Transformation & Change 2022
Here are some thoughts, highlights, and changes I experienced last year, especially pertaining to my equestrian and professional worlds. Please enjoy and stay tuned! If you are interested in learning more about any or all of the material covered, please feel free to respond to this email with your questions and curiosities. I will orient subsequent posts in the direction of your wonderings.
This has been a year of inner transformation for me. In 2021 I moved Wonder, my trusty equine partner, to a non-show barn where we reconnected in an organic and horse-centric world. He learned to trail ride, do basic ground work, and generally live in his own skin according to the seasons and to the needs of our evolving relationship. In the midst of this we met a trainer who brings a feminine approach to riding and training that resonated with both Wonder and me. Magic happened when Wonder and I relearned to ride in a relaxed and authentic fashion. Each stride became a pearl in a linkage of movements that made up the session. The overload of stress chemicals that had emerged after an injury shifted to ease and pleasure. Riding became my refuge from the outer world, allowing me space to reset mentally and build physically.
Wonder and I found our way back to the show ring in the jumpers. Although we were successful, the chemicals in my body when competing in jumpers no longer felt comfortable
to me so I thought maybe it was time to retire. But this “feminine” approach to training that entails focus on basics, using the body to communicate with the horse gently, and slowing the entire roll so that both horse and rider feels calm and connected, changed my intentions. I am back in a flow with riding again with a renewed focus on connection rather than outcome. This renewal will manifest with Wonder and me exploring hunters and equitation in 2023. Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?!
In the midst of my equine life changes, I have committed more seriously to integrating bits of the Ayurvedic lifestyle systems into my life, especially pertaining to daily rhythms and eating patterns. This process guided me to waking early each day before the sun and exploring the 1 hour and 57 minutes of deeply creative time before dawn. In these darkest minutes I found the energy and commitment to renew my writing practice. I wake, make hot water, do some stretches, open my writing document or journal and see what happens next. The stories from my relationships with horses throughout my life are surfacing and the writing flows freely so far.
Professionally, my practice has been large and steady as well as deeply intimate and inspiring. I have recently received professional development in the neurobiology of attachment and mindfulness for anxiety as well as a course in ADHD in women. As a life learner, I regularly read and listen to books as a way to stay current with the industry. In the consulting room (in person or remote), I am always moved by the intricacies of peoples’ memories when it comes to revisiting challenging situations in order to imagine ways they can make change in the future. I continue to be endlessly fascinated by stories of life, love, performance, and connection.
On the equestrian front of my practice, I have developed a wonderful new system for working with riders at shows remotely. This has allowed me to support riders all over the country in an on-call basis when desired. Overall, the experience for athletes has been favorable as the act of setting intentions and establishing clarity in mind-body connection first thing in the morning and taking a few minutes throughout the day as needed to consult with me trains the brain to take a moment before reacting, analyzing, or emoting. This translates to intentional focus when under the pressure of competition.
As for 2023, my biggest intention is to keep the flow from last year. I will be at Desert International Horse Park for the first two weeks in February with Wonder and working with clients concurrently. The rest of the show calendar is unclear so far but I am sure I will be at some shows here and there. If you are interested in learning more about my work with individuals and athletes or have questions of any kind, reach out. I welcome connections of all kinds.
My current mantra is: Water, if you don’t stir it becomes clear.
My reset question: What is essential?
Happy New Year to you and yours!
PS: I got my smile back for the winter holidays after 20 months of braces!