This past year, in particular, has brought about some significant changes in my thinking and an almost end to the endurance branch of the trail entirely. But, try as I might to write the post that releases me from my commitment to pursuing endurance with Nimo, I cannot do it. There are some very valid reasons for me to move on to other things. I'd love to spend more time working on driving with Nimo and take away some of the pressure to condition out on the trails. I even tried out my "So, I'm not doing the whole endurance thing anymore" with a few close friends and my husband. My husband's reaction was the one that surprised me the most. I really thought he would look relieved, and think, if not say, how it would be nice not to have me gone so much on the weekends for riding. But instead, he looked almost disappointed when I told him. I explained I would have more time to spend with our daughter on the weekends so he could get more breaks from the childcare role. And he told me that I shouldn't be worried about it and that he was fine with all the time he spends with her and that I shouldn't be quitting endurance for that reason. That was kind of a big "wow!" moment for me. I had assumed he was growing internally increasingly bitter with all the time I was away and the increase in responsibility he had for caring for our daughter. But it turns out that was all in my head. And it definitely made me reconsider my decision. (Note to self: Talk to husband more than 5 minutes a day and discuss things other than the child's bathroom habits and what we need at the grocery store.)
Especially because I discovered that without the next endurance ride looming in my future, my motivation starts to wither away. There is so much that the world of endurance has to offer and it constantly challenges my thinking about feeding, nutrition, hoof care, saddle fit, communication, and fitness (for horse and rider) that I have found that I cannot yet live without that challenge, even if all we are doing is really low level intro rides. Not to mention that I love so many of the endurance bloggers and riders in the community.
And so, I do plan to stick with at least a little endurance (is that even possible?) during the upcoming year. I also plan to continue the Science of Motion work with Nimo and I'm taking yet another class (this one focused on bodywork) to expand my knowledge of the equine body. I hope to publish some more posts about nutrition and at least learn more, even if I don't develop any conclusions.
But most importantly, I will continue to blog. There was a time earlier this year when I thought about giving it up because of the time it takes, and if you are a regular reader, I'm sure you noticed my posts were few and far between for a significant part of the year. As I discovered this month, though, blogging is one of the most helpful things I can do to keep me motivated and in pursuit of knowledge. In fact, I wish I had blogged more during the time when I was really struggling with how to proceed because it might have helped me figure out the right path, or at least get some encouraging words from my readers (you are simply amazing and never cease to impress me with your knowledge and kindness and support!).
I started out 2016 with a post called A Changed Mind. I am in a completely different place now than I was when I wrote that post, but the idea behind it is still so, so important to me. I want to continue to learn and write and think and experiment and keep my mind open to endless possibilities. I have a wonderful horse, a wonderful family, and a wonderful network of friends and fellow riders, and all I can hope is that 2017 brings lots of new ideas and changes:) I wish all of you an amazing new year!
|A random picture from April that I took out at the barn. The light was so beautiful that night and I don't think I ever posted the picture. It reminds me of a happy night with Nimo:)|