Well, you may have noticed that my posts have been a bit sparse of late.
I’ve had a lot on my mind.
I’m moving Bear to another barn.
As any horse owner will tell you this can be a stressful change, especially if you’ve never done it before.
I’ve never done it before.
It’s been stressful. 😉
The years of our lives pass speedily by.
It seems just yesterday we brought Bear home. He is my first horse; a dream come true. I remember the joy; the excitement; the desire to make good decisions on his behalf that would benefit us both.
Flash forward almost eight years. We’ve coursed our hills and valleys together. Forged a strong, trust-based relationship. It’s been a journey wrought with trials and tribulations; joy and happiness.
But he is now 12 years old and in his prime, and I am … well … I am well into middle age.
I have felt, for several months now, maybe even the last couple of years, the urge to change things up. While I appreciate, and needed, all the remedial coaching I’ve received in the past few years, I feel ready to up the ante. To step boldly into the dream of the dance that is dressage.
Bear and I are ready. More confident; more relaxed than we were even a few months ago. Sure, there are plenty of kinks to work out yet, but it’s time for a new perspective.
A new perspective requires change
So, at the beginning of January, I’m moving Bear to another barn. A small, low-key, dressage-oriented barn just 10 minutes further away from home. Somewhere we can work with a new coach and a new vision of what’s possible.
It’s a decision made after a month of deliberation ~ of talking with people I trust; writing down and considering the pros and cons; cogitating; meditating and, yes at some level, praying.
And, while the new barn presents plenty of opportunity for me to delve into the culture of dressage and develop my skills, my primary focus must be the welfare of my horse.
Will he be happy? Will he make friends? Will he receive good care? Have plenty of turn-out? Eat well? Enjoy the atmosphere? Be safe?
I feel that he will. I’ve known the owner for a while now. She’s been in the business a long time and judging by the warm reception I’ve received by people who already board there it appears to be a happy place.
I’ve been to the barn a few times to get a feel for it. With only 12 horses boarded, it’s smaller than Bear’s current home. It’s also older and the arena is about half the size of the one we work in now, but it hardly matters. The barn is clean, and quiet, and friendly. As well, there’s access to 94 acres of hacking, including a complete cross-country course (which will be pleasant to look at ;- ) … ). There’s a proper dressage ring and a grass riding ring as well. More outdoor options. This is good.
Last week the owner gifted me a ride on Connor, her beautiful retired Prix St. George mount, so I could have a lesson with my potential new coach. He is a well-respected German master and member of the bronze-medal winning Canadian dressage team at the 1995 Pan Am Games. I wanted to see if I liked his teaching style.
Connor really tested my mettle and made me ride every step. The coach worked with me in every step. He has a reputation for being technical and thorough. I like that. The bottom line ~ I totally enjoyed the experience. It was the first time I’d ridden another horse since owning Bear, and it left me with more respect for my ability and a desire to see Bear and I reach our potential. A move to this new barn would present us with the chance to do so.
So, this past weekend I made my decision. I’m trusting my heart and taking the stall.
Bear will have the same farrier, vet, dentist and chiropractor. Things will be the same, but different. A change will do us good. 🙂
For my birthday my husband gave me something I’ve wanted for a couple of years now … an Inuit soapstone carving of a dancing bear. He bought it this past summer, long before this move to a dressage barn full of “dancing”horses was even contemplated. Seems rather symbolic and meant to be, don’t you think? 😉
It’s time to dance.
Stay tuned …
Nurture what you love,
©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013