Finding the Distance – An AHA Moment
“Finding the Distance” is a term used in the equestrian jumping world that indicates that perfect area found in front of a jump for the horse to depart and jump the effort before them. I have always related that term to my life and often made remarks that it would be the name of my book, if I ever wrote one. Finding the Distance…. how that so describes life on a day to day basis and is an essential part of my riding as well.
Finding the Distance…. I have enlisted this in my personal life. As we all struggle through the course of life, it is how we can find “the Distance” in life, that perfect area of launching yourself into or in some cases over obstacles in your life. Finding the “flow”, the perfect pace and rhythm to each obstacle and having the perfect balance and style and confidence to reach the other side. So this became my AHA moment today. I was riding my super horse Cody and I thought why I am spending so much time riding and training? Is it because I want to have FUN? What is fun? And then I realized that it is accomplishing a goal, reaching beyond what you think you deserve and putting yourself in a place to really achieve …… yes, in some terms… greatness.
I have been holding myself back. Since I began riding some 40 years ago, I always wanted to be the best. I always believed I was the best. And it worked… I won… many times over and then after my attempts to make the 1992 Olympics… I came up with the conclusion that I was done… at 28, I was done chasing a dream… Now don’t get me wrong… making an Olympic team is expensive and takes a lot of support and not to mention having everything in alignment to get there….. What I want is my attitude back…. the one that had me stepping into the ring and riding to win not my attitude now which is riding not to make a mistake. Riding for “fun”. Well…. I know I am better than that and my horse deserves more than that… so the AHA moment is that I am going to begin riding to win…. to take all my experience and all my horses talent and go out and win.
Ultimately, it is not making a team that counts it is the attitude and joy achieved from stepping into the ring and holding nothing back. I know now this must be done in order for me to have FUN. I am proud I have a horse who is an American TB… born in Ocala and bought by me as a two year old. I am proud he gives me every ounce of commitment when I get on his back and I am proud of the training we both have put in to progress to where we are today. Proud I produced him and proud I did not have to buy one already at the upper levels. While we are miles away from Advanced, we are beginning to show the raw talent and determination that that goal is obtainable. Finding the distance…. yes… this is what we are doing.