Caroline's Blog Post # 2

Patience is Key

So it’s currently February 7th and I am taking one of my first days off weekends off in MONTHS. I haven’t been a good blogger because I’ve been so wrapped up in working, teaching, riding and planning for 2015 that I haven’t had a moment to stop and think about how to form a coherent thought for a blog. My apologies!

Now – what exactly have I learned that’s worth sharing from the past few months? Phew, where to start?

Probably more than anything else, I have learned patience; in teaching, in riding, and with myself. I am a Type-A personality (remember my first post?) and when I work as hard as I do, I expect results to be apparent quickly. This is not always the case, and especially not with horses and students! As you may also remember from my first blog post, teaching has never been something I was confident in doing nor thought that I would be any good at. Time has changed that! In the last couple of months, my patience has been rewarded and I currently have a slew of students and horses that have made A TON of progress!

Hannah & Costly have become softer on the flat and quiet over fences both in the ring and on XC; Emily & Bruno have found a steady, packaged jumping canter; Claire & Dakota have discovered a LOVE for jumping; my youngest students are discovering their balance for posting trot and 2-point position; my oldest student is gearing up for a spring season of BN before a move up to Novice; and my college girls are remembering why they spent so much time at the barn when they were younger. EVERYONE has made so much progress in relatively short periods of time. EVERYONE is excited to work on their homework and work hard in their lessons. EVERYONE is excited to be at the barn and interact with everyone else. It’s awesome. And rewarding; I’ve invested a lot of time and energy (as well as literal blood, sweat and tears) into that barn and the program, and it is so nice to see it all coming together as I knew it could.

Patience is paying off in my riding as well. Theo has clean flying changes both on the flat and in our jump schools. We had some confidence issues at the end of the season due to some body issues he was experiencing. I’ve been battling my own mental demons about whether or not I was going to ruin him completely or be able to build his confidence back up, and I’m happy to say that with some bootcamp lessons from our coach and some seriously hard work on my part, we are back up and ready to tackle our next horse show!

Pepperjack is back in action as well, which is a serious testament to patience after dealing with a tendon tear that rehabbed for the majority of 2014, with no surety that he would ever be sound enough to event again. His first show of the year was…embarrassing, exuberant on his part…dressage proved that we can actually perform nicely but it wouldn’t be a Jack test without Jack movements (see: trotting in place with a head carriage like that of a giraffe..) but showjumping was just…there are no words. I’m sure most people who watched would have said, “Bless his heart, that poor young horse has no idea what he’s doing.” Sigh. The Prelim-wonder sort of lost it in show jumping and while I had hoped that the video would look better than the ride felt, it did not. SO. I picked myself up and said, at least that’s out of the way!

We still have lots of homework to work on, but I can say that in the jump school since that show we have made vast improvements! At least the boarder who saw us schooling said we looked “gorgeous.” I’ll take it! Jack and I went xc schooling as well and while we are still not quite back to where we were over a year ago, we are close and he is game and we HAD FUN! I will continue to be patient and work hard on our homework because I KNOW that my old Prelim pony is still in there waiting to show the world what he can do.

And finally, the past few months have taught me to be patient with myself. Perhaps my trainer/coach/mentor knocked some sense into me with a fairly blunt evaluation of my life: what I’m trying to do vs. what’s a reasonable expectation vs. what isn’t. I appreciate her words of wisdom and really don’t know where I’d be without her sage advice. She may not know the full extent of what she’s done for me, but one of the most important things she has taught me is that I should continue to follow my heart but that while I may want to be in a certain place by a certain time, I should enjoy the journey too. And I have been, and will continue to do so.

I have a lot of exciting things happening this year and I am excited to share them with anybody who wants to hear about them. Big Cheese Eventing is really about to take off with the upcoming show season and I am so grateful for everyone who has helped me get to this point in my life. However, patience is key in being able to cope with all of the exciting changes and growth of my business while also focusing on my horses & students’ progress, and maintaining some semblance of a personal life (ha.ha.ha.). Go Big Cheese!

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