Sometimes things don't fall into place as you once expected them to. Perhaps as we carefully plan each step we take to get the end result we thought we needed, we uncover something else. Something that may have once seemed out of the question; ludicrous or otherwise ridiculously uncharacteristic. Sometimes, these things are exactly what we need in order to step out of our comfort zone.
Comfort zones are funny things. Often, the barriers of which keep us contained are not determined by ourselves, but rather those around us. While we all like to dance to the beat of our own drum, more often than not we are influenced by those around us. Those that we like or love, and those we dislike who may make us feel as though we are forced to prove something to them. This can become an incredibly viscous circle of frustration and feeling irrevocably alienated among our equestrian clicks. As a result, the barriers of our comfort zones are set. It's not until we cast aside our own feelings of needing the approval of others, can we truly find what we need in life.
A few days ago, I was in the yard rummaging about as per usual. I saw all 3 of my horses. First, Kidd. I was overcome with feelings of expectation, deadlines, percentages, scores and ribbons. This isn't an unusual feeling, so I gave him a scratch, rubbed his adorable mohawk and carried on my way. Then, I saw Nikki. I felt completely at peace. I was overcome by total relaxation and comfort. Last, I saw Kai and suddenly I felt the same emotions I felt when I saw Kidd. This wasn't unusual as I see all 3 of my horses on a regular basis. These emotions and feelings are not unique or strange, in fact they're quite habitual. So much so, that it really never registered in my brain previously.
Once this dawned on me, my mind was completely consumed with a variety of thoughts. As these thoughts whirled around in my head, I was taken aback by the realizations that came about. I'm surprised to say, a large portion of my 2017 goals list is out the window, because I am not showing this year. Well, ok before you get back on your chair, let me clarify. I can't say for certain that I am not showing this year as it's currently January and perhaps in 6 months I will feel refreshed and rejuvenated enough to chase those goals, but for now, my focus has shifted.
I don't want to look at 2/3rds of my horses and feel angst because not only can they feel it in me, but it takes the enjoyment out of it. I enjoy competing, but at what cost? Where do you draw the line between pleasure and pressure? There is so much more to life with sport horses than scores, placings and ribbons and while I know I have done a post similarly in the past, this is ringing so true to me at this stage in time.
Now at this point, I fully understand if I seem completely wishy-washy and lost in life, but bare with me because we are going to have so much fun this year. I still intend to ride and train to continue advancing through the Dressage levels, but I will no longer succumb to the pressures of deadlines. If Kai doesn't go back to the race track this spring I will bring her along as well like I had initially planned. If there's question marks above your head regarding Kai going back to the race track, i'll be saving that for another post when a decision is actually made.
Sorry, no photo's for this post!