As we near the season of tradition, giving thanks, and renewal, I was searching for some quotes about dressage that reflect where I am with my training with Carter right now and found a few that seem to capture it well.
“The passionate pursuit of perfection by the obsessively imperfect.” – unknown
I’m not one to do things with half my heart. I’m all in. All the time. Since taking up this sport this is truer than ever before. I’m 100% committed to learning how to be the best rider I can be; practicing what I learn so that I can ensure that Carter is coming along with care and respect for his health and longevity; putting Carter first before a ride, before a ribbon, before a score.
I’ve been blessed with a terrific horse. One with a fabulous mind and incredible drive. He doesn’t typically spook, is really good natured, love to play as much as he likes to work. He doesn’t usually balk when my imperfections show and I can’t figure out how to sit exactly centered, or when my imbalance or immaturity in the saddles shows a bit more glaringly than it should. Even he has his issues, though. His little imperfection is his ability to take off his right shoe. Countless times since I’ve had him. His build, his age, and his love for playing make it the perfect scenario for him to forget he has two front feet and they don’t belong on top of each other. So, my pursuit of the situation now involves bell boots and duct tape for extra precaution. So far, so good.
“To a horse person, dressage is what feelings look like…” –unknown
We’ve come quite far, my little gelding and I, since our first ride together three years ago. He has ignited a passion in me that I was so unaware I had and I’m eternally grateful for every moment we have together.
This past week has shown me that time isn’t a given. Our time together is a gift and it can be over in an instant. You see, the barn where Carter was foaled succumbed to a devastating fire and 32 horses lost their lives as a result. Some of them, actually most of them, were there when Carter was there. It’s always tragic to learn of barn fires, but this one struck so close to my heart that it still hurts and I’m still trying to put it into perspective. What I’ve learned is, not only is dressage what feelings should look like…but being an equestrian; having the love and respect of and for a horse; sharing the trust; is what feelings should look like. I’m ever thankful for each moment.
“Learning dressage takes two lifetimes. Yours. And your horse’s.” – unknown
We are moving confidently into Second Level this winter and I’m thrilled beyond words with our progress. Each new skill comes with determination and perseverance to master it. The trust we’re building in each other is a gift I’ve never experienced.
I am in this for the long haul. Although I started this pursuit later in life than most do, it’s made me younger, braver, more resilient, stronger, and a better version of myself and I have so much to be thankful for during this season of Thanks. I give Carter what I have left of this lifetime and we’ll be a team for as long as that is.
However far Carter wants to take the two of us, he’s got me.
He is my forever horse and I know when our time is done here, we will find each other, again, in the stars.