Two Years

I haven't been so much in the mood for blogging lately. I'm exhausted by the amount of uncertainty I'm dealing with every day, so I'm just keeping my head down and taking each day as it comes. I do the things that have to be done and the things that keep me happy and balanced. That's included a lot of riding, for the first time in awhile.

Spicy, before he came to live with me

A long time ago I wrote a post about not really feeling 'hungry'. The barn wasn't a place of peace and joy anymore so I stopped making myself go with urgency. I'm not disappointed to say that even though I'm going a lot more my urgency is gone and I don't miss it. I find myself getting up as the sun is rising and driving almost 40 miles round trip purely because I just want to see my horse. I want to brush him and press my cheek on his neck and work on our connection.

Just last week or so

Despite not being in the mood to write, I really have to write this post. Last week marks two years with Spicy and I. Even though I'm almost a week late, I couldn't let it go without saying something.

Two years probably doesn't seem like much to most readers, but he's officially lasted longer than all my other horses and I think that deserves some recognition. Before getting Spicy I would say I was more of a horse rider than a horse trainer. When I took him home, I really wanted to learn how to train. It's been a long adjustment with a lot of failed attempts, yet those failed attempts have all been huge lessons in my life.

A rider, not yet a trainer

Since I've gotten him I've learned how to do ground work, how to teach a horse to load on the trailer, and how to long line. He's taught me about saddle fitters and saddle fitting. I've learned that my own patience only has limits if I let it. He made me realize that horses give humans a lot of leeway and try hard, maybe harder than we deserve. I've learned how to trim feet, size hoof boots and transition to barefoot. Spicy has taught me how to listen, and how to tell if the horse is listening back.

He's taught me what a partnership actually feels like.

I'll admit, I've considered giving up on him many times. And every time, my wife asked me "what is it you want to do?" Without thinking my response has always been I don't want to be just a rider, I want to be a trainer. And oh boy has this horse taught me how to train. I see my old mistakes with clarity and guilt. Over time I've forgiven myself for them. I wasn't being intentionally unfair or cruel to my prior horses, they had good lives, but I did things the way I had always done and seen them done. It wasn't until I asked myself what I really wanted myself to look like as a trainer that I decided to acknowledge those habits and methods weren't working for me and let them go.

Maybe this is what a trainer looks like?

Every single person who's worked with both Spicy and I has told me that this horse will not win me a pile of blue ribbons or take me around the country on a tour of events. What he will be is my greatest teacher. I am so, so grateful to him for not just being my teacher, but a great agent of knowledge and self discovery.

Here's to you, my handsome nugget, my Spice. I look forward to many more years of seeing your face at the gate when I call!


Comments

  1. Oh mah word, all the feels with this one ♡ Happy anniversary!

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  2. congrats on two years <3 so glad to hear you've been enjoying so much saddle time lately too!!

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  3. Happy two years! You two have come a long way together!

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  4. Congrats on 2 years together!

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  5. Congratulations on 2 years. Horses like Spicy and Carmen teach us far more than we can even appreciate.

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  6. I feel this so hard. However long this partnership lasts, you will never regret the time you put into it and the things you're already taking away from it.

    Courage literally changed who I am as a human being and I am forever grateful to him for that.

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  7. Horses man....never what we expected or thought we wanted but so so much more. Happy 2 years and here's to how ever many more you two have together

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  8. Happy Gotcha Day (week whatever) Spicy! :) Congrats to you both !:)

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