learning to tell the story

So I’m a bit behind…I owe you guys three run write-ups, a 26k from Jan, a 35k from Feb, and a half marathon from this past weekend. The 26k was awesome, was just waiting on the forensic evidence pro photos…but the 35k was not-as-good…and those are the stories I struggle to tell.

I’ve come to the realization I have a habit of either skipping the bad stuff, or giving it a footnote mention. Mainly because I’m not sure how to talk about it. Especially when it comes to endurance and the horses.

Some things don’t make the blog because they fall under the header of “personal” or “can’t do anything to change it so not going to complain/talk about it.” And other things…I don’t know. Sometimes it’s due to diplomacy (especially under the topic of “Other Peoples’ Horses”) and politics  and politeness and being raised to not air my dirty laundry to an unsuspecting public.

But the badder times on my own pony? I dunno. I realized I’ve never gone into major detail of any of my “pull” rides with her. Maybe because I was usually in a funk afterwards and didn’t feel like revisiting them…or maybe because I didn’t want to be judged/criticized/scoffed at.

And that’s a mindset I need to change…maybe I coulda/shoulda/woulda done something different…or maybe there was nothing I could have done to change an outcome…but they’re all learning experiences, for better or for worse, and ultimately deserve their time in the spotlight. Maybe I screwed up…and maybe someone will learn something from it. (Or it’ll at least serve as a Reminder To Self.)

I’m not out to detail every blip or detail of my day (my life isn’t that exciting/interesting, for one), and some things, due to the aforementioned reasons of diplomacy/politics/politeness, are better left for private conversations, but I think I can do a better job of learning to tell the story — the good and the bad — and embracing the learning experience.

Sometimes I wish I had been blogging back when I first started distance riding. I sort of did, in a way — a personal journal, the sort that will never see the light of day — but I would have liked to have a more detailed record of some of my earlier rides. I have photos, and I have vet cards, and generally a “best of” highlights reel that plays in my head, but it’s only been in the last few years I’ve started doing really detailed ride stories (mostly for my benefit, because I enjoy writing them, as well as for future reference…and I know how much I enjoy reading others’ ride stories).

a waaaaay before blogging moment…Mimi and I at the POA
World Show in Spanish Fork, UT, July 2002…our last show ring
hurrah, and the final events/points needed to get her Supreme
Championship in the POA registry.

So that’s my task…I’ve got the stories…now I need to tell them. :)

blog-iversary

So I sort of let the blog’s anniversary (8 years as of April 23!!!) slip on past with little-to-no fanfare…

Most of the time it doesn’t seem like I’ve been blogging that long. Probably because I am inconsistent, not at all prolific, and sometimes goes for chunks of time running radio silent, or with one post a month. And then I go do something radical like this month and give you three posts in a row.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a ton to talk about, especially now. I don’t have my pony in my backyard to talk about her daily antics, or even close enough by to justify frequent trips to the barn just to see her. Would love to…but a barn that’s 25+ miles one way means that’s just not practical. And when I do ride…there’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about another round of arena circles.

I know things will change…this is just another “season” in life…but in the meantime, it means I’m a bit uninspired right now. But the silver lining of the whole thing is that it is giving me a chance to do things like spend time with my boyfriend and explore some non-horsey pursuits, and put a lot of time into my puppy during this critical and impressionable age of turning her into a good canine citizen.

boating out on Saguaro Lake last weekend…an area with
a lot of my favorite riding trails as well

lots of playtime with the puppy…
Artemis is just over seven months old now and
turning into an awesome companion dog

The biggest obstacle to my being a really good blogger is my inherent lazy streak. (This is my biggest obstacle in writing, period. That, and my tendency to overthink.) Or lack of good subject material. (Okay, not that there’s ever truly a lack of good material when it comes to horses and endurance, but right around the time I think,”I should do a blog post,” I can’t think of anything to write about.)
I can appreciate that blogging has made me a better photographer in that I try to take more photos. One of my big regrets of my early years in distance riding was I didn’t have a camera, or was too busy just trying to stay alive that I couldn’t be bothered to take photos. When I’m busy actively riding, I have very little faith in my ability to handle reins, camera, horse, and staying in the saddle all at the same time…I want a helmet cam.
I do wish I had done a better job of tracking and logging information from the start, though. I would love to know how many hours and training miles I’ve logged on Mimi over the last 13 years (we started conditioning in the summer of 2001). Lesson learned: I will attempt to do a better job of tracking things with the next horse(s). Even if I’m too lazy to bother with computer programs, a large handwritten calendar should do the trick.
So I never thought I’d make it this long with blogging…I’m notoriously bad at sticking with/finishing anything…so for me, that’s doing pretty good. Guess I’ll keep on keepin’ at it…
Mimi and I on “mini Cougar Rock”
Desert Forest NATRC March 2007
Wickenburg, AZ
photo by Ray Brezina