Monday, January 13, 2020

Three Years of Annie


Two days late, but better late than never!

January 11th marked three years of ownership, and most importantly, partnership with Annie!

As my very first green horse, I didn't really understand what I was getting into at the time, and while I may have made some glaring mistakes and poor choices, I've learned so much about bringing up a young horse and the expectations we put on ourselves and our horses.

First ride together, January 11th 2017.
I learned how to become more "zen" and focus on our own journey, rather than the stigma of time and training. Realizing that each horse is an individual, and each rider has their own inner demons to face - something that is lacking in the equestrian world by far.

I was humbled many times over and persevered through disappointment and frustration - crying many tears in the process! Acknowledgement of my weak points mentally as a rider had me realizing that perhaps my expectations were not aligned with Annie's capabilities. I grew as a rider, not in physical skills, but psychologically and spiritually in ways I didn't quite understand as it happened.

Annie: stressed
Me: humbled
(2017)
Annie is an interesting mare by far - one side is very calm, collected and docile... while the other side oozes anxiety, misinterpretation, and frustration. She can be her own worst enemy at the best of times, especially in show settings. It has taken me many times over to learn that "fighting" back or getting involved is the wrong answer, and this simply heightens her frustration and anxiety.

It has taken a long time to not only recognize "going Zen" is the only way to ride this mare when she is upset, but to embody that mantra wholly and unapologetically. I think the first time I actually felt this in real life practice under pressure of my own was during our freestyle at the BVX. It was such a freeing feeling (despite the fact I had a lead changing maniac beneath me, aha) and I held fast to that feeling for the remainder of the weekend. When I dismounted, sure, I was disappointed, but I never let that feeling anchor itself in the saddle with me as we went around.

Summer of 2019
The last three years have been all about growth, and I can't imagine having any other horse to have had taught me that. The process of working with a young, underexposed horse showed me just how important a functional relationship is, and reminded me that professional help and guidance is never a bad thing. It threw me back, full force, into lesson strings and clinics and shows... I rejoined several friends ring-side and the memories made wandering the Northern forest, or travelling to clinics with a truck full of horsey girls are times that will be etched forever in my memory as some of the best times aboard this mare.

There is a strong allure to the quiet times too, though, and I have appreciated the down-time that Annie and I have shared. The times we wander quietly through brush and forest cover on our own, never speaking a word aloud, but drinking in the stillness of the world and allowing the rhythmic sounds of footfalls on the dirt-ridden Earth to lull our minds and bodies in sync like the effortless movement of a metronome.

The best ears to be behind.
As we begin yet another year, I am looking forward to what is yet to come - the continuation of a partnership, the further embodiment of the Zen Ninja lifestyle, the laughs ringside with friends, and of course, the quiet moments on our own.



Happy Three Year Annie-versary.




25 comments:

  1. Happy Annie-versary!!!! You two have done and grown so much together in just three years!

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    1. Time flies!!

      Thank you for your kind words!! <3

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  2. On one hand I can't believe it's been three years already, on the other hand you've got so much accomplished in such a short time!

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    1. In some ways, it feels like I've had her forever, but in others it seems like just yesterday haha!!

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  3. Ok, i'm not crying, you're crying!

    But seriously, YOU have grown SO much even just in the past year to year and a half, and I attribute so much of Annies progress to how hard you have worked on yourself. So proud of you <3

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    1. <3 <3 <3

      So thankful to have had you on this journey with us!!

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  4. How can it be three years already?! You should be proud of how far both of you have come. You have created a mare that many would be happy to own.

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    1. Right?! It feels just like yesterday I brought her out of the trailer.

      Time really does fly!

      Thank you Teresa <3

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  5. I can't believe it's been three years already!! <3

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  6. So much more to come in the next three years!

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    1. That's the hope :)

      More adventures and more fun!

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  7. Zen Ninja - LOL - Love it! What a journey you two have been on - here's to more adventures ahead!

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    1. The whole mantra changed my riding life!!

      And I cannot wait for more adventures :)

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  8. Happy Annie-versary to you!! I am amazed as well it has been 3 years!! I must have started following you right after you got her :) You guys are going to rock it this year!

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    1. Thank you!
      Yes, I think you did! It's been awesome having you along for the ride!!

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  9. aw i love this <3 you've really come so far with her!! so much to be happy about and proud of!!

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    1. SLowly but surely we're making our way :)

      Onwards to the next wonderful year!!

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  10. Happy annie-versary!!! It's been so fun to watch your journey on here.

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    1. Thank you :) It's been so awesome having so many people watching and cheering us on <3

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  11. Happy Annie-versary. I love watching all of your improvements, struggles, and adventures.

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