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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Day 22 - The importance of riding in your life

While I try not to let my horses run my entire life, well, they kinda do.  I mean, yes, I got to work as a teacher, I take care of my children, I like to read and write, but otherwise everything else is mostly about the horses.  My career was carefully chosen so that I would have time off in the summer to play horses (no lie) and my life (when not at work) revolves around chores and the two year olds nap time!

Riding is important in my life, but even more than that, HORSES are important in my life.  I don't even know what I would do with my time if I didn't have horses.  I think I have a hard time relating to other people because they don't have horses, and while that used to bother me, I have begun to accept it as I nudge towards forty!  ;-)

I don't know if I can adequately describe it in words how horses define me as a person.  It is not a hobby.  It is who I AM.  Horses are as much a part of me as being a woman is a part of me.  Horses challenge me, make me whole, keep me sane, give me confidence, and allow me to be ME.  

I have wondered sometimes why I am the way I am and why I chose the path I did.  There are really only two things I can say with certainty that I can do well: teach and care for horses.  Basically, growing up I was a good student because I liked school and I worked hard.  I found success in the classroom and therefore it seemed like a natural fit to become a teacher.  So when I sometimes stress and think about changing careers, I think to myself what else could I even do? Of course, this is silly, because I am sure I could be successful at something else, but teaching is natural to me (note I didn't say easy but sometimes it can feel that way).

It is the same with horses.  I am not a great rider, and sometimes barely a good rider, but I like it and I work hard.  Same as with education/teaching, I have had success with horses in a variety of ways, so it just fits me.  Again, caring for and riding horses just seems natural to me (and again, not easy but sometimes can feel that way).  Horses give me something to do, something to organize/think about/evaluate on a daily basis.  I need that for my personality.  And there is just something about working with horses that goes beyond making me feel empowered and competent; I don't know what the word might be, but I know without horses in my life, I would not feel complete.

In writing this, it dawned on me that I created an assignment about this very topic for a class I took back in 2012, through the Southern Maine Writing Project, called a Learning Biography.  In my seventeen years of teaching it was by far one of the best professional development experiences ever; we explored ourselves as writers and how to teach writing more effectively, and in the end we earned college credit and the opportunity to become "teacher-consultants".  I chose to do a digital story for this assignment (basically write the essay and then set it to photos), the first I had ever tried (and have subsequently assigned digital stories to my students).  It is called Because I Grew Up With Horses.  Now that I watch it again, it's a little silly and definitely could use better technology skill haha!   Definitely going out on a limb here!  Ah well, I am sure most of you can totally relate to what I am saying.  Enjoy!

*Side note: This was from my previous life, different last name, different farm...

The small child you will see is now thirteen (!!!!).  The husband mentioned is the ex-husband hahahaha!  Horses came long before him and certainly came after him! ;-)



Learning Autobiography from Elizabeth Sanborn on Vimeo.

Comments

  1. such a huge, and important topic. it can be so hard to verbalize *why* we've chosen this lifestyle, and what it really means.... but agreed 100% that without it my life would not be complete. i love the video too. some things change in life.... others? not so much! :)

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I used to sometimes feel weird or awkward about the fact that horses (and my family) take up so much of my life, but now I am just like whatever, I'm happy LOL!

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