Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm stuck on one of those horrible plateaus. I'm pretty sure this one's for good.

I'm not fit enough to do the things I want. I flop around like a dead fish in the saddle, ineffective bordering on interfering, and I am so stressed in every area of my life that my go-to response has been to ramp up with Tris. Escalation is no one's friend, and it just leads to me behaving poorly as a rider, and Tris tuning me out. Last night's lesson was the closest I've come to breaking down and crying right there in the saddle that I've ever come. I don't have time to go to the gym. I've started trying to do push-ups and sit-ups and stretches at home at night, and the number I can effectively accomplish is so pathetically small I can't even say it out loud.

I can't get down to the barn enough to really move forward. I just can't. If I went as often as I'd like a) I'd get fired, b) I'd flunk out of grad school and then c) what little social life I have would unravel entirely, not to mention Matt would probably get while the getting's good. Also, I'd be broke. I'm just barely keeping my head above water paying for gas for 4 trips or so a week, and carpooling with Hannah has been a huge help, but I am a bad enough rider that 4 trips a week isn't getting me anywhere.

I know that one of the cardinal rules of horses is not to compare yourself to others, but I can't help it. I get dangerously close to blaming my horse because - I love him more than life itself, more than anything, but he does not make this easy. He's difficult and not inclined to cooperate, and of course I can't blame him a bit, but it's hard when you're as selfish and petty as I am and day in and day out watch everyone else get their relaxed and through horses on the bit and Tris won't take the outside rein again. Some more. For years and years on top of years.

I'm juggling every.single.penny. to try to afford a dressage saddle this winter (and trailer repairs in the spring, and US Rider renewal, and supplements, and vet bills, and maybe some extra jumping lessons). I've convinced myself a dressage saddle will help. Deep down, I know it won't, because I'm not having saddle problems; I'm having basic lack-of-skills problems. It's not a magic fix, and it's probably not even a mundane fix.

In short: Dear Tristan, I'm sorry for breaking the #1 rule of horses and losing my temper. You deserve a better mom.

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