There is never enough time to ride horses.
I mean that in a literal way, as in I need more hours in the day.
I also mean that in the sense that there will always be more important/other/more enjoyable things to do. There are many reasons not to ride, such as:
Am just feeling generally useless
Am just not feeling into it
Am worried I’m not going to be any good
Whenever the horse:
Hasn’t been worked
Is too far away across the pasture
There is an endless combination of excuses. And sometimes, the thing that keeps us from riding is the paralyzing fear of failure, the worry that we will do poorly or not live up to expectations. Ironically, perfectionism makes us procrastinate and not do things. There are always people who tell me to take it easy. But here’s the thing - I am naturally very lazy. I know this from a scientific standpoint. Let me explain.
Whenever I stand next to something, I lean on it. Not just when I’m chatting for an hour in a doorway. No, this is when I’m standing in the bathroom for two minutes to brush my teeth. I notice that I can’t even find the willpower to keep myself upright through my own physical volition. No, I have to drape myself across the counter like a damned snake. I am lazy.
I also have at least some self-awareness of my laziness, which is a small saving grace. This means I have to constantly combat my own wicked laziness, which means that most of the time, I can’t give any weight to the aforementioned excuses.
There will always be a reason not to ride. There will always be other, more important things to do. And in the grand scheme of things? Riding a horse isn’t that important.
And there are certainly times when riding a horse really shouldn’t top the priority list. I know there will be plenty of times in my future when I just can’t go ride. I will have to take care of a pet, or a sick parent, or an ill partner. My body might give out. My job might not allow it. My finances might not stand for it. There will be times when I simply can’t ride.
But most of the time, I can. And if I want to get better, if I want it to be easier, if I want to make progress, I have to. Yes, by all means, I try to keep it fun and light and enjoyable. But I have to get my butt in the saddle to make any of it happen.
Sometimes, it’s just a slog. There’s no getting around it. Maybe there are better riders than me, who are more optimistic and bubbly and enthusiastic and full of energy and just all around better, who don’t have those days. Maybe I’m in the minority here.
But for those of you who sometimes feel defeated and flat and just plain tired, I hear you. This is hard. We all get tired. The excuses will always be there.
But when they’re not deafening - just do it anyways. The only path to progress is through the mess of excuses.