cannot afford to lease another. Actually, I cannot afford to take lessons. That’s really what it boils down to. I’m paying to keep my horse in training – and the results are in incredible. But the consequences are that, right now, I do not get to ride myself. Additionally, some other unplanned for expenses have arisen that, frankly, are large enough to completely squash my ability to even pay for two $45 lessons in a month.

Tucker commiserates with me.

Tucker commiserates with me.

Even at a lesson every other week – when that is all the riding I can do without my own horse – is it really even worth it? I know, woe is me. But that’s where I’m at right now. And I still have the itch. But I cannot scratch. Some days, when I feel like I cannot possible stand the itch anymore, I contemplate selling Nibbles and using the money to pay for lessons or a lease for the next year and a half while hubby finishes MBA program.  I live in (nearly) the middle of no where for now and I know two horse people here, neither of which have something I can ride for free.

Please help this lady. She's wearing me out.

Please help this lady. She’s wearing me out.

Anyone know of a horse in northern Indiana I can adopt until March? I promise endless carrots and curries (the brushing kind, not the cuisine, although my husband is Indian…)! I’m trying my darndest to be patient. I know when winter comes, I’ll calm down a little. But right now, in this gorgeous fall weather – my FAVORITE – I’m slowly dying.

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Denny Emerson Knows His Stuff

I have never claimed to be an eventer but you don’t have to be to mine the gold Denny Emerson is serving up on his Facebook page, Tamarack Hill Farm. If you aren’t following it already, where have you been?

please tell me you get this

please tell me you get this

As usual, Denny hit the nail on the head regarding the whole it all comes back to hours spent in the tack thing. I can’t paraphrase it and do it justice so I’m going to post below what he shared because I think we all need to hear it.

Either you find a way or you find an excuse. As Denny so eloquently put it – don’t like it? Tough bananas.

Tough-Banana

Whenever I post something about the need for endless practice as the key to improvement, INEVITABLY I will get responses about how expensive it is, and therefore how prohibitive it is, and those responses, while TOTALLY ACCURATE, are also TOTALLY IRRELEVANT.

What do I mean by that?

Well, we all know the overused cliche, “It is what it is”, right?

And here you come cantering on your horse toward a jump. You have a crummy, non adjustable canter, but it doesn’t much matter, because you couldn’t see your distance to save your soul, anyway.

You get in to a deep spot, drop him, and jump up his neck, while looking down, as he lumbers over the fence, sending rails flying into the neighboring village.

OR—Here you come toward a jump with a canter that combines, as Le Goff used to preach, enough impulsion and balance, so that at any nanosecond you can lengthen or shorten, as your eye, which you have honed by about a zillion repititions, tells you is necessary.

As the horse lifts off, your hips go back, your lower leg stays firmly put exactly just behind the girth, your chin and eyes go up, your back stays flat, and your hands and arms soften to allow for a good bascule.

Now, children, you can whine from now til New Year that it “isn’t fair” that the reason Susie can do it and I can’t is because Susie is rich/sponsored/, and I’m not, because—–

Drum roll—–Are you ready for this???? More drum roll—-

“The horse feels what he feels.” The horse doesn’t CARE why you suck or are competent. He only responds to the ride you give him. And how you became (or failed to become, or are failING to become) the rider with those requisite skills as opposed to the rider without skills is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to your horse.

So figure out a way to do it, or don’t. Whining about how hard/expensive/blahblahblahblah it is may make you feel better, but whining is hardly as effective a strategy as figuring out how to get more practice time.

Don’t like it? Don’t do it.

Want it? Figure out how. It is what it is, tough bananas.