This sounds like a “Debbie Downer” kind of post, does it not? But I feel that sometimes our dreams, our goals, our aspirations if you will may be too big for our health, or our budget, or our time constraints, and may not even fit the horse we are riding (ie. Dobbin can’t run 50 miles). The rubber suddenly meets the road and we figure out that this distance dream isn’t working. People give up. People quit. Why?
Perhaps their aspirations are not aligned in reality. What? Not making an accusation of delusional thought processes on that person’s behalf. But maybe the dream is just way to big to fit your life. If so that doesn’t have to be the end-all, and I do believe that is when the magic can truly start to happen; when you are no longer so goal focused on the grand picture, and can back track and begin to look at the immediate picture. To begin to have fun.
Now I’ll admit first-hand that I had aspirations of riding some serious endurance. I’ve since determined a number of things about myself since “those days.” I’m not a confident rider. I lack physical endurance (medical issues). My horse is not an arabian. My horse was not even well-trained in the beginning and someone at an endurance ride might question if she is now ☺ In fact she is a spotted piece-a-work. To be a serious endurance rider takes a huge commitment of time and money. Not making excuses. Excuses are when you have it going for you, and you select not to do the thing. Reality is understanding you are functioning with some limitations, but you love the thing and by cracky you are going to do it anyway, on your own terms.
Having that come-to-Jesus moment at first was kind of devastating. But when I flipped the page it became absolutely liberating! I don’t have to ride anyone else’s distance. I choose my distance. I don’t have to ride X many rides per season, I choose the rides I want to do. I did not have to recycle The Spotted Wonder for an off the track arabian (that likely would have killed me anyway). I condition the horse I have, set the pace I enjoy riding when I get there, hopefully don’t step in a hole, and we get another notch carved into the latigo for a job well-done. I am satisfied. You know what? That is good enough if it makes me happy, and it really does. I can be quite thrilled logging about three competitions a year. Seeing some beautiful trail, and pushing our limits a little, but not a lot. Can you see that having your focus in the real just beats the heck out of the disappointment of the other? You see, there is a place for all of us in endurance.
That’s my GREEN BEAN wisdom for today. ~ Jacke Reynolds, Co-Director Green Bean Endurance.