Monday, April 21, 2014

Paying the Price

Fannin Hill, 2012. Photo courtesy Holly Bryan
We did get to go to Fannin Hill on Friday, and it was awesome. Unfortunately, I have no photos to show for it…just some sore muscles and good memories. And , of course, a whole lot of things to clean: my bridle bag, Tank’s shipping boots, my saddle bag and even Tank’s bridle (at one of the water troughs, he immersed his face up to the eyes and shook his head side to side, sending water cascading onto the ground and turning the leather of his bridle into a mucky mess). An outing like this means extra work before and after, as well as stepping outside my comfort zone during. Tank gets excited when we ride off site, and sometimes I feel like I’m on top of a rocket ready to explode. I have to work at communicating what I want in a way that makes sense to him and doesn’t frustrate him:

Tank: “If all the other horses are cantering and jumping over there, why are we over here jumping over this little log?”

Me: “Because those jumps are beyond my abilities and confidence right now—I know you could do it, but would I still be on your back on the other side?”

 Tank: “OK. I guess I don’t want you to hurt yourself. Who would bring me carrots?”

Every time we go to Fannin Hill, we try new things and come home inspired. This time, we practiced going up and down a small bank, which required him to jump up to a higher level while going up, and to step down (into the scary unknown) when going down. He did just fine going up, but was pretty skeptical of going down. We tried several different approaches until he hopped down like it was a non-issue.

Sometimes the best things require effort. In the past, I tended to give up too easily when faced with challenges. Tank is teaching me to think things through, break them down into smaller steps, and to keep trying slightly different approaches. I still find myself avoiding things because I either don’t know what to do, or I think it’s too hard, but I’m becoming more willing and able to pay the price for what I want. And that’s a lesson worth learning.

What dream are you willing to pay the price for?

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4 comments:

Sketchbook Wandering said...

I love to hear of your progress in courage & growth. And of your communication with Tank.. I'm currently attempting new challenges in my drawing process...part of it is to learn to accept my trials & errors, accept learning stages...letting go of perfectionism, etc...Learning to accept the pleasure I get from the process...

Debbie Nolan said...

Kathy - isn't it amazing how much animals can teach us. Sometimes I think they make the best teachers of all. Hope your aching muscles are starting to ease up. Have a great week.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Rita--Pleasure in the process...that's the key, isn't it? I look forward to seeing your experiments on your blog!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Debbie--Actually, my muscles did better than I expected! I definitely agree that animals are terrific teachers. I'm lucky enough to have three excellent ones.