“That’s it. I am through,” I stated angrily, loosening Gatsby’s girth and riding the stirrups up, a sure sign I was done riding for the day. “I am tired of not being able to do anything.”
“That’s fine. Just let me tell you why he was acting up,” my trainer Jeannine replied, then explained what I was doing wrong for Gatsby to canter in a serpentine down the side of the arena, changing leads unexpectedly.
“What am I thinking?” I said to myself. “If I leave now, I am through. And what lesson is that, to give up because it’s been a rough patch? I am not a quitter.” So, I started to tighten the girth again and pulled down the stirrups.
“What are you doing?” Jeannine asked, surprised.
“Getting back on, of course. I’m not leaving like this,” I mumbled.
I remounted Gatsby, trotted around the arena, then broke into a canter, successfully navigating the corners that that earlier thwarted us. And not a surprise that when I kept my outside arm in as Jeannine suggested, Gatsby cantered smoothly around the corner.
I briefly thought I was finished, but then Jeannine directed my friend Colette and I around a course of strategically poles and then low jumps. Not as easy as it looked, and what a sense of accomplishment to go from almost quitting and then jumping.
My legs are already sore after an hour of hard riding, but my mind is freer, knowing I completed what I thought I could not and that I made the decision to not stop. You have to work through the difficult things–easy as they might seem to others–to move ahead.
And I always say a day on a horse is ALWAYS better than a day on the ground. C