Sunday, May 15, 2011

Striking a balance

Today is one of those days of pure joy that can never seem to come around often enough.  Despite being in the middle of exams, today I was able to escape to the barn and just enjoy my horse.  Its easy to get caught up in the day to day struggles of work work work, but today as I stood in the barn aisle and Aston rested her head on my shoulder, it was like nothing else in the world existed.  It seemed like the heat had drained her already a bit so I thought today would be a good day to find out if she was willing to go on the trails by herself.  If you had told me two months ago that I'd be able to do this, I would have told you that you were crazy.  My little mare has beyond exceeded my expectations, and yes I have fallen in love with her. She's curious, engaging, and has so much personality. She's far from perfect, but she's mine, and that's good enough for me.  

There were a lot of moments on the trail when she stopped and asked me "mom, are you SURE you want to do this? Like really really sure?" and I'd say, yes I'm sure, but we can do it when you are ready.  And then she'd turn her head back, look at me and say "Well.... if you're sure....." and then walk forward where I wanted her to go.  I've found that she really does want to please, and doesn't want to be bad, but she needs the confidence from me to have confidence in herself.  We are able to build off of each other's strengths to accomplish our goals.  

I'm both excited and nervous to send her away for a month.  I'm nervous that the trainer isn't going to like her.  I know where she started, so I know how far she has come, but I also know that had she not had a bad start, she could be farther along.  Right now I would say though that she has less than 60 days under saddle, even though I have owned her for almost 4 months (4 months next Monday).  The first two months don't really count as much of the work we did was correcting physical issues and training issues.  Now we are moving way beyond where she has ever been.  Thursday I'm scheduled to have a lesson with the woman who will be working with her during the month of June, and I can only hope she comes home with an even more solid foundation, and learns even more than I have started to teach her.  

Aston enjoying a post-dinner graze (and indulging her photo-crazy mom)
Tonight I went back out to the barn to hand graze Christine's gelding Buck, since he is on stall rest for an injury.  Though it was raining when I left my house, by the time I got to the barn it was GORGEOUS.  It was still raining, but as the light broke through the clouds the most beautiful rainbow formed right about the barn.  In those moments you can't help but to feel the joy and beauty in the world.  

I sometimes feel like I'm living a contradiction.  I work so hard to spend almost all of my money on my horse, yet I fight to raise money to support ex street kids in Honduras.  Some time during high school I had this same feeling, and though I know the right way to reconcile it, it never feels right.  When I first started volunteering and spending more of my time focused on others than myself I felt a type of guilt for my lifestyle.  I got to go to boarding school, travel the country playing soccer, travel the world exploring.  I felt defeated because what makes me any different then the people I work with?  Being born into the family you are born into is nothing more than luck.  But I had a teacher/mentor gently advise me with all his wisdom, that just because others don't have, doesn't mean I can't.  By that he meant that yes, I have all the opportunity in the world, but that doesn't mean I can stop living my life and my opportunities because others don't have the same.  At any given time all we can do is our best.  

My life is split between several things that I am desperately passionate about.  Those closest to me have described me as manic, but not in the sense of my moods.  I go off to some other part of this world on some adventure and I come back with this crazy out of this world energy, and I come home to my horse projects and my passion for them is renewed.  My drive and desire in life revolves around several things, none of which will make me much money, volunteering, traveling, horses and photography.  I must strike a balance somewhere, but where has yet to be determined.

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