Today was warm and windy and Licorice was in another world. We had about five minutes of good stuff and about thirty minutes of head above the bit, choppy trot, me stiff as a board with my arms straight out in front of me.
But you know what? It was good. It was good because I rode. It was good because we had five minutes. Alright, they weren't even five consecutive minutes but they were still good!
It was good because I like my horse and he likes me. It was good because when he got tense and above the bit, I focused on relaxing all my tension. Which takes twice as long to get through to him, but I've got time. TIME. I HAVE TIME. Not time to ride every day. Not time to put in hours of riding. I mean that I have time because I don't have any goals that require me to fix anything by a certain time. In fact, I don't have to fix anything EVER.
This blew my mind. I'm drunk with power over this realization. If I NEVER learn to sit the trot without bouncing around like a giraffe with rigormortis, it's okay. If I never learn to canter without hunching and slouching and throwing my arms out like crazy chicken wings, it doesn't change anything. If every day I have rides where we don't accomplish anything, nothing about my world is different. I don't have to improve. I really mean this. If I don't have anywhere to go, then I'm right where I want to be.
If I have a great lesson once a week and progress in millimeters instead of miles, I will still have a great horse and a great barn and great people to work with. If I can't afford lessons, I still have a great horse and a great barn. If I never jump anything every again, I can still enjoy my pony.
If my life with horses is one where I own a horse I adore and we ride really terrible ovals in the same arena, day after day, with my stiff arms and his stiff trot and only 30 seconds of correct movement....so what? Licorice doesn't mind and as long as I'm grinning from ear to ear about how fun it is to ride a forward trot, I can let the rest go.
Sometimes, not having goals is a beautiful thing.
p.s. this does not mean that I don't want to improve or that I won't keep looking for ways to get better, it just means that where I am is exactly perfect at any given moment.