Monday, July 21, 2014
What a rut!
Good afternoon, folks! Yet again I have failed miserably keeping this blog updated... I have no excuses, aside from the fact that I haven't been all that motivated for the past couple of years as well as many other factors. Sadly, I've hardly done anything with my furry fellas which also explains my lack of youtube videos. Today I would like to get to the bottom line of my dilemma. I guess I'll start from the beginning, but I can assure you this would be a butchered version for time sake.. As everyone knows (Or at those who have kept up with my journey through the years), I used to have a passion for horsemanship and certainly planned to become a trainer myself. However, some of you may be aware that my passion has drifted elsewhere. To be perfectly honest, my passion and my goals, I believe they were my number one motivation. In other words, in previous years my dream was to become a Parelli professional, to work alongside the best and share my knowledge with those who longed for that special bond with their partners. I loved the thought of watching others experience the same thrill of true horsemanship that I had. Although, when certain events shifted my goals elsewhere, a lot of things changed. As many of you know, I quite supporting Parelli after some unfortunate events occurred. Blaze ended up hurt- and still to this day remains head shy- and that was the first and final straw. Many people believed I was simply being over dramatic and exaggerating, in which I wish would have been the case. I can assure all, that I would not have so easily given up my support for the program had it not been so serious. Now, I am not against what the program teaches; I still use a lot of them - it's a wonderful program! although there are some little things that I would personally not teach my horses, but that's neither here nor there. Anyways, I lost a lot of friends during that time. I was young, furious, and not afraid to voice my opinion on the matter. Many supporters, and even some close friends abandoned me because I spoke poorly of the party involved. To be honest, now that I have matured, I would have changed the way I handled things. At the time, I was beyond the comprehension of furious because my horse had been hurt. Many of you can understand that kind of fury if you've ever had someone mistreat your horse - especially someone you highly respected. I myself was confused and hurt. And some people were feeding possibilities into my mind, such as "They did it on purpose" "it was set up" etc. Those kind of remarks did not help the situation one bit. And just to clarify, when I say Blaze was hurt, I mean mentally scarred rather than physically. Although there is not a shadow of doubt that at the time it happened, it physically hurt a lot! Now days, I in no way believe what happened to Blaze was done on purpose, but an humble apology would have been nice, instead of a justification. Nevertheless, that whole ordeal confused me so much that I no longer had any idea what to do. It was a really hard time for me. I had built my life around becoming a parelli professional, and now I could no longer see myself clear-consciously doing so. But I continued on with my horsemanship journey, venturing into other natural horsemanship teachings and found much success, especially with the help of my mentors. Despite how much support I've received in the past, I've never viewed myself as some amazing horsewoman with major talent (And no, this is not cry for anyone to say otherwise. I'm simply sharing my heartfelt feelings). In fact, although some things came naturally, most I found so difficult to obtain. Many did not know how much I struggled, and I felt like a failure if I shared my difficulties. Although I knew I was not "all that" like some people believed, It was my internship that conspicuously showed how far away I was from where I needed to be; it highlighted every flaw, and even the ones I didn't know existed! I'm not going to lie, it was both an awe inspiring and discouraging revelation. Though I had to cut myself some slack - I had never taken lessons before, I had simply watched DVDs and put them into action. With no one there to correct you, many wrong habits can form, and things you think you're doing right are actually wrong. (That's why I would encourage folks to take lessons here and there if you can afford it. It'll be worth it.) During my time in Florida, I was given the opportunity to teach a little bit. I had taught in prior times, such as horse camp, but even still I had never felt good about it. In other words, I am not a gifted speaker in the least. I know what to do, I just don't know how to explain it unless I'm typing over the internet..But in person? oi..no. It's not just simply because I get nervous, this happens in my day to day life! I've never been a good communicator, nor could I ever carry a conversation for the life of me! some believe that due to the fact that I was not exactly a chatter box growing up, that perhaps I just never learned how to properly communicate with others. That could definitely play a part in it, I'm just not entirely sure though. Whatever the case, it was after my internships that I eventually came to the conclusion that teaching and training was not for me. I loved the idea of teaching, but I could simply not deliver. And in my attempts to do so, I made myself look more like a fool than anything, which only mercilessly stabbed my already low self esteem. I also did not have the facility to train others' horses, nor the confidence that I could properly do so. This, again, confused me. Now, two of my goals had gone down the drain, and it only doused my motivation all the more. I couldn't make a living doing what I loved like I had planned, and this reality