GenEQ: Life Happens (series)
WHERE DO YOU CREATE YOUR LEMONADE RECIPES
"If You Have a Lemon, Make a Lemonade.” Is perhaps the most popular quote cited In Dale Carnegie’s self-help book published in 1948 titled, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
Anyone who has spent time around me over the last six months has noted that I physically project stress, which is unlike my typical demeanor. Even during complex times, I tend to stay even mannered. We all have a lot on our plates, but for the last year and a half, mine just happened to grow in variety and succession and the last 6 months have been more trying than usual. I have been trying to figure out the best manner to process the lemons delivered to me.
Typically, as long as I have an outlet where I can mentally escape, my attitude and health stay in a positive position. Starting as a young child, my primary outlet has been riding. As a young adult, I found a secondary outlet in running, especially when riding was not financially feasible (i.e. divorce, graduate school). Scientifically, running is proven to elevate one’s mood and I am fortunate to enjoy this sport and have a body that physically has been able to withstand the years of wear and tear. I have figured out how to make many varieties of lemonade while spending time in the saddle and running long distances.
The timing of my hunter’s injury was not opportune. If you have been reading the column GenEQ: Life Happens, I had not been riding Sunny much last year due to family health circumstances and without consistency in the saddle, I was making mistakes. Life, though, was settling again and we had rented a residence so that I could ride more regularly and progress. The first Saturday I lessoned after moving all week, and my last ride before boarding a plan for "home", I fell off hard enough to question my involvement and investment in the sport. I really had to dig deep and find the resiliency to begin to build back my confidence. After challenging myself, we were headed slowly in a positive direction until his diagnosis. We chose a very conservative rehabilitation plan to ensure the most positive results possible. I felt bad for both Sunny and his trainer, Becky Warner, as she had worked very hard all year and their future was looking bright for a second consecutive show season.
Today’s first batch of sweet lemonade was delivered via the telephone from Sunny’s veterinarian in Arizona. He had just evaluated and examined him and Sunny is now ready to resume training at a pace faster than "walking on soft ground." All signs are pointing in a positive direction with the expectations that he will be jumping by the end of summer and ready for the late fall circuits.
PHOTO: Barn friends are the BEST! After Sunny's exam, this photo was texted to me...he is ready to work!
The second batch of sweet lemonade was the arrival of a lovely schoolmaster, “Big Sur”, this evening. We are leasing and keeping him in a program close to my home at Autumn Hills Farm in Eagle, Idaho. After flying with head trainer, Teresa Englehart, to try him last week, I knew in 5 minutes that if a horse could help my confidence, this was the one. Falling last year was much tougher on my middle age psyche than when I was younger. I believe “Big” has the skills to and disposition to remind me why I love riding and is perhaps the sugar my recipe for riding needs. I am looking forward to heading to the stable tomorrow and relishing in the experience of time with another special four legged friend.
Our sport is expensive and many riders, specifically amateurs, carry around guilt about the money we are spending. How do we define the meaning of our riding and the costs associated to find the true value of horses in our lives?
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