Philosophical Reflections, Rider

Last week, I talked about coming to terms with the horses we have [Philosophical Reflections Following My Post-Show Snit]. It is equally true that I need to come to terms with the rider I am at any given moment.

I know folks are not happy with the speed I have brought Milton along. I can’t say that I am thrilled with it either. I thought it would go better. I’ve done this before, with an OTTB who had far less retraining than Milton. As for why it didn’t, that is a topic for another post, or the rest of the blog.

The point is we are here. These are the horses we have. This is the rider we have. Barring crisis, none of us are going anywhere.

There are days when I feel bulletproof. I can get on strange horses. I can scorch a jump-off. I can blow around the show ring to the extent that Coach Courtney has to remind me, ‘This is not a chariot race.’

Other days, not so much with the Kevlar. I can barely get on Sam. I fret over crossrails. I dread … well, everything.

On the days when the weenie is strong, all I want to do is walk. I feel like the stereotypical little old lady who potters around, wasting the abilities of her fancy horse. Except in my case, I have two nice horses. The voices are loud on such days.

Stop. This is not a productive way of thinking.

If my current mood is that I only want to get on and walk, well then, I will get on and walk. I can’t do anything about who I am, anymore than I can do anything about who the horses are. Modify? Sure. Improve? Hopefully. Change the basic nature of? Not gonna happen.

In my lucid moments, I know the weenie days come and go. We will ride in the 2′ jumper class. It may take until next year. So be it.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Horses

5 replies »

  1. You are bringing Milton along at the speed the both of you need. It’s nobody’s business how fast that is. A trainer I worked with just before I had to stop riding told me that it’s ok to stay at the weenie level forever if that’s where you’re comfortable. You’ll know when you feel ready to move up.

  2. It’s always so much easier to know what someone else should be doing with their horse than know what you should be doing with your own. I think most of us go through this at some point or another. Maybe after a scary accident or near accident, or perhaps it’s just a natural part of aging? (I have some theories on that, based on experience, observation and talking to a LOT of … ahem … senior riders.) Many variables to consider when picking that scab, no? My “take no prisoners” attitude comes and goes. Sometimes I ride ’em like I own ’em, other times not so much. Even the most accomplished athletes aren’t killin’ it every single ride, and I bet if you asked them they’d say they have off days, days when they question everything they’re doing and feeling too. Riding isn’t an exact science. There’s no playbook for your progress or the horse, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Just try to have as much fun as you can and don’t dwell on the days when you waffle a bit.

  3. Lovely thoughts. I will try to hold them in my heart. Sadly, there is more disapproval in the horse world than approval. In my riding career, I’ve run into more of the former than the latter. It’s taken a psychic toll.

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