Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Progress not perfection

I have adopted the #progressnotperfection. It has become my mantra to keep reminding myself that there is always more to improve on and even on the not so great days, there is progress being made.

Tillie has been blowing me away so far this year. Not only is she finding her rhythm and figuring out her job, she seems to be really liking it.

Even when its a monsoon...we get some nice work done
Novice feels good. It feels confident and is feeling pretty darn easy. I am happy to nit pick us apart all day long, but I think the more we do those small details will start coming together. (#progressnotperfection).

Our trainers have begun to push us past this comfort zone and I find myself back in the place of having some moments or entire rides where its like damn this is hard. No one ever said this sport was easy...I am pretty darn lucky to have such a game mare because I am figuring this out as I go, as is she.

Drenched, but we dont care...maybe Tilie does

I had an at home schooling ride a few days ago where it just felt down right awful...the kind of ride that I havent had in months. She called to her friends, which she hasnt done since before the depo, wasnt focused and didnt really want to work...just locked on my right rein and would not work through it no matter how hard I tried coaxing her. At first I embraced the challenge and thought back to my last dressage lesson with C that was grueling, but progress was made. I know it didnt look or feel pretty for most parts, but it resulted in a softer horse who was better on the outside aids.

She is lucky she was cute on this day after the stunts she pulled
At home though....that is much harder to work through without the comforting, reassuring words of a professional telling you that ever evasion your horse throws your way is normal and to keep calm and consistent.
You know...this saying or whatever
I almost got worked up about it until I realized just how long its been since I have had a truly not so great ride. I had a realization that we are in another growing pains phase and Tillie's go to response when things are hard or she doesnt understand is lock her neck and get protective.

I need to work on that not baiting me into arguing with her and just staying the course and trusting that the training will work it out, because it has worked so far!

ups and downs: Training horses is not linear
 Training horses is not a straight linear upwards trajectory. It is riddled with set backs, "Growing pains," and many other things along the way. Of course it would be! We are humans riding and training a living, breathing animal. The odds are from time to time ONE of us will have some ish to deal with.

#mareglare for days
I am starting to view the training progression as a stair step. You struggle to climb each stair, but when you reach the step things settle down, you hang out on the platform and get comfortable but when its time to move up a step you might have to push through some unpleasantness and hang out on the next step a little longer or a little less. Sometimes it means going back down a step to regroup.

Allll the hay

At the end of the day, I am grateful that we have been going well and its been feeling so good. I am accepting the not so great rides and moments...reflecting as needed but not letting them get to me. Closely monitoring the why's of the struggle if I can figure them out, but trusting my instincts and trainers I have surrounded myself with. Right now, the not so great moments and even this one particular ride, as terrible as it felt, still feels ok. It feels like progress.

The next day, all was forgotten and we had the most lovely ride so I am holding to it!


  1. They always have to throw in that one ride to make us crazy don't they? I'm glad she turned it around :)

  2. Definitely always the best way to look at it, its why I find blogging so helpful as a record of all that has happened before!