by: Jessica Wright
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
It’s the Futurity season! Right about now, aged event riders all over the country are counting the days until whichever futurity they are entered in starts. I am, too! This year, my horse is super talented, if somewhat green and immature. On the best days, three year old horses are still adolescents. It’s a bit like being a middle school teacher. I watch my husband year after year school the babies getting ready for their debuts. They have good days, they have bad days. My husband, after so many years and so many horses, knows how to guide that up and down flow towards a specific destination, responding minute by minute to what presents itself while keeping the big picture and end goal in mind. It’s called feel.
There’s two things to remember in this kind of process. One, it’s good to keep the horizon in sight. There will be days when your horse feels like it forgot everything it knew yesterday, and wants to be back in the pasture grazing. Not every day is going to feel like you can win the world. If we think our horse can and should perform at 110% capacity every time we ride him, we are going to be disappointed, and we are also going to run the risk of burning that horse out physically and mentally. If we get caught up in the moment, thinking only of the importance of the performance this very moment, we will never be satisfied. Accept where you are and where your horse is at this moment while keeping your eye on that horizon. Don’t grow weary, but keep working systematically at doing what you do, and in due time, you will reap a harvest.
Two, don’t forget to look in the rear view briefly now and then. The horizon is a good focal point, but remember the horizon never gets any closer. Glance back once in a while and gage your progress from where you began. This will also prevent you from losing heart or demanding too much or too little. Be flexible and willing to be invested in the moment you are in, without being consumed by that moment. Be able, while in the moment, to keep your eye on the prize. Do everything you do with the mindful awareness that everything you do has a consequence, (This is called cause and effect!). Do things that are in alignment with your goal. Above all, don’t forget that what you do in every moment counts when added up with all the other moments.
These principles are for your journey with horses, and also for living life. That is why Paul had to remind the Galatians not to grow weary in the day to day process of living while looking at the horizon. There will be days when you are tempted to chuck it all in the wastebasket or hang it up. There will be days you will have to avoid getting so caught up in the moment that you take your eye off the harvest that will come in due time. Sometimes you will feel as if you are stuck in molasses, or even going backwards! Yet time comes, ever marching. The seeds you plant and water will germinate and mature.
If you are headed out to the barn today to ride your horse, even if you don’t have a futurity horse, think about these things. Don’t grow weary in the process of learning and growing. It’s not always a straight line or an even road. If you keep your horizon in sight, and put one foot in front of the other, you can trust that you will get where you are going. God bless, and happy riding!
Jessica Wright, wife of Cutting and Reined Cowhorse trainer Don Wright, is an AACC Certified Christian life coach, autho, and horse enthusiast. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org