Today is the last day of my job. I start my new one on Monday. It is 3:25am and I am wide awake! It has occurred to me in the last 24 hours that I have handled this major change in my life with flying colors. There was a time in my life when I despised change, and would tend to stay in a bad situation just because it was familiar. This time around I planned for the change, did it on my terms and then embraced it. At 36 years old I am one step closer to becoming a grown up!
I’ve had this week to train the replacement that I hired. I have a ton of confidence in the person taking over my position. I received over 50 resumes in a 24 hour period for what is going to be a part time position. I only interviewed 4 of them, she was number 3 and she proceeded to knock my socks off. Not only is she super organized and is a numbers person (the main focus is accounting), I have the utmost confidence that she will last through day two without crying! I feel that my “special” engineers are in good hands and I can leave them safely behind. I may not even have to change my cell phone number!
My only reservation in the job change has been Grace. The new job will be getting me home later at night, especially since I have decided to ride the bus. The days are just now getting longer, but we still have a few months before it is light enough for me to get a ride in after 6:00pm. I am not a weekend rider. Grace is not a weekend horse. We are also at another breakthrough point in our training, and I don’t want to give her a long period of time off in between rides. While I know it wouldn’t kill Grace to have 5 days off in a row, I am very aware that it might just be the end of me. My horse is my happy place. I rediscover my sanity every time I swing a leg over her back.
I thought I had it all figured out with the neighbor’s indoor arena, but she let me know this week that she isn’t ready to have it open to the public. Something about pending electrical inspections, running lights off an extension cords, fear of electrocution. I could always haul up to Diamond Hill Ranch, but the idea of hooking up the trailer and hauling later at night is not the most appealing to me. There is a constant delicate balance that I practice between work, horse and husband. Getting home from the barn after 9:00pm on a regular basis would most likely throw that off. Besides, I am taking the bus to work to save wear and tear on the truck, not sure that it makes sense to then haul my horse the 5 short miles to the barn every night.
With all this weighing heavily on my mind, I went to my lesson with Sarah last night. Sarah noticed the improvement in Grace as soon as I got on. I showed her what we have been working on and we built from there. It started out great with Grace working over her back and me working her off my leg, but then after 10 minutes we were back into our old cycle. Sarah noticed that I was riding off my hand. I realized that I was only riding off my hand because Grace was no longer responding to my leg. We stopped right there and fixed the problem through a series of exercises that helped me to get Grace off my hand and working back off my leg. I finally felt like I had a clear understanding of how to get this horse trained. I mentioned to Sarah that the work we are doing feels so basic, but it is not something that either Grace or I were ready for in the past. I wondered out loud what it would be like to start a young horse with these methods, working over their back in the correct posture from day one. How much farther along would I be? Sarah was quick to point out that it was only because of the time I had spent with Grace that I was now at this pivotal place. If I had given up on Grace years ago, and replaced her with a horse that would pack me around in my imbalanced body, I would never have grown as a horseman.
It was about this time that it occurred to me that this entire lesson was being done at the walk. Grace’s muscles were starting to tire from working in the new frame. We had reached a major milestone in our training without breaking a sweat. I then had a “light bulb” moment. I could continue to do all this same work at home in the dark. Grace can see at night, we have a safe place to ride, I have a head lamp, why not? I asked Sarah if we could finish the lesson with some groundwork so I would have more exercises to work on at home. The ground work backed up everything we had just done under saddle. We were able to focus on problem areas and came up with exercises to fix them.
I loaded Grace into the trailer even more excited about the new job. I no longer felt limited by the lack of daylight. I am now ready to turn the page and start the next chapter. Bring on the change!