I have thought a lot about sitting down to write a blog lately. I just haven't quite been able to pull together the time or the words to come up with much of anything. Life has been INSANE. In November, I got wind that a farm a mile down the road was coming available for lease. Terrifying as it was, I ended up taking the gamble and signing a lease to expand the farm. It has been nonstop ever since. We have spent hours there - replacing fencing, remodeling fields to suit our needs, fixing the dirt floor stalls and raising them up to stop leaking, repairing a moldy tack room, roof leaks...the list could go on forever. We moved in on December 1st, and it is finally is getting to a point of functionality - at least to where the eleven o'clock weeknights are over. We are still managing to pack the weekends full of to-do lists, but it's getting there.
With that accomplishment, I have been able to finally shift my focus back to riding, which unfortunately took a bit of a backseat throughout the farm preparations. I feel so much more complete with my rides being part of the daily schedule again. It's something I knew I was missing, but I didn't realize how MUCH. It can be frustrating, having to back off from the riding, to make the farm work - but at the end of the day, it all works together anyway. So it is a necessary sacrifice, at times. Hopefully those times of sacrifice can be officially over.
I have been having fantastic rides. I think we are finally starting to make a little more progress on the flat - at least to the point that I am not feeling like I am hitting the same brick wall on the time. There are days where it is still challenging, just to get the basics - but it isn't every ride. I feel like the journey is starting to travel forward, and it is really exciting.
The day that we moved to the farm, I schooled April in the new jump field. I had set up standards the week prior, and just put the poles wherever the cups were currently set. I was having a fantastic school over fences, and before it was over, I had attempted a fence that would have sent me into a downright panic attack. Of course, I have to be honest - we did pull the rails. And I was too lazy to put them back up and school it again. But really, how fair is it to be schooling around a 2'3"-2'6" course, and then throw in a fence that was 3'9"??? Okay, admittedly, I had no freaking CLUE until last night that it was that big....and that's when I realized, we've come a long way.
That's right - me and the redhead are starting to head towards bigger and better things. Mostly because I have finally learned to not be scared of my own shadow anymore. And probably also because I have learned to trust that funny little mare of mine, and in return, I think she is trusting me more as well. A new boarder and I were talking about showing the other night, and I have found a lot of newfound encouragement to get out there and have fun with it. I think that is the part I really need to focus on at this stage of the game. The thing that has always gotten in the way is ME. So I am ready to get out and enjoy it, and quit worrying about what everyone else thinks. Criticism is inevitable, and sometimes you have to figure out how to brush it off and soldier on with a smile. And I gotta say - so far, so good.