Put on your big girl boots and ride.
What does that even mean?
It means: DO what needs to be Done!
Monday night I cowgirled upped.
Three weeks ago Blue Skies, my beautiful paint horse, decided to go bat guano crazy.
Well, not that crazy, but crazy enough. He decided that he no longer wanted to be ridden.
How do I know this?
Every time I rode we would get half way around the arena and BOOM!
Ears flatten. Body tenses.
I get off!
For two weeks I got off and lunged him into a lather.
(To lunge a horse means to run them in circles hoping he would realize that cooperation was a better choice than running in circles. He did not get the memo.)
Half way around -BOOM- he kicks out and I get off.
Monday night, week 3, I called in an expert.
With great trepidation and my instructor present I saddle up to ride.
Half way around ears flatten (his not mine), body tenses, and he bucks until I come to a stop.
BUT THIS TIME IT WAS DIFFERENT.
I did NOT get off.
I stayed on.
Mark, my instructor, was there to talk me through it.
Keep your hands down.
Kick him. Don’t let him stop.
I wanted desperately to get off.
And I preferred getting off on my own terms rather than flying through the air.
I had to choose between two voices.
The voice of experience, my instructor,
or the familiar voice of fear screaming inside my head, “Sell the SOB!”
One hand on the reins and the other gripping the back of by saddle,
I rode Blue Skies through his pissy bucking fit.
And again four times in quick succession.
AND I STAYED ON.
The next time through the pattern Blue Skies minded his manners.
Ears went back but his body did not tense and he did not buck.
It was not nearly as frightening when I was not alone.
It was a contest of wills between me and my horse.
With Mark’s trained eye and encouragement, I won.
There will be more battles before the war is won.
But I have tasted victory and I like it.
Was it scary?
No, it was terrifying!
Did I want to stop?
Were those tears of fear or tears of victory running down my face?
What does this have to do with art making and the business of art?
EVERYTHING! Ramalamadingdong! I STAYED ON!
I rode my horse.
I got off my horse WHEN and WHERE I wanted to get off.
I did not go flying through the air. I RODE THROUGH IT!
And, looking back, it was not so bad. (It was significantly bad during.)
I could not have safely navigated the ride without an experienced coach.
And that is the tie-in. For several years now I have navigated my art career alone. It was not safe. When the ride got scary I got off and ran around in circles!
Zip. Zero. Nada. NO FORWARD MOTION!
Earlier this month I hired a coaching team.
We will be working online several times a month setting and achieving goals.
It is dangerous to ride alone.
From the top of a bucking horse it is difficult to evaluate how precarious the ride truly is.
An experienced trainer on the ground instructing can take in the entirety of the situation and offer advice as to when to hang on and when to bail.
It is still my ride. I am still the one sitting in the saddle, but I have a new perspective.
When I am paralyzed with fear I now have a team to talk me through the fear.
Steady on the reins.
Keep moving forward.
Could I do this on my own?
Apparently not or else I would have already done it.
If you are an encouraging voice and would like to ride along with me the newsletter is just right for you.
When you hear of someone who might be in the market for art that will reflect their hearts and look great with their sofa, tell them about the website https://gwenmeharg.com/.
Family. Friends. You never know who might know someone whose life could use a dose of beauty and hope. I am a “more, the merrier!” kind of gal.