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  • Jill

What Keeps You Going?

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

Last week I wrote a post about what’s holding you back. The idea was to identify some of the road blocks we have, so that we can learn how to deal with them, dismiss them, or even eliminate them. Today I want to focus on things that motivate or uplift. What you focus on is what you get more of!

This time of year, I am so done with winter and ready for the warm spring days ahead. Here in Kansas, we seem to be getting teased with the occasional beautiful day followed by winter laughing in our faces with cold windchills and blowing snow. This morning I made my way across a hundred or so feet of paddock with an armload of hay and it felt like miles in the nose numbing gale! It definitely helps me to start focusing on what makes having horses worth it.

The horses themselves (duh)

Sweet Pepper Pony

Okay, so I’ll start by stating the obvious. My horses are my family. So when I start thinking about quitting it feels like giving up on beloved family members. Sometimes all it takes to remind my why I do what I do is the sound of my sweet pony’s whinny. Little Pepper has the cutest, happiest whinny when I have food. And all the rest of them have their own eccentricities. It’s like an episode of “Friends.” You just can’t quite decide which character is more endearing.

My Students Give me that Push

I have some really great students. I’m not just saying that. I have students that really care about what my lessons are all about. They are not just about going to shows and winning ribbons. My students are dedicated, willing to help me, and they want the best for all the horses. They have a great appreciation for what I do. They aren’t rich kids. Their parents work hard for them to be able to ride, and so do they. Some of them work for their lessons. I know that I have students that couldn’t afford to ride at a bigger fancier barn. I do this for them, and they keep me going when they surprise me by grooming my horse so I can ride. They keep me going with big smiles when they accomplish something new. They would do anything for me, and they mean the world to me.

Not Feeling it? Ride Anyway

Maybe this is another no-brainer. And it’s kind of ironic, because the thing motivating me to ride is riding itself. Wait, what? How does that work? Well, it’s something like this. Sometimes I’ve lost all my drive, and I just want to give up. And then someone will spend an hour scraping the mud off my horse so I can ride. How can I say no after all their hard work? So I reluctantly put on my boots and my helmet and climb on. I’ll think to myself, “well, I’ll just get on and mess around. I won’t work on anything.” But then I start trotting, and before I know it I’m immersed in feeling the rhythm, asking for a little flexion at the poll, and getting my horse more through his back. And I want to do it again the next day.

schooling Onyx in the arena

Social Media? Really?

I know, you’re probably thinking I’ve lost it. Social media traps us and keeps us from getting anything done. Yes, it does have that effect. But I know lots of people who post pictures of their horses all over Facebook and Instagram. Just take a look at what your friends are doing with their horses. I frequently see articles in my news feed with riding tips, and I love watching You Tube videos of well known riders. Sometimes that gives me just the inspiration I need.

I’m sure there are other ways to get inspired and stay motivated. These are just a few of my favorites. What are some of yours? Leave them in the comments below.

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