Monday, October 3, 2016

the comfort of routine

I am what you might consider a change-averse individual. I like routine. I like consistency and normalcy. I'm at my best when I know what to expect.

That's not to say that I can't or won't 'fly by the seat of my pants' or take risks or be impulsive. But even then, there's a certain degree of calculation, a certain amount of expecting the unexpected. Does that make sense? Idk. Anyway.

here's an unflattering picture of the most handsomest Charlie, chosen specifically bc it's outside on a pleasant day after we've had SO MUCH RAIN OMG. all other pictures in this post will be variations of brown. kinda sorry 'bout that... 

All this to explain why this year has been a bit rough for me on a few different levels. As you may recall - I accepted a new job in April. That might feel like light years ago (esp in internet world where time is an entirely different speed), but it still feels brand new to me. It continues to be an adjustment. Positive? Yes. But still an entirely new rhythm.

why yes that's a big truck that pulled into the aisle behind charlie while he was cross tied. and that also continued to creep forward as it went through the stalls. in case you were curious, charlie gave no fucks. 
And of course, my entire life as it is reflected within the prism of this blog has changed dramatically over the past year.

From breaking my leg last fall, to getting back in the saddle in January to lay down some of Isabel's and my best ever jump courses together. Then suddenly the wheels began falling off in March, and everything basically ground to a complete halt (literally, ugh) in May.

same story for the leaf blower they use instead of brooms here haha. fun fact: this leaf blower was in full action the day charlie moved into the farm. he cared as much then as he did for this picture: ie, not at all.
And of course just a couple weeks ago I went through the whole litany of what riding looked like in a post-Isabel (but pre-Charlie) world. In a word? It was a hassle.

As a self-described creature of habit, it's been challenging, to say the least, dealing with this volatility and lack of consistency.

It's been a struggle to find that pure and uncomplicated joy in riding and horses, given how much energy went to just logistics and locations and lessons and all of the details associated with securing saddle time with someone else's horse.

sweet slobbery facec!
So. Enter Charlie.

some days it's quiet and empty (charlie happens to be staring directly at his stall lol)
It feels like finally coming home again. Charlie lives at a barn chosen for its merits of desirable facilities and care, and unbeatable convenience. Just getting there couldn't be easier.

other days it's busier! charlie's the same no matter what tho - even graduating to the babiest of baby cross rails!
Of course it's more than that tho. It's the horse. This horse, guys. He is just exactly what I need right now. He's not a prelim/training packer, nor is he eye-catchingly fancy. Ahhh but he is special.

I know it's right bc I spend my free time day dreaming about exercises to work on, topics to address with Charlie, how I might start laying down the fundamental blocks upon which I'll build a new eventing partner from the ground up. And then when we actually get to work, I can see the difference. I can see the partnership actually grow.

game for hay and game for extreme face hugging Austen-edition. 
It's not linear (is it ever?), and we've certainly already had bad rides in our 2 weeks together. But everything is settling into that pattern, that type of routine that I understand.

I don't expect perfection - I don't expect every ride to be rosy. It's going to be a slog sometimes, and maybe ugly other times. Charlie only has fewer than 15 rides post-track life, all done by me. That pretty much guarantees slow-going. This is horse training, after all.

and my barn has swans too. bc why not.
But dammit, this horse can w-t-c in both directions, including steering and turning and threading the needle through wayward lesson ponies. He might not be able to go clear in the ground poles division yet, but that doesn't back him off from trying his big heart out over ground poles and itsy bitsy cross rails.

And I leave the barn every day with a giant smile. Bc I'm finally feeling settled again. This day-to-day aspect of horses, the regular groomings and the tack cleaning and the hand grazing and all these little quiet moments - I've missed them so much.

33 comments:

  1. This post makes me super happy, welcome home!

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  2. This post makes me super happy, welcome home!

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  3. Aw, this is so great :)

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  4. Yay! I love all the happy and feels in this post!! I'm so very happy for you and your new routine :)

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  5. Charlie is clearly a special horse, and I'm so glad you have him!

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  6. "there's a certain degree of calculation, a certain amount of expecting the unexpected." total sense. Total and complete sense. It's my life. My busy, chaotic, crazy life. It's all of those aforementioned adjectives combined with the utmost of internal calculation and expecting the unexpected in a totally prepared way. Routine, security, and comfort make me the happiest so I totally understand where you're coming from and it makes me really happy for you (and makes me relaxed even lol) to read that you're coming back into a routine. Infinite cheers to that! It doesn't hurt that the routine revolves around a cute bay gelding either ;-)

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  7. :D im glad to read this post. also is that the new bridle on him?? it looks phenom!

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  8. Ahhhh this is what it's all about! So thrilled you are finding such joy in Charlie!

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  9. I'm like you, I like to plan. If anyone knows me, they know I plan my weekdays to the minute. It just makes me feel better having a plan and consistency. Though, I also take risks and love spur of the moment things....when I have time for them. AKA weekends. I HATE last minute plans during the week! Horses are part of it though and if I didn't have 2 hours a day of it, I would go mad. I am so happy Charlie man is giving you what you need! Horses are the best

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  10. All of the feels here, gah. Yay for finding some constancy again 😀

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  11. I need to have a plan. Even if that plan goes to shit I have to have a plan. :)

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  12. Sometimes horses have that special knack of being exactly what you need exactly when you need it. I'm so glad you are adapting to this new routine with Charlie :)

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  13. Yaaay! I totally understand what you mean about craving the consistency and having one thing to focus on, I'm the same way.

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  14. :)!! I am just so happy for you!

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  15. That second barn picture (third pic in the post) looks a lot like my old barn. I totally know what you mean, just nailing down the logistics of riding can make it suck more than it has to!

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  16. I'm so happy you and Charlie are setting in together. I am so excited for you two. You guys are going to do some really cool things, I know it!

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  17. Really glad you decided to get your own. You work very hard, and deserve that going back into something you get to make all the decisions on.

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  18. 1) awwwwwww

    2) ERMEGERD IS THAT A DYON OR A MARK TODD EITHER WAY GORG AND I LOVE IT OMG

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  19. What a great sentiment! I'm also a creature of habit and the amount of change you've endured is enough to push anyone to the brink! So glad it's working out with Charlie. He was worth the wait and I think you two are going to have an amazing time together!! Love reading about the journey already

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  20. I can never understand how people juggle working with more than one horse. It would drive me batty. Charlie is such a gentleman and handsome too. Can't wait to see where the two of you go

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  21. This makes me so happy! Charlie sounds like a perfect partner :) And hey, Henry and I do not even have a canter yet and I've been riding him for like two months hahaha...slow and steady is good!

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  22. Awww, yay. Everyone needs a Charlie in their life!

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  23. Aww, enjoy, you've been deserving something this good for a long time now :)

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  24. Aww I wondered what happened to Isabel, but glad that Charlie is such a chill dude! My new mare us very jumpy and skittish - definitely makes me appreciate my calm cool gelding now! Congrats on your new boy!!

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  25. I love a good happily ever OTTB story <3

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  26. So happy you found your smile again!

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  27. This gave me so many feels. And your barn is like so freaking gorgeous. I was JUST starting to get in a riding routine before I broke my foot. I always remember how epicky you came back from your leg and that keeps me going

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  28. Horse life is the best life. I love your new barn.

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  29. This is awesome!! And omg your barn...I'm drooling lol

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