Friday, September 18, 2009

smoke from a distant fire

"Make the work easier than the resistance." Kay Meredith

Yes yes yes.

I mean, really, that's just the other side of giving, rewarding, reinforcing, and yet . . .

And yet it is partly about demanding more of yourself, not just your horse.

I've been to the beach, to the outer banks. This is the first part of it for me to write about. On the way home, Cielo and I stopped to see my old teacher Kay Meredith and her apprentice Rebeca Nelles work Ritmik, a Dutch Warmblood mare, and not only work her but do her very first steps of passage and piaffe, as well as introduce ones.

Kay was so incredibly hospitable, talked, taught, shared, showed us around, introduced us to all the horses.

And when we left all I could think was, "How do you get to be Rebecca?" I don't really have ambitions that big . . . and yet I do too. What I mean by that is that I'd love to know how far I can go, to push it a bit, but I acknowledge I'm older, inexperienced, and might have some commitment issues. And that is beside of having no money to do any of it with.

How do I get that job? And how do I ride under instruction no less than once a week? And how and how and how?

I don't know how. But I would not have thought there was any way I could get to the beach either. I would not have thought I would find the job I have, the boss I have, the opportunities I do have.

I will tell you, I lovelovelove Kay's hardassness. I mean, she was generous with the praise but there were no excuses for the work either. I often have no patience with people who I don't think are hard enough on themselves, who do not demand much of themselves. At the same time, I am not a perfectionist and do not admire it. Maybe that is even part of what I like about riding . . . that there is always room for improvement, to push a bit more (even when pushing means being absolutely still).

The ambition is for Ritmik to be doing the small CDI tour in 2010. They have a gelding they hope to do the big CDI tour with. If I had an ambition, I would say it would be to ride at fourth level in ten years. And I would like my business to be the horses.

And isn't Kay beautiful! She looked and moved like a dancer! Years and years ago I saw a woman at a horse show. Her back was to me and she had a long iron-grey braid down her back and a strong body and practical clothes and boots and I thought, I want to be like that -- thinking of it as when I grew older. Now I see Kay. Yes, I want to be like that.

rant: We need real images of real women, strong, not airbrushed, not costumed and painted, real women to really be instead of images of pretense to pretend to be. Costumes are what you wear when you lack character. Just sayin'.


Kirsten said...

I have been looking for "real women" to act as role models for aging gracefully; in this culture, they are hard to find. No "celebrities", please! REAL women. I've arrived at the conclusion that it is our job to be the role models; to model what a real woman is, to age gracefully.

CG said...

AMEN! I miss you and Mo at the barn! I hope to "see" you more online.