Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Keeping the Dream Alive

is the title to my next article for Saddle Up Nebraska. It's going to center on trainers, how to chose from the many available, and that sort of thing. As I started to think about getting that written, I thought about the topic as it has applied to me, this year in particular. Moving back to Omaha has been a good move for us, even though there have been spots that have raised my hair and shed my tears. There has been a lot more turmoil, sacrifice, downsizing and stress than I had anticipated, but much like an onion shedding it's skin (which canNOT be pleasant for the onion!) my husband and I are closer to the meat and heart of who we are and what we truly want out of life.

I have gone from a large herd of personal horses, whose expenses regularly outweighed my income spilling red ink all over the balance sheet of my business. There was not one bit of it, easy, reducing from 12 horses, all of which were selected for a reason and much loved, down to one single, solitary rather snot-filled mare. It wasn't easy, realizing that we had bitten off more than we could chew with the sweet duplex we had moved into, down here in O town. Certainly not easy realizing that finding a rental property that would accept four dogs was going to be next to impossible and we had to find a home for one of our beloved pets.

As a person watches things fall away that they think matters above all else, you must examine what is the core of what makes things work and what makes it worth climbing out of bed, day after day. It comes down to a roof over one's head, even if it's a spare room in the house of friends. Good friends, that never lose faith in your ability to overcome. Family, my son, daughter, new son in law and baby granddaughter, filling a huge void in my heart that's been empty for a long time. A spouse that I have said more than once, I would rather be anywhere with, than anywhere without and am blessed to have on this journey.

And horses. For me, they are as necessary to my soul's well being as breathing. This is essentially a blog on horse training, but the title of it is "horse in the mirror." That springs from a poem about the guy that matters most, when all is said and done, is the one that stares back at you, each morning, and you better be able to meet her eyes after a good night's sleep or something needs adjustment. I have let go of horse after horse, praying and hoping they will do okay in the world and trusting the Powers Greater Than Myself to watch over them, as I have trusted Them to watch over my own life. I have surrendered up the idea of keeping my business alive, brushed up my cobwebbed resume and sent it out, fully willing to do what I need to do to cover my end in our new, much smaller and lovely home.

I moved my horses in yet one more less than peaceful parting of the ways, examining as I have been well educated to do, what my part in the discord has been, what errors I have committed and what I need to do to not repeat past mistakes in the days that come. I am keeping my horses at the home of a friend, and the "do not mix business with pleasure" echoes in my brain. I must do what I must do to not injure this friendship, and guard it well, as life is short, and the good friends that come along must be cherished and not spent cheaply.

There's room for one training horse at a time, and as my destiny unfolds, I see two paths. One has me happily riding my one paying trainee that covers the cost of board, working part time, continuing to write for Saddle Up Nebraska magazine, and maybe even striking further out into the world of being published. That leaves me time to ride my own horses, for once, a luxury I have never had, even though I spend my days filling a saddle of one kind or another. It's not a bad way to go.

The other option is to find another barn, this one with proper facilities and willingness to home a trainer. Indoor arena, private digs for the training horses, proper places to tie and saddle. Those are my requirements, and they are non negotiable. On my part, I will set regular hours and finish my riding tasks in a prompt and timely manner. Pretty much all of my clients will tell you I am very good at what I do, just takes too damn long to get it done!! I have written out the first part of my lesson program, and will take that to the next professional level. This will be a full time endeavor, and I will have to schedule in time for my two horses (yes, I said TWO, even though at this writing, there's only one in the pen . . .) and be as professional about caring for my own needs as I am those of my clients. This is also not a bad way to go.

The last dream on the horizon that is coming to fruition is in my search for a personal horse. The lessons I have taken over the past few years have inspired a deep love for the dressage discipline, and even as I can see it benefits horses of all body types, I want one now with a certain kind of movement, free, loose and swinging, that I can go on with and see where this takes us. Many of my friends are dabbling in Competitive Trail Riding, endurance riding for those of us with a little age and desire to survive the ride, LOL! I still love to chase cows, trail ride, might want to jump something now and again, and whatever else might catch my eye from my view from the saddle. A long time Arabian fan who passed up many a nice Arab as they do not have the marketability here in the midwest as do the western stock types (and from that bottom line, I tried not to stray to0 far afield) I am bringing home my very own Arabian. This breed is highly versatile, they are hard wired to want to get along with people, and I have said many times, on the right side, you have a friend for life, get on the wrong side of an Arabian and you are in trouble! I don't plan to get on the wrong side, LOL!

Keeping the dream alive has required more flexibility out of me than the yoga I have taken up, and that's saying something. Recognizing that family, loved ones, and quality of the journey are key to happiness, those would seem simple lessons but sometimes ones I have to go back and have a redo . . . Being true to myself, above all else, allowing others full freedom to make their own choices for their own lives, and understanding and recognizing those choices may not be right for me, and at the end of the day, I have to look full on at the horse in the mirror and be sure that horse is looking back, both ears, both eyes, that, my friends, is the deal in a nutshell.