Over the years, I have spoken with many clients about their goals. Sometimes the goal is regarding competition. Sometimes they want to learn to canter. Sometimes, they just want to go on a trail-ride and not fall off. The same group also laments any time ‘wasted’ in the conquest of their goal. Maybe the horse goes lame, indefinitely. Maybe they run out of money to pursue riding at this time. Maybe they worked on something that has taken their training off course from their objective. At which point I put this question to them, “Did you have any fun or derive any pleasure from the process to date?”
Rationally, they know that the journey has been rewarding and that they would not omit it from their past, given the chance. But sometimes we lose sight of the important things. The most important thing about you and your horse? That you both enjoy what you’re doing together, at least at some level. Maybe not every minute of every ride, but in the big scheme of things, satisfaction. We all chose this avocation because it brings us joy, not because we want to suffer through the hard bits. We love the feeling of developing our skills and our horses’ abilities. We like some challenges to overcome and the building of the team. We like a little sweat, maybe a few tears and the feeling of accomplishment. Otherwise, we’d take up couch-surfing.
So, as you’re thinking about the infamous resolutions that always begin a new year, keep in mind that while we certainly like to keep the destination in mind, the journey is the real ‘why’! Happy riding in 2019!