My Blogging pal Amy over at AWIP wrote a post called "They show us who we are..." True to Amy's brilliance the peace was wonderfully written and it really started me thinking.........
Pippi has taught me so much, and as Amy stated, we horse people tend to feel really connected to our horses and want to make them proud. In my case I want to live up to Pippi's expectations of me, in every way. Miranda has done such a wonderful job training Pippi for the two of us, and Pippi is always ready and able to work. I should be the same; Able & Ready!
The "Able" part has several components. Taking lessons and practicing being the foundation, but there is so much more to it. Pippi is in tremendous shape, even though Miranda is in a cast. Let's face it; that just meant Miranda would ride bareback, jump lower fences and not compete. It did not mean Pippi was not worked as Miranda, who takes her equine responsibilities quite seriously, has been riding just about the whole time.
But what about me? Am I as physically fit as Pippi? Hardly!! But riding has inspired me to stay more fit, and to muscle up a bit. I need a stronger core to hold my positions in ways that helps Pippi. That is my part of the equation, be fit enough to stay out of the way when on Pippi's back. I need to learn the techniques and have the fitness to carry them out properly.
The "Ready" part is a bit more abstract as it involves a lot of noggin' work. Knowledge and attitude is key.
I need to learn how horses move, what makes them, and Pippi in particular, tick and learn. Plus, I need to learn more about proper care, health and diet for Pippi to be a responsible human companion to her. (this will be a lifelong education I am sure) Beyond that I just need to keep my head on straight, and make sure that I am mentally prepared and willing to give Pippi my whole attention. She deserves nothing less than my best. She is after all, literally carrying me on her back, and doing intricate, physically demanding skills for my amusement. Sure, she enjoys it too, but riding her is her way of paying us back for the grain, hay and tlc we shower upon her. We ask a lot of her, and she delivers. I should do the same.
These areas bleed into my non-barn life. Since I started riding, I feel more alive and ready to take risks in all areas of my life. I feel tougher, and just a little bit Bad Ass. And I like it. I really do!