Thursday, September 3, 2009

on the question of dedication

When I asked you how you went from someone who was an adult before the first time he’d ever ridden a horse to a USDF bronze medalist and sought after clinician, you said (not without some modesty), “Well, I brought something to it to begin with, some talent.” Yeah, I get that. You can teach people to be relatively safe on a horse but you cannot teach them that feel, to know what to do from their gut, to notice the unnoticeable minutia that gives the horseman the idea of what to do next. Then you said, “And it requires some dedication,” and you told a story about how you worked ten hour days then drove 3 hours one way to ride for an hour and talk for two then drive back and work again, doing that twice a week, in the winter.

And that story, it made me cry. I can’t do that. More, I don’t want to do that. I must needs have something left for my family, something of me left for them. All for one; one for all. I cannot short my family. I understand dedication, and I appreciate dedication, and I feel like I am dedicated and willing to make sacrifices (and I know my family is behind me) but there is a limit there and in the end, family comes before even horses.

And frankly it becomes difficult to get any riding in at all when there are 18 stalls to clean on top of the other regular work of keeping the barn running. It is great for the barn, good for job security, sucky for getting a ride in. That’s what happened to me Sunday and Monday and Wednesday.

So, that’s where I am, trying to figure out how to work it all out. I don’t believe much in “balance”. I do believe that there comes a point where it (everything) becomes possible, or there’s another option that hasn’t developed itself, or something. Just keeping the eyes open to see it and the mind open to recognize it.

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