“It’s kind of hard to put a number on it…”
For my riding lesson on Saturday, I was given a new horse. One I’d never ridden before and one fairly new to Holme Lacy. He’s a project horse of Kelly’s, a large beautifully coloured boy with a roman head. Note I say head and not nose deliberately as the rounded shape comes from around his forehead and continues down his face as opposed to just coming out around the nose area. I’d only met him a couple of times, mostly chatting to him when he was panicking in the stable because his buddies were going out without him or some such nonsense. And I’d seen Sonya ride him for all of five minutes before she took him out on a hack. So I had no idea what to expect really. Riding him was certainly not on my list of things I expected!
I wasn’t nervous as such, but I was about 70% sure I wasn’t going to achieve anything with him. After all, if he was there as Kelly’s project to work on and educate, then what was I going to get out of him? Nothing seemed to be the resounding answer in my head to that one. And like I say, statistically speaking I was pretty certain of that. So I got on with this sense of failure before I’d begun. I was happy of course, because now that I’m progressing with my riding again I’m always happy to be sitting on a horse. I was also aware of the fact that I should have worn stretchier breeches. He is not narrow.
When we began, I realised that it was going to be interesting as he was spooking and spinning at things, turning away from the far end of the school and carting me off to the gate. I told him off and fought back as much as I dared, which was significantly less than it would have been with a horse I knew. Each time he spooked, the conviction that I wouldn’t get splatted became less and less and my certainty that there was nothing I could do to achieve any work from this horse rose steadily.
I was relieved, therefore, to discover that I am rubbish with statistics. By the end of the lesson I had not only managed to get some nice soft trot work on both reins but had also achieved a couple of very nice canter transitions with a decent quality canter to follow. He improved and felt better as things went on, but so did I. I was able to focus on trying not to block through the transitions with my pelvis and core, something I have become prone to for some reason. Bad habits tsk tsk. So while I began the lesson 70% sure nothing w0uld come of it and rising from 10-60% certain that I was going to fall off and look like a tit, I ended it about 80% sure that if I rode him again it would be better.
It’s hard to put a number on things sometimes. And perhaps unnecessary, but it can help. Because there are some things one needs to be aware of within oneself. For example, if you were thinking of buying an item of clothing but were 90% sure you’d never wear it once you’d bought it…well it would be a waste of money. Mum always taught me that if I wasn’t 100% certain that it would be something I’d love wearing, then I shouldn’t buy it. Fairly sound advice.
The other day she asked me a hard question. Well, it wasn’t hard for her to ask, only for me to answer. Because I had to think about a lot of things. She asked me “So how much of you wants to go back to Ireland?”
I sat in silence for a while before replying with “ummm…”.
Eloquent doesn’t begin to cover it..
The truth of the matter is that I hadn’t really gone into much thought over it until she asked, because as far as I was concerned in my own head, it wasn’t even an option. After all, I left by choice. What good would it have done me to think about wanting to do something that wasn’t going to be happen? That would be like sitting around waiting for your life to kick start itself and only stupid people do that *coughcough*. So although I am plagued by memories and thoughts and pictures to make me smile and cry, I had pushed the actual thinking side of it to the darkest dusty corner of my head. And then Mum asked the question.
What I told her was the truth. At the moment, just less than 50%. I am sure that it will increase over the coming months, simply because for the past two years I have had that to plan for as we make our way towards the summer. To think of being here for the summer is weird to me. Mum was impressed that the number I put on it was so low. But the other side of it is that the other 60-65% of me just doesn’t have a clue what I want. I don’t know where I want to be, what I want to do. Nothing. Which makes it frustrating to have even a moderate percentage of wanting to do something I can’t. But then that’s the same for the occasional 5% of my brain that thinks I should just bake cupcakes for a living, or the rare 30% that jumps in and suggests I play the lottery because I just might win. I never do play, by the way, but the thought of winning is nice. Or even the times I 100% think I should travel the world despite not having any money.
The only thing I am 100% on is that I like riding and will do it for as long as I am able, as I’ve mentioned before. Statistically speaking I am a total bizarre mess. But I think that goes for just about everyone I know too. That’s what I choose to believe anyway.
Oh, another thing I am 100% sure of? In one week I turn 25. And I do not want to. I’ve been around for quarter of a century. URGH.