Monday, February 25, 2019

Focus and Fear

I've started to write this post several times but keep getting side tracked, unclear about where my focus really is. So, I'm trying again in hopes that it may help me define that next step, help me focus which path I'm on, even if that path isn't well defined.

My last post was very much about loss and grief. It has been just over a week since I lost Bert, and Swag left for his new home. It has been just over one week since I became "horse-less". The outpouring of support I have received from family, friends, clients, and the horse community has been overwhelming. Thank you doesn't seem adequate enough to express how grateful I am. I've received some of the most beautifully written cards and knowing that I am not alone has helped me keep my sanity. It truly has been invaluable.
One of the amazing cards I received. Created by Rachel Rinaldi
My mom will tell you, I'm a do-er. It's hard for me to sit still and relax. My brain always seems to be thinking about "what's next". As a little kid I'd scream and cry and lock myself in the bathroom just to get out of taking a nap. Of course I'd eventually fall asleep in the bathroom, but I have never really gotten over that feeling of not wanting to stop and rest for fear I'd miss out on something. I have that same feeling now as I try to direct my energy on what is next for me horse-wise.

I missed all of last season when Swag was injured at the first event of the year. Instead of going to competitions, I put my efforts towards building my business and creating a barn full of wonderful students. As Swag rehabbed, I put my efforts into finding a new young Thoroughbred to bring up the levels and after months of searching, I found Bert. I planned it all out, giving Bert a couple of months out in the field to mentally decompress, and in January he came in for training. Everything was right on track for him to be ready for the 2019 show season. And then, as with most things horse related, the plan came to a screeching halt.

I'm left thinking about 2019 and am frantically trying to formulate a plan. Do I look for another horse as to not miss out on another year, or do I wait and save my pennies, and keep the attention focused on my students for another season?  I spent everything I had on Bert and Swag. I'm feeling panicky at the moment, afraid of sitting out another year as I'm not getting any younger. I'm scared of losing my nerve as a rider if I'm not out there actively competing, worried I'll no longer be relevant as a trainer if I'm not out amongst my peers. I'm trying not to let those fears control me. So while I'm trying to brainstorm and come up with some clever fundraising ideas (please send suggestions), I'm focusing on moving forward, putting my energy into the things I can control. Like coming up with new ways to challenge and inspire my students and rediscovering passions I'd forgotten I have (music) and incorporating them into my teaching.

I'm planning another jump clinic as well as another horsemanship class. There have been more barn outings and get togethers, there's been lots of baking, and just last week during a dressage lesson an idea for a musical freestyle was born. My students are all going to create their own miniature musical freestyles. They'll put them together over the next six weeks and then we'll have a little in-barn recital for them to show off their routines. The buzz in the barn is intoxicating and I'm excited to see what they'll come up with. All of these things help me focus, and while my path still isn't well defined, my goals are still the same. While I'd love to get another horse, focusing on the future helps to keep all of my fears at bay.

Fear is Not Rational or Irrational: 
Fear is Relative

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