Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year End Musings

As I sit here by the warm fire while the temperature continues to drop outside, I am working both on wrapping up projects from 2016 while looking into the future of 2017 and all the promise that it holds.  I love this time of year (other than the weather that often keeps me in the house and out of the saddle) for the opportunity of reflection. 

The closing of the year, while arbitrary in the grand scheme, is a perfect time to look back on the accomplishments and struggles of the year that has passed and attempt to align goals and resolutions for the shiny fresh new year that is to come.  I love to get my new calendar for the upcoming year and mark those fresh clean pages with must attend events for the year to come.  It is amazing to me how quickly those once clean pages become full until suddenly I'm down to one or two open weekends for the year to come.

I enjoy being on the go and reaching for new heights and perfecting new skills.  I love the challenge of time management and generally find myself more efficient the less time I have available.  I've always worked better under pressure and that hasn't changed as I've grown older and wiser. I pack as much into the day as I can until the all the plates I have spinning start to wobble a little and I'm forced to not place another spinning plate on a stick.

That's why this time of year is so good for me.  I can stop and breathe and look at all my spinning plates and see which ones need to keep spinning and which are wobbling beyond repair.  I like to make goals that are realistic and attainable as well as some that may not be reached in the coming year but spur me to keep stretching and reaching. 

That "go go go" mentality is the one thing above all else that gets me into trouble in the saddle.  Unfortunately, my love of filling in the pages on that bright shiny schedule is completely lost on my horses.  They don't feel the need to schedule each and every day.  They don't care about the busy season of Gatherings that we have coming up.  They really don't care if I've packed my schedule to the point that I only have an hour to work with them that day. 

To the horse the new year really is just another day.  Horses live in the moment.  There is no yesterday and there is no tomorrow to the horse.  There is the right now and right here that is their reality each and every day.  Chico certainly didn't contribute to the list of goals that I made for him and I for 2016 and I expect he will be just as reticent to contributing this year.  The farthest ahead he thinks is whether he is getting that horse treat he can smell in my pocket any time soon.

So, as I schedule and make my plans for the busy New Year for both me and my horses I am going to make a note to take the time it takes when I'm working with my horses.  There is no clock in our arena.  Time stops when we ride through that gate.  We may ride for 10 minutes, we may ride for 90 minutes, but the length of time is not dictated by anything other than the journey that my horse and I are on.  I may never change the way I march headlong into life filling my day until it overflows but I resolve as my New Year's resolution for 2017 to ride to the beat of my horse's heart.  That's the only time piece we need. 

Wishing all of you a wonderful 2017.  May the grass be knee high, the creek crossings free of boulders and the sun always at our back.  Happy Trails!

Jenni and Chico enjoying some sun and taking some time to let it all soak in. Photo credit: Haley Moats

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