depressed me, to say the very least. I became so discouraged with myself that I just didn't feel like doing anything with my horses for a while. Eventually I got over myself though, and began playing with my horses again and no longer minding if I couldn't instruct or train for a living. But unlike before, I didn't feel the passion there anymore like when I had first began riding. I remember spending the entire day out in the horse pasture, even when it was a scorching 90 degrees and the humidity was as thick as jello (har har). I'd spend so long outside that I would become dehydrated and extremely sun burnt and overall dirty, and I would do this day after day. Sometimes I would even sleep in the horse pasture overnight! or sneak up there during the wee hours of the morning so I could spend time with my lovely horses. What had happened? why had the thrill left me? was it because I no longer had any goals? any dreams regarding horses?... I found myself in a rut once more. I wasn't enjoying myself anymore and went weeks at a time without doing anything other than the necessary care horses require. During this period, many personal life struggles arose and kept me further from my horses. Those passed, yet the "fire"-- so to speak --never returned. Every time I went to see my horses, it felt like more of a chore to ride or do any ground work. And I believe I finally understand why it has continued to be that way. First of all, do you guys remember my mustang named Fire? unfortunately I had to give him away, because I simply couldn't make progress with him no matter how hard I tried. This made me feel like a complete and utter failure as a horsewoman. But I had spent around..8 years? trying, and never could succeed, and couldn't afford to send him to a professional trainer. My parents eventually told me I needed to give him up, because if I couldn't make progress with him, then he was only costing them money for no reasoning. Don't get me wrong, I loved that horse to pieces, and giving him up was so difficult. Had I been the one paying for his care, I probably would have kept him. But at the time I simply couldn't afford to do so. In fact, I had to choose which two I was going to give up, because my parents said seven horses was ridiculous, and I agreed. So I chose Fire and Amour..Heart crushing, really. Choosing was so hard. Anyways, point being that felt that I didn't have what it takes to train. I felt like a failure, especially every time I watched friends of mine train their horses effortlessly - or so it appeared.. Despite that blow to my motivation, the fact that I know longer have big dreams regarding horses definitely played a part in killing my motivation. I know it may sound shallow-- as a lot of horse folk don't need goals in order to have motivation-- but I'm the person that thrives on goals in all I do. If I don't have a big goal, I seemingly loose interest. I've also grown into the type of person that needs to have the "perfect" setting in order to be motivated. For example, when I have access to a proper horse facility, which includes arenas, barns, level pastures ... this highly motivates me. It's the same thing when I study..I find it easier to study to at a nice coffee shop, by the window, with a brownie on a platter and a cup of tea on the table than I do at home. I also find it easier to be motivated in group settings. In other words, when I have other people I can go riding with, or have general playdates with, this motivates me as well! But here's where the problem lies: These factors are currently not solvable. Where we currently live, the only thing that the uneven land deems possible are trail rides. But's it's dangerous because we have people who hunt a lot around here as well as 4-wheeler ride, as well as snakes, and other creatures that make the thought all the more less-enticing. Our pasture it's self resides under those massive power lines, and when you ride you get zapped if you touch anything metal on your saddle- or simply pet your horse! It's not just a quick zap either, the energy continues flowing as long as your hand remains on whatever you have touched! I remember once I reached down to pet Blaze's neck, and as soon as my fingertips touched his fur, electricity danced between his fur and my fingertips, buzzing like a bee. The horrific, though irrational imagery of an electrical explosion occurring definitely crossed my mind in that moment, and I quickly dismounted and called it a day. Haha!! I currently don't have the time to haul Blaze anywhere for playdates, either. Not to mention I don't feel particularly confident hauling a horse trailer by myself. Gasp!! every cowgirl needs to know how to haul a trailer! <-- Well I do know how, I just haven't had enough experience because my father never felt comfortable allowing me to haul a horse places on my own. It's understandable. Now contrary to what this post may have suggested, I'm no longer discouraged about the fact that I can't see myself training horses for a living. I'm okay with horses just being a hobby. In fact I am content with with what I am wanting to do now. Nevertheless, I do miss making videos, and making progress with my fury friends, but neither are an easy accomplishment right now between my lack of motivation, and the horrid landscape, etc. I have been spending time with them whenever I get a chance. Just grooming them and scratching their itchy spots. I enjoy doing that a lot which is progress in it's self. It is my hope that I can get out this rut in due time. If I can not--though--It's with a heavy heart that I may consider finding my horses a another home. They are so wonderful with much potential, and I don't want it to go to waste because of me. If it ever comes to that, it won't be easy. But it will be what's best for them.