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June 29, 2017: Falling Down and Getting Back Up

My good friend Kathy Day once remarked that falling down is not as significant as what we do after. Getting back up, dusting ourselves off, and moving on, this is what really tests our mettle. I am not talking here about literal falls; though for those of us who ride this is an inevitability. Rather I am talking here about figurative falls – that is, unexpected setbacks that are the consequence of what F.M. Alexander calls end-gaining.

I used to think that the time spent on the ground was a waste. But I am now thinking that time spent on the ground is a good thing. It’s then that we who are inert are best apt to reassess the situation and put it into a more realistic perspective.

My having gotten the preliminary thumbs down on a much wanted Centered Riding upgrade did knock me off my feet. What I deduced from my lowly vantage point was that, yes, my Level 4 instructors are right. I need more arena time. A tough thing for me to acknowledge because I have put so much time and energy into becoming a more body aware trail rider. This is in part because this is what my horses were born and bred to do. Also, arena time is expensive. And so are instructors.

This morning I climbed back onto my feet, then sat down and made a list of near-impossible administrative tasks that I must do. And one by one, I’ve been doing them and crossing them off the list. I first emailed Steiner Sigurbornsson and inquired about doing a short apprenticeship. My thinking is that his interest in positive reinforcement training complements mine. I next called a handful of local riders and scheduled Bones for Life sessions. My rationale is that I want to have some teacher training experiences to draw upon when I do next weekend’s didactic training. I then called Lori Hackenberger and scheduled a riding lesson time. My sense is that a trainer will function as a much-needed second pair of eyes. I could do more at home if Raudi was a well-schooled arena horse. But she most definitely is not. Doing all these things are related to my overall plan, which is to eventually combine my instructor-related interests in human and horse body awareness.

Where, exactly, the energy to get up and get going came from is beyond my comprehension. Susan Harris suggested that I take a break from my Centered Riding endeavors for a bit – when I replied that I didn’t need time off; rather, what I needed was direction, she said “your well must run very deep.” I agreed with her – my well IS deep. My mother also had a deep well, so this is genetic. It sure isn’t my doing.

So, onward. I have filled in the dates on my calendar. And tonight I will talk with Brit and Gregory about my teaching at Saddle Up one day a week. I’m also going to see if either of them are interested in a Bones for Life session.

And next week I start a ten-week online horse nutrition course. I looked at the course outline – the material was not foreign to me – I had a lot of it in anatomy and physiology.

Pete’s taking off tomorrow for a four-day Backcountry Horsemen of Alaska pack trip. He decided to take Raudi because we are not sure that Hrimmi is ready for this. We both agreed that it is far better to under rather than over-extend her. The same probably goes for myself. But people, unlike horses, have some say in the matter.

Next: 177. 6/30/17: Bones for Life/Life for Bones

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