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2021 Reflecting

I have been experimenting with keeping my life simplified, focused, and rhythmic instead of being super busy all the time. Hence, my lack of blog posts over the past year. But now in the quiet of the shortest days I am compelled to reach out and share some musings from the year.

I spent the winter between my home-office in Petaluma, CA and our remote cabin in Pope Valley, CA working with clients remotely and chipping away at a long-term writing project. When home in Petaluma I rode Wonder every day. After getting vaccinated in the spring, I ventured out to a horse show at Paso Robles Horse Park and had a blast getting back in the ring with my trusted Wonder.

After 4 clear rounds, I was inspired to commit to a full Sonoma Horse Park summer season. But alas, in June I made an indecisive move galloping to an oxer, confusing Wonder and causing us to part ways. My plans went splat just as my tush hit the ground! A simple miscommunication tore my groin and bruised my pelvis leading me to a long, slow recovery.

I have spent much or my professional life exploring and investigating peak performance and pivotal moments so I am well versed in the ways in which life can shift in an instant. It is hard to tell that a pivotal moment has occurred in life unless it is reinforced with an external marker like a championship or an event like a new baby, house, relationship, job, or success.

This year I was reminded that pivotal moments also come through disappointment and even physical pain. My injury led me to some soul searching and I realized that I needed a break from all of this external focus and competition. Although I was able to ride by September, I was far from competition ready -- both physically and mentally.

In this acceptance phase, I realized I needed to leave the show barn where I had trained for 10 years to give myself time to heal and reinvent myself. Wonder and I packed up and moved out to a beautiful, remote Marin valley ranch. Acceptance gave way to independence and a deeper relationship between Wonder and me. Now in the last days of December, I am deeply enjoying cold and sometimes misty rides that are all about quiet time together connecting, not about striving.

Ultimately, I have gotten off the show circuit – at least for now! I am loving this shift, but I also miss the intensity of shows and training. I am learning that there is a balance between goal-oriented riding and relationship based-riding. Both are wonderful and I am grateful to be on this spectrum, pondering a plan for 2022 that combines the two.

Imagining into 2022

• Release stress about needing to know!

• Return to the rhythm.

• Know that horses/pets are not always in my life for their forever so embrace equine love gently.

• Continue working on the book that I started years ago.

• Integrate work with regular doses of mountain biking, riding Wonder, and down time.

• Keep studying and sharing my findings through my work.

• Keep meditating, eating clean, and training the pup.


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