Looking Up

Well, that’s a nice turn of events.

Turns out, today wasn’t so bad after all. There I was this morning thinking “oh god, I’ve got to get up and do stuff and I don’t wanna” and actually, I’ve ended the day feeling productive, refreshed and delighted. What a good thing.

Riding today was pretty good. I got to ride the lovely Tilly, a very pretty coloured mare of 4. She’s very sweet, and has a lovely trot. It was really nice to ride something as active as her because it meant I was able to really ride rather than battling to keep her going the entire time. She’s only a youngster, so her bending is not quite up to scratch yet, but she’s certainly willing. There were a few moments where she started working in an outline for me, and she struck off in left lead canter straight away without any ado at all which was progress from the last time I saw her canter. I really enjoyed her.

I then got to go and spend some time with the tall, dark and handsome man who came into my life a few months ago. I am talking, of course, about the wonderful Steady Eddie; the mechanical horse. As I’d ridden him before, Emma took my stirrups away immediately and had me working through the paces. My feedback from her today was very good to hear; she said my lower leg position is very nice and secure, with and without stirrups. So that’s pretty good news. I certainly feel like my legs have become more secure over the summer, but to hear it from one of my instructors was heartening.

A surprise text awaited me at the end of the day, from my grandmother. She informed me that the lady who runs the stables just up the road from her had said I could go up and visit this evening. Which, of course, I was keen to do as I’ve seen them exercising their horses up and down the road and they look beautiful. So up the road I went. It was brilliant to meet them, and their horses. They have quite a few up there at the moment although I was told that they usually have a lot more. Most of the horses they have are eventers, and boy are they lovely looking animals. I got to meet several of them and studied the conformation of a couple of them while Christine explained what they would look for in an ideal event horse and why.

They have several youngsters who were all very inquisitive and friendly, as well as a stallion who was beautifully behaved and rather striking. It was so lovely of them to show me around and let me meet all of their beautiful horses. They asked me a lot of questions about my studies and what experience I had and where I wanted to go with things in the future. I was very honest with them because one thing I have learned about the equine industry is that people are upfront. You know where you stand with horsey people; they either want to know or they don’t. Fluffing things out, making things up and trying to make things out to be more than are just doesn’t cut it in this world.

So I was perfectly straight with them about the fact that I had absolutely no experience of the competition world, hadn’t done anything horsey until I started college and had very little clue where I was going to go with it for the future. Which meant that when they then offered for me to go up and help out on the yard if I felt like it at any point, I was very surprised. Of course, I jumped at the chance and swapped phone numbers so that I can get in touch and head up. I’d be quite happy just mucking out and doing things around the yard to be honest. It’ll give me extra experience working on a different kind of yard and handling different horses. After talking about that for a while, they also mentioned the possibility of me going with them to a couple of events etc. if it was something I’d be interested in. Interested? Well. Blimey, I nearly bit off their hands. Of course I’d be interested. Every bit of experience I get within the industry will go a long way to help me, and if it involves doing something different like accompanying them to events and helping with that then wow, that’ll be fantastic. Can’t wait!

I’m managing to keep my spirits up at the moment, despite being worried about my family. My Grandpa isn’t improving much apparently. Which is a bit shit. I think everyone is trying to stay very philosophical and rational about the whole thing, when all anyone is really feeling is pretty awful. The trouble is, I find it hard when people get emotional over things like this. I know my Mum is the same; the more other people get upset and emotional and hysterical, the more matter of fact and “yes well that’s life” I am. The world doesn’t stop turning when sad things happen. It might feel like it does, but the truth is, everyone else will be getting on with their lives as normal. Expecting everything to halt at a time of sadness is like shouting at the sky to stop raining.
It doesn’t work.

The only way to get through these things is to look forward and keep your head above the waves that threaten to drag you down. It can be hard though, especially if you’re worried about the people you love. Worried is the wrong word. Because I’m not worried about my Mum. I feel for her though and I want to make things okay for her. It must be absolutely devastating to see your parent in that position of vulnerability. Everyone sees their parents as invincible. No-one ever expects to see their parents fall. It just doesn’t seem possible. I certainly can’t imagine my parents being anything other than strong and healthy and taking on the world one day at a time. I know it must seem backwards, having just said that, for me to want to make things better for my Mum. But I do. I would do anything I could to lift her worries and fears right now.

Alas, miracles are a myth and magic is not real. Real life takes over. We can’t have everything we want. And there is something to learn from every experience, whether good or bad. It can be hard to see that sometimes when things are clouded by emotion. Which they so often are!

Well. That’s quite enough of that. After that outburst, I feel I should move onto something more lighthearted. My grandmother just presented me with a lettuce and announced “supper.”
I have a feeling I may lose weight this winter…

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