April 18th 2014 will be jotted down as a spectacular day on my riding calendar for several reasons. Today marks the first day this year that THF’s infamous one tree hill was ready for use. I took the beast up the hill this afternoon and we both could not have been happier to get out and about! I walked slowly up to the top of the hill and trotted along the ridge. Once I reached the picturesque tree I stopped and stood still. I glanced down the edge of the mountain and noticed how beautiful the farm looked. How confused I felt in that moment. Literally days ago I had Four Reasons Why Vermont’s Fifth Season Is Disgusting, and yet here I am days after the fact, looking down at what appeared to be a lovely, well-kept farm. How could something appear so daunting when examined up close, look simultaneously attainable and manageable from a distance?
Of course this got the wheels turning and I began thinking about my horses and their training. Both Skybreaker and Valonia are coming nine this year. When I look at them and I sit on them, sometimes all I feel are the holes. I feel something that needs to be fixed, that needs to get stronger and that needs to feel more broke. I feel the errors and the mistakes and I become fixated on what they cannot do. Hiking up that hill FINALLY after months and months of feeling trapped and buried under an endless amount of snow, ultimately shifted my perspective.
Of course there’s a great deal of work to be done on the farm. The fencing needs to be replaced. The paddocks and fields require serious daily attention. There are more sticks on the ground than on tress. And there’s just a ton of work that needs doing. Every time I start cleaning up, I feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that still needs to be done. And yet, standing with my horse on the top of the hill, I didn’t see an enormous mess and chaos. I saw jumps, the pond, the beautiful old Green Barn, and so much more. I saw potential and I saw what could be done.
I need to start looking at my horses like I was looking at the farm. Yes, there are projects and a ton of work to be done. Nobody ever said working on a horse farm was a piece of cake. But, there are serious improvements that have been made. Similarly, both my horses are going better than they have ever gone. I am starting to envision their success, and I am thrilled with where this is heading. Sometimes we need to step back, leave the farm, go to another country, take a trip, or do something we normally don’t do in order to see the potential and to see and appreciate the progress that has already been made.