Back To Horse World

How glorious to see my riding gear again!

It’s been awhile since I wrote anything about horses, and although it hasn’t been exactly unintentional, it’s also been decidedly not unintentional either.

You see, when I decided to pull the trigger on the move to Midland, I also decided to take a hiatus from horses. I was burnt out. After three years of doing nothing but think about horses, riders, competitions, training, grooming… whatever you can think of that might be involved with working for two major national equine publications, I was burnt out. Not only did I not particularly care to ride, I was also “meh” about all the awesome things that popped up on my Facebook page from all my favorite horse publications, brands and competitors.

And then, about a month or two ago, the bug started biting again. (Wow, this blog has a lot of alliteration. My apologies.)

I genuinely thought I might be done with the horse thing. I really thought there was a chance I wouldn’t go back to longing to ride and develop that relationship with a horse.

But the truth is, I miss it. I don’t want to go back to working with horses. That wasn’t the right fit for me. But I do want to get back in the saddle and start pursuing some of the goals I’ve had for a long time and had no idea how to get there.

My regular readers might be wondering how this will fit into my rather dramatic financial goals, and I’ll admit, I’m still working that out. I’m 100 percent committed to paying off my student loans (maybe even more now than before since I know how much freedom that will afford me to take lessons and potentially lease or buy a horse sometime in the next year or two). But if I can take even one lesson each week, I’ll be able to get my fix in without too much of a time or financial commitment.

A few weeks ago, as I scrolled through Facebook on my lunch break and saw so many friends post pictures with their horses, I realized that being Fearless is partly about moving toward the things I want. It’s about finding fulfillment by using my resources–my time, money, emotions and energy–toward things I’m passionate about. Denying myself progress toward huge goals and passions would be doing my soul a disservice.

And I’m being a little selfish, but I don’t care because I’m a grown up and have the glorious power to do what I want.

I contacted a local eventing trainer even though her website said she doesn’t have lesson horses, just hoping to start inching open doors into the local English riding community. I immediately got a response about a potential lesson horse that I could possibly start riding. After a few weeks of coordinating, I finally went last Friday and took my first lesson in what feels like forever. In a word, it was fantastic. I’m completely out of practice and incredibly sore, but I also walked away feeling great about the trainer, the horse, the community and where I’m headed.

Meet Dutch, a Thoroughbred gelding who already is teaching me so much in just two short rides. He’s steady as a rock, but will show you immediately if you’re not doing something right. More, better photos to come after my next lesson!

As a major bonus, riding is giving me renewed motivation to exercise regularly and do whatever I can out of the saddle to make sure my time in the saddle is as productive as possible.

As a second, completely unexpected, bonus, Olivia’s other clients are incredibly welcoming. They seem to really support and encourage each other, and they didn’t blink an eye when I came to observe a lesson on Sunday. Instead, they struck up conversations, clearly happy to have another person around to share this common interest.

Because I am still paying off debt, I’m thinking of this as dipping my toes opposed to diving in completely. Of course I want to run out and buy a whole new riding outfit and start looking at horses for sale online, but I will not. Instead, I will focus on one step at a time. Next step: massive amounts of yoga this week to gently work my muscles back to normalcy!

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