Friday, September 22, 2017

progress is not inevitable

We all know the daily, sometimes hourly struggle of what it feels like to keep pushing for more, and better. All with the abstract, hopelessly optimistic idea that our efforts will eventually be rewarded.

ah memories

And especially for those of us who have lately maybe not had the easiest run of things - for whatever reason - it's maybe important to take a step back and remember that even when things are hard, or even when the work feels... like a slog, or like droplets in a vast ocean... it's all adding up to something cumulative, something tangible.


*** Dressage *** 

mda schooling show

loch moy

fair hill

 

Progress is not inevitable. It depends on our willingness to roll up our sleeves and get it done. To not be afraid to work.


*** Stadium Jumping ***

 

 

 

loch moy

 

 

tranquility

 

We may confront road blocks. But when that happens, that's the test. Not 'how do you feel when things are going good.'

The test is when you're out in the field and on the ground doing the work and things get hard. How do you respond and react?


*** Cross Country ***

loch moy

fair hill

schooling at OF

fair hill

Our response has to be to push forward with an infectious and relentless optimism. Not blind, but hard-earned optimism rooted in the stories of past progress and success. The stories that accumulate and build. That create a trajectory that's better.


***

first ride, first "before" picture

So for this Friday, I'm taking a moment to celebrate the steps toward a "better" made possible by every small and sometimes futile feeling of exertion over the past year. All those small steps that sometimes leave us wishing for more or faster results, but that all the same still bring us closer every day to where we want to be.

Aided, in no small part, by lifting many (or, uh, basically all) of the above words of inspiration from one of my favorite speechmakers in his latest discussion on topics much more far-reaching than our experiences riding and training horses. But it's funny how, philosophically, so many of the same ideas still hold.

Happy Friday, y'all. Here's to a weekend hopefully spent reaching as ever for more and better, and enjoying every step of the way!

28 comments:

  1. Funny, I had a similar theme today as well. Or similar thoughts anyway. It is about the moving forward with a plan. Charlie and you have come so far in a short time.

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    1. moving forward with a plan - yess!! and being able to recognize that any 'forward' along the way is good. looking forward to reading your post too!

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  2. I very much needed this post today. :) Your progress with Charlie is inspiring.

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    1. thanks! and sometimes it can be so hard to step back and see that good things are happening even when the current situation is.... tough. i had another trainer tho (the ground work guru who helped me get charlie started) who liked to say that horses progress in peaks and valleys, where the general trajectory is up. but that it can be hard to see that from the bottom of a valley. we just gotta keep going tho!

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  3. Preach it!! You've certainly put in the hard work with both Charlie and Isabel, and it shows in your success! It's amazing what we can accomplish when we show up and start working. <3

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    1. totally agreed - just showing up and starting the work is half the battle (if not more). and yet that's the part that can start to feel like a grind, like it's wearing us down when we don't see results as quickly as we expect.

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  4. ...I was like "this is way too inspiring to be Emma on a Friday. Who is she quoting?"

    Excellent thoughts tho. Definitely words to think about.

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    1. lol yea no haha. but c'mon, we all knew i had to chug out a post to counter ye olde watery thoughts covfefe post eventually, right??? ;)

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  5. So true! You gotta keep putting in the workbecause man there are days (weeks/months) where everything can feel so stagnant and then all of a sudden you look back and realize, oh crap we are doing stuff now we couldn't do before!

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    1. yes!!! and i think that's the key to avoiding losing morale or motivation or inspiration: being able to look back and have that realization *before* things start feeling stagnant.

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  6. His form has come such a long way over fences! Go Charlie!!!

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    1. thanks i'm so pleased with his development!

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  7. so much of the inspiring!! I will try my best to "push forward with an infectious and relentless optimism" this weekend :)

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  8. Yes, exactly! Very much agree. You and Charlie look fantastic, and you've definitely put in the hard work to make it happen! It does feel like a slog many days, like a drop in the ocean, but I think you're right that it feels that way because "well we're working on this-or-that still" but it's that needed repetition. Making it a habit. And making it a habit takes sooooooo much time. But, those rewards are so worth it, I think. I seriously can't wait to continue following along as you and Charlie continue to get better! (bc one day you two will go Training, right?! lolol Pretty sure I'd pee my pants if I ever went Training lol)

    PS. Some of those first photos look COLD.

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    1. ha yea poor charlie has had to suffer through riding in some nasty conditions lol. but like you say, that repetition is needed no matter the circumstances! and the habits are absolutely worth the time invested in confirming them (even when it feels like it's taking forever lol). as far as charlie's future haha, who knows. ability wise, i think he could go as far as my 'fraidy cat self would be inclined to go, so long as i can keep him sound! we'll see tho haha, for now we've still got some kinks to work out at BN ;)

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  9. Awwww! It's been fun watching you guys progress. I need to do a similar comparison- some days it feels like nothing has changed!

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    1. oooh you should definitely do a progression post too! i've kinda been meaning to do one for a while but never really knew what to say about it other than "hey look, the horse is different now than he was a year ago!" until i watched the speech in that link and basically copied the wording directly into this post haha #thanksobama

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  10. I really like him. If he goes missing and I have a mysterious bay hunter, well..... ;)

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    1. aww haha, i think you'd like him even more if you got meet / ride him! he's probably not super dissimilar from Simon in a lot of ways.... except, uh, maybe in the turning thing lol. he still steers a little bit like a bus. luckily the hunters don't do too many turns tho! one of these days i definitely need to get him in that ring just to play!

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    2. she has been known to throw Charlie into strange trailers so if you park your trailer near by you might be able to steal him! He looks great Emma and has improved so much!! Kudos to you!

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    3. ha yea that *is* true about putting him in strange trailers.... poor precious shouldn't have to be all by his self!!! ;P

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  11. What a big difference in the dressage photos!! Well done you!

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    1. thank you!! still always so much more that needs work but i'm quite happy with him so far!

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  12. It's what the thrill of horse owning and riding is all about! Have a great weekend :)

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  13. Those pictures are worth millions of words. I am so impressed! Maybe I should send Knight to you so you can "learn him some riding stuff." LOL! Bravo.

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  14. I love this post. So true, nothing comes for free and u have to put the work in, no excuses and despite adversity just do it. Just found your blog and loving it

    Mel

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