Friday, November 13, 2009

Getting it Right

I grew up riding, but not showing or ever really having any formal instruction. I trail rode with my dad and some friends, and I did the occasional back yard show. I had a lot of fun. Now my little girl is riding and she has the opportunity to do both showing and trail riding--and learn from the best. I am sort of living vicariously through her because the kid has the balance of a cat and can seriously ride.

I know that I can ride but there is this part of me that is a perfectionist (nicer word for control freak). I'm like this in most aspects of my life except for my messy car (it's a disaster but that's another story). For me, I want to be the best that I can be at everything that I do. When I take a lesson, I really listen and do my best. I try really hard. I really, really want to be a good rider. It's that simple--and a good horse person. That part is easier for me because I love the animals. I could be with them all day, every day and not get tired of talking to them, grooming them, feeding them cookies and hugging on them. Doing all of that is like meditation for me. It's my solace. But the riding is where I feel I lack and I know there is always room for improvement for everyone, but I guess I'm kind of insecure. Not that I'm ever afraid I'm going to come off. I know it's a possibility but I've got a good seat that I attribute to the bucking bronco of a pony I had as a kid. My downfalls are that I tend to get stiff in the elbows, and I grip with my knees a lot of the time when I need to be using my lower leg.

Where am I going with this, you ask? Not sure, but here's the deal--I have discovered that even as an adult I need confirmation that I'm getting it. I'm fortunate to have Terri because she's good at both teaching me and at letting me know when I'm doing it right. But she also likes me cause she's my friend and like a sister to me. She's also a stickler for correct position. So it was pretty cool when a few weeks ago she asked me if I would ride Monty in a clinic that Brian Sabo was teaching for instructors. Essentially it was about the intructors not the riders. However, I couldn't help feel good and smile when I heard Mr. Sabo tell the instructors that I was a good rider!

Am I just plain silly for caring about this, this much, or do you "out there" in Internet land ever feel this way in your lessons or when you're showing or even just out on the trail? Is getting it "right" a big deal to you? I sort of feel like a little kid worrying about this, but it really does matter to me.

Have a wonderful weekend.
Happy Trails!



gillian said...

Oh, God. Is there anyone out there who does NOT feel like that? The better question is: what percentage of the time do you feel like that? For now I've got myself down to an average of somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. Thats down from a lot higher.

Laura Crum said...

Michele, I used to feel like that a lot. In my twenties and thirties I took lessons, worked for trainers, and competed endlessly. All my life was about whether I was "getting it right", and since I competed a lot, I was given plenty of opportunity to see how well I was or wasn't doing.

Somehow at this point in my life, I've lost all interest in "getting it right". You can call me lazy, I guess, but I'm happy to putter along, using what's left of my old skills to stay aboard and get along with my horse. I have no interest in being evaluated by anyone ever again as to how well I'm doing--I'm pefectly content as I am, though I know I don't ride that well any more. I don't know if this is a lousy attitude or what, but its where I'm at.

M.K. Scott said...

Actually Laura--your attitude is probably just right. Life is short and not always easy. Maybe taking the easier route on the mind, body and soul is a very good thing--if I can do it.

Terri Rocovich said...

I think that "getting it right" is a journey, not a destitation and I also think it comes in phases parallel to the phases of the rider's life. Yes, I know that was a mouthful, but even as a trainer and advanced rider, I still work to get better and learn. But, like Laura, I am also OK with just being me and simply enjoying my relationship with horses. It is a business for me and there are days when it is a chore, but it is the simple things like a peaceful trail ride or the friendly nicker of one of my horses, too remind me how very lucky I am.

Laura, you are a better rider than you give yourself credit for but isn't it the wonderful life and experiences that you are providing for your daughter that you are really getting right!

littledog said...

Geez, what human on earth doesn't feel better when someone who they respect tells them they're on the right track?
It's almost even nicer when we're older, lost the competition bug, just riding on our own and enjoying ourselves. We know we're not as "sharp" as we once were, so it helps to hear from a respeced horseperson that our riding hasn't degenerated and we're still doing the right thing for our horses.