Letting go has been a theme in many of my articles.
In fact it has become a theme in my riding and outside life. One of my greatest weaknesses as a rider, and as a person, was that I couldn’t let go of things. Things that I knew weren’t good for me, or that I couldn’t change.
I have chronic pain, and I have discovered that the only way to ease the pain, is to forgive myself, to be kind to myself, and to forget about yesterday, and tomorrow.
On the horse, there are so many elements we must let go. I have never been a patient person, but this injury has taught me many things, most importantly, about strengths that I didn’t even know I had.
Letting go of the thought “I should already be doing this”, Or “my horse should already be here”, or my position should already be better than this”. Thoughts that don’t help us.
Letting go of people for me is even more difficult. Mainly because I used to be a people pleaser and I worried what people thought of me. I don’t anymore.
A second theme in my articles is on humility and accepting and asking for advice when you need it. I have been accused of doing what people tell me to do, but the truth is I only ever ask advice from the people that I know will tell me what I already know to be true. It sounds strange, but if you have people in your life that you love and trust enough, then what they tell you is typically a reflection of what your own mind has already told you 1000 times.
Bottom line is it’s easy to take advice when you know what advice is coming. Much harder to follow that advice even when you know it to be true.
In dressage, you must trust your trainer, so that the advice they give you, is the advice you believe in.
There are always those “dressage critiques” who will give you advice without you asking, or even hinting at asking, but I just nod, and say thank you. Arguing with those people is fruitless, and you mind as well “save your breathe” as mum used to say.
In dressage, letting go is everything. Letting go of what you can’t control, and learning to reward and cherish the things that you can.
I realised recently, that I am happy with every part of myself. It took me 30 years to get here. But it really is a bloody nice feeling to have. I don’t envy anyone else.
I can’t imagine a better life, and yet I’ll never stop dreaming about what more I could be….
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