Things I have learned from my new experience moving barns:
1. I miss people. All the people. All the horses. I like to have some room to ride, but I don't like to be completely alone.
2. Licorice misses having more horses around. He has never been more insecure than he is now. We ride by ourselves every time and neither one of us likes it much. I don't mind riding in the arena alone, but I like it when I know there's someone nearby.
3. I love riding outside. I don't mind riding in rain. The weather here is wet, but not nasty cold most of the time.
4. I really want a Western Saddle but have no idea how to fit one and the videos on the internet don't help me much. I also want one that puts my leg in a good position. I'm a little obsessed with Western Riding right now.
5. I don't know how to tell if a horse is sound. This is really frustrating because currently I have someone telling me that she thinks my horse may never be able to be ridden much because he has deep unsoundness issues. The last vet lameness exam was three months ago and they didn't find anything scary, just some minor stiffness in the right hind which we injected. X-rays were inconclusive. Licorice does have a back leg that locks up occasionally, shitty conformation and some age related stiffness. I need to find a starting place without tearing him apart. I'm worried that we will get too detailed. You know, like when you go to the chiropractor and he tells you that one leg is shorter than the other and your shoulders are twisted and your head isn't on straight. This is all absolutely true, but still I manage to survive and even thrive. I think we all have some issues. On the other hand, I don't want to ask my horse to do things he physically cannot do.
6. I need to do this myself. This whole thing. I've really been looking for someone else to guide me through this experience and give me courage and knowledge. Instead, I need to be the one who steps up and makes mistakes. I need to ride, even if I'm afraid. And if that means I ride at the walk for a minute, that's okay. I can push myself every day a tiny bit farther. But there's no replacing experience. I have been involved with horses for a solid ten years and am an avid learner. Somehow, I have let my anxiousness and fear get in the way of that. I am now making choices to do it myself, even if it means I fail. The only way for Licorice and I to develop better trust in each other, is to start doing it without supervision, without help, without guidance.
Some people need lessons and programs. I LOVE lessons and programs. But there comes a time where you have to just let yourself BE and that's where I'm at. I want to just let myself BE. And when I am solid about where I'm at, I'll know what I want to do with my horse. I just have to be willing to take that step. And so I am.