I’ve been taking a step back from my personal development to give those around me their own space to grow. It started with me hiring a trainer for Max and is continuing with me allocating more of my horse money, and more, towards my daughter’s growing love of horses.
I originally hired a bi-weekly exercise rider for Max to get him reacquainted with cantering under saddle. She proved to be even more talented and horse savvy than promised, and has helped me to find the root of his “craziness” that I’ve lived in terror of all these years. As is always the case, Max isn’t working with a screw loose, he’s working with a pain in his back. She’s able to canter him by staying off his back in two point the entire time until the chiropractor makes it out to the stable. She doesn’t get intimidated if he decides to keep cantering (more like hand gallop) a few more laps around the arena before deciding that “woah” sounds like an acceptable option. Hopefully, his sore back can be adjusted and we’ll canter together one day. For now, I’m working on my two point and Max is continuing with his training sessions to gain more balance in his canter.
My daughter graduated summer horse camp with the spark of equestrianism shining in her eyes. She took to weekly group lessons with enthusiasm and started tagging along to bum rides on Max whenever I went to the stable. Just in time for her birthday, three horses came available for lease, and she was able to pick her favorite. We’ve been out to the stable every day since! It’s amazing to see her genuinely love her time with her own horse. She spends more and more of her free time away from the stable in anticipation of what she’ll work on when she finally gets there. Her horse was a barrel racer before, and was given a crash course on jumping, so he has a varied education. There’s a lot of nuances that they both can help each other learn. His best quality by far is his giant heart. He is a big cuddle looking for any chance to happen. He runs up to her and whinnies for her when she disappears around a corner. He makes her feel loved and she loves to love him back. He gives her just enough brat under saddle to make her a better rider, while carefully checking in every few seconds to make sure she’s still there and doing okay. I adore him for her and it’s just an amazing thing to experience as a parent to see her love and be loved by her horse the way I am with Max.
My daughter and I are tagging along with the stable’s show crowd to groom for the Quarter Horse Congress this year. It’s going to be an amazing experience for us both. I’m looking forward to it for so many reasons!
I’m still riding Max a few days a week. I’m probably seeing him more now than in the past few years, since I’m my daughter’s ride to the stable. I feel like Max and I are on the brink of finally cantering. I’m looking forward to what the chiropractor will find and hopefully fix. Getting older seems to add more dimension to my perspective towards life as I become more aware and sympathetic of the reasons behind the actions of those around me. I think that’s a quality we all long for as equestrians, and why we value the tutelage of old timers. It’s a bittersweet tradeoff to gain more wisdom in exchange for becoming less physically resilient. Fortunately, I still have a few more decades of bounce-back potential in me.
Time is still on my side, and I can still afford to sit back a little longer and help the four legged and two legged creatures in my life reach their full potential. Seeing their journey helps me value mine even more, as well.