Monday, September 8, 2014

Thinking, that's all

Had plenty of time to think this weekend, flying across the country, sitting in DC traffic, waiting for wedding things to happen (do wedding events ever occur on time??).

Chihuly exhibit at Denver's botanical gardens.  I am so out of horse pictures
I can get very horse philosophical and like to perform state of the union mental exercises about my relationship with Fawkes.  Problematic over thinker, table for one.  But crazy lady or not (yeah, the former), I personally believe every relationship can benefit from some thought about how it is going.

Generally, Fawkes and I get along pretty well.  I think our biggest flaw is that we are too similar.  We are both irritable types and Fawkes is definitely an over thinker as well.  We are pretty good at freaking each other out.  One of us spooks at something and the other follows suit.

The best way I have found to summarize our relationship is my 90/10 explanation.  Which is that in 90% of the ways that count, Fawkes and I are an excellent pair.  We fit together well physically, we make a good team, we usually communicate effectively, etc.  But the, that 10% kills us.  I wish Fawkes would cover for me a little more over fences, and well, I would guess Fawkes feels the same way about me.  We don't have the best trust in each other.  I don't fully trust him to go over a fence and he clearly doesn't trust me enough to just jump the things I point him at.

Pretty flowers too
This leads to the issue of us making progress to a point (when the 90% goodness is dominant) and then crashing and burning and going back to square one when the 10% of badness takes over.  I have repeatedly asked trainers, friends, observers, and hell possibly random strangers if we just aren't a good match.  Or maybe I am not a good enough rider to bring out his best.  The feedback is always the same, that I am good enough to ride him and we are well matched.  But I have trouble internalizing that as truth.

Clearly it is hard for me to be objective, but I don't think there is anything super flawed with him as a horse and I know I am not an awful rider.  So why do we struggle to make consistent progress?  It has been almost three years.  While we have jumped up to 3'3" and done well at our few shows, it can always so easily come apart.  And then it takes a long time to get back to where we were.

Sometimes it stops being fun and I lose motivation.  Having trail rides taken away this summer due to the VS outbreak hasn't helped.  Riding can become just another chore.  I feel so unfaithful to my teenage self who would have done absolutely anything to have more chances to ride when I feel like I *have* to go ride Fawkes.  Another obligation.  I occasionally get asked why I don't sell him if I still have doubts, and that is certainly a possibility I have considered.

Blue flamingo glass?  Awesome
But I don't think I am ready to let him go.   I hope it isn't sheer stubbornness.  Realistically, I am not sure what kind of future he would have: under 16 hand cribber who is spooky and doesn't have a problem quitting at fences....who can also jump the frickin moon and is a hunter dream with snappy knees, clean changes, and a face that every judge loves.  I feel like either he wouldn't sell at all or could end up in a bad situation.  That isn't all that stops me though I have trouble articulating the other reasons.  I guess I just feel like our story isn't over yet.  Time will tell how that pans out.

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