If you’ve ever played a sport, you know that sometimes your emotions play a huge part in your abilities and success. I think something that really sets the equine sports apart from others is that our sport is a direct partnership with a living, breathing creature. Those that can’t check their emotions at the door have a rougher time breaking into the scene as a positive role model. I understand that we’re all human and there have been times where I’ve come down centerline choking back tears, or cantered towards the final fence with my ears smoking. I’ve gone back to the trailer and thrown my stick because I was so frustrated/upset/disappointed/*insert bad emotion here*.
This is where I run into problems trying to juggle my Mom life with my barn life. On days like today, when I’m running on coffee and not much else, it’s so hard to walk into the barn and leave my frustrations in the truck before they even develop. It’s even harder to look at Willow and not get upset with myself over the fact that we’ve had to back track because she just can’t seem to get a grip on herself and know that that backtracking is 98.9999% my fault becuase I’m so inconsistant with when I can work her. She’s such a sensitive mare that she picks up on the fact that I’m not on my “A” game.
We had a lesson with Becky today, and it was all ground work. Getting her to listen and respect me on the lunge line. With a horse like Willow that kind of stuff directly translates into our under saddle sessions. We had a really good work to the left, she was right on and I was able to let her out pretty far and still maintain control. We changed direction and she totally checked out on me again. Becky took over to end things on a good note with her and was able to get her to check back in after a few minor discussions. To me, its the most obnoxious thing that I can’t get the same results out of her.
I have to be honest with myself though. I’m exhausted. I’m stressed. I’m ready to put my head through the wall the next time I hear my daughter start whining. I feel like I’ve made a decision that’s made Mike angry with me. I have about a million negative feelings going on in my head, so if I don’t check it at the door, how am I supposed to expect her to get her head in the game? Mine isn’t.
I think that that is what really makes this sport so much more challenging than the majority of those out there. It’s equal parts mental and physical. It’s also what makes this sport so challenging for me. My team mate doesn’t care that I haven’t slept in a week. She doesn’t understand me when I’m putting her boots on and begging her to behave because I’m not with it. Willow expects me to step up and be her leader, no matter what other stuff is going on in my life. I can’t ride the pine and don’t have anybody to pick up the slack for me.
And you know what? I freakin’ love it.