Do Hard Work

You’ve heard me say over and over lately that I’m on show hiatus. Very regrettably so, but my bank account is heaving a sigh of relief for the multiple-month reprieve in show spending.

But being on show hiatus doesn’t mean we aren’t working hard. On the contrary- we’re working harder than ever both in the saddle and out of it. And it’s really REALLY fun.

I’ve been out at the barn pretty much every day, even the days I’m not riding. I’ll have a glass of wine with a fellow ammy as we deep clean our tack and talk about our horses, or I’ll organize my trunk while shooting the breeze with another boarder.

My trainer will give me a session on nutrition- why exactly Frankie eats what he eats, when he eats it. And a conformation seminar to identify Frankie’s strengths and weaknesses. I watched Assistant Trainer clip her horse while she gave pointers, and then she showed me the best way to break in a new bridle quickly.

At this point I know just about every rider and their parents (if they’re a junior) that are at the barn, since I’m there just about every day. I get to say hi and chat and catch up with like-minded people. And when someone new shows up for a lesson, I can sometimes help show them where and how things go around here.

Frankie gets a good grooming every day as his dark winter coat comes in, and his hooves, while always in good shape, are looking even better. Don’t even get me started on his tail- it’s long and luxurious and absolutely gorgeous.

We have days where I ask him to work really hard, and then we have days where his only job is energy and straightness as I work on myself. He’s continuing to build muscle and fitness even though he’s no longer in full training.

The pieces, while not together yet, are steadily coming together. We’re eliminating a lot of the old mistakes and we’re making new mistakes. We’re moving into the realm of skills that we can’t master in a single lesson- we can just keep persistently building strength and ability over time.

October has been an amazing month for all of the little things adding up, all the steps carrying us further. There have not been any single major breakthroughs, just the consistency and hard work adding and adding and adding together until suddenly I look back and realize that our knowledge and skills have progressed.

It’s a calm, contented sort of progress rather than the adrenaline-rush progress I felt all show season. And while I am eager to get back into the show ring as soon as warmer weather rolls around, I’m satisfied for now to buckle down and do hard work.

Put aside idleness, grasp the nettle, and do some hard work. – St. Bernard of Clairvaux

14 thoughts on “Do Hard Work

  1. tntibbetts 10/24/2016 / 8:34 am

    This post is one that makes me a little envious of folks who board their horses. I never really have anyone (knowledgeable) around to watch me ride or give me pointers on anything since I keep my horses at home. I rely a lot on social media, reading and my horsey bestie for the day-to-day stuff.
    What are your tail care secrets? My 4yo mare had a lovely tail up until a year or so ago and now it is sad and thin. 😦


    • hellomylivia 10/24/2016 / 12:40 pm

      The social aspect of boarding is definitely one of the big pros for me 🙂
      And I gotta tell you, I have no good tail care secrets! I spray it with conditioner, brush it periodically, and give it a good wash every so often. I think Frankie is just vain enough that he takes care of it himself.


  2. Centered in the Saddle 10/24/2016 / 9:55 am

    I love this! Hard work is going to pay off in a big way for you. And just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s not a ton of fun!


  3. Heather 10/24/2016 / 11:52 am

    From what I’ve seen so far, it definitely seems like you guys are making great, steady progress.


  4. KateRose 10/24/2016 / 11:29 pm

    You are very dedicated 🙂 Hard work always pays off!


  5. Micaylah 10/25/2016 / 12:00 pm

    So jealous of your social circle at the barn!


  6. Liz 10/27/2016 / 5:12 am

    I love the zend tone of this post. It’s beautiful.


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