The Christmas tree has been taken down, decorations are back in their containers, and only crumbs are left in the cookie jar. It is time to head back to the barn and put all those New Year’s Eve resolutions into action.
What exactly were those resolutions anyway? Well . . . I want to actually read Dressage Today the month it comes in the mail, videotape my riding and watch it afterwards, start exercising with weights, show Prix St-Georges, maintain a positive attitude, reward my horse more frequently with both verbal praise and stretch breaks, reach out to my fellow boarders and set up rides together, master flying changes every 3 and 4 strides, to actually use my stability ball, watch other lessons, know when to stop thinking and ride and when to think and ride and when to apply one or the other, clean my tack every time after I ride, attend clinics as an auditor, to get canter half pirouettes in both directions, volunteer at shows, watch educational horse videos, write about my riding, drink more water, stretch on a daily basis, ride more precisely, consciously relax . . . what did you expect? I’m a dressage rider, which by definition means I’m an overachiever, perfectionist, ambitious individual who attempts to accomplish everything and tends to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks and goals, which causes stress, encourages procrastination, and inhibits actualization.
Dressage is actually about finding and keeping your center with all of the input from your horse and your surroundings and the ability to provide direction and feedback to your horse with clarity and simplicity.
If I apply this to my daily life, that simply means: I need to breathe deeply and exhale slowly when stressors start to pile up. I need to substitute positive thoughts when negativity blocks my path. I need to center myself in the middle of the chaos.
And take it simply, one bite at a time . . . hey, are you sure there aren’t any more cookies? Anywhere? Houston, we have a problem! I NEED COOKIES!
Happy New Year! May you have good rides and cookies all year long!