Horses are kinda funny. Mom and I talked about the whole project horse deal and decided it would be best for me to just spend that time and energy on McKinna, as noted before. Especially since I'm joining Pony Club and will have ratings to occupy my time (since I am incurably competitive).
So what happens?
Mom just *happens* to be looking at Craigslist (which she never, ever looks at), and just *happens* to see a posting for a horse nearby who's basically exactly what I'd described. Young, Appendix, cheap, good personality, no vices, ridden on trails.
I mean, come ON. Seriously? Why is it that just when you decide you don't want a horse, ONE FALLS IN YOUR LAP?
We emailed the folks -- I couldn't pass it up, and I did some calculations and I can definitely afford it if I work enough hours (the deal is that this second horse is all mine: I buy it, I support it, and the like). Still haven't heard anything back from them. Which is definitely going to be a rule on the How To Sell Your Horse Series -- if someone emails you about your horse, especially less than an hour after you post the ad, CHECK YOUR EMAIL.
If they never respond, I won't be heartbroken. I figure either way I'm in a good place. If they respond, I get a horse for a screaming deal and sell her this summer (theoretically). If they don't respond, I'll just shove all that money in savings and buy a horse sometime later. Win/win!
Not much to update on the McKinna front. She's doing well, I miss riding, etc etc etc.
On to the third and final part!
Okay, remember how I said you need to leave your problems at the door to have consistent emotions? That's really, REALLY important. If you remember this one concept, it can help you make or break your season. If you can get your band to understand this concept, boy do you have it made.
Think of it this way: your negative emotions are like rocks you carry around with you. Stressed because you have a big test tomorrow and you didn't study? Rock. Had a big argument with your parents last night? Rock. Your best friend's cousin's dentist's daughter was flirting with the guy you like? Rock. You're just having a plain awful day and nothing seems to be going right? Rock. You're really tired, and you'd rather be at home than at stupid rehearsal? Rock. Work sucks? Rock.
Imagine carrying all those rocks around on your back while you're trying to rehearse. Or ride your horse.
You will never be effective if you carry those rocks with you while you're trying to get something accomplished. How on earth do you think you could march your show and play your instrument with forty pounds of rocks on your back? How do you think you could conduct with that much weight on you? Could you effectively work with and ride your horse if you were weighed down by so much stone? No. And if you can't drop your emotions, you are crippling yourself in the same way.
I don't care if you want to pick your rocks right back up again as soon as you're out the door -- that's fine. But you MUST leave them behind when you step onto your rehearsal field, when you step into the stable. Both large groups of people and horses are so sensitive to things like that, and I promise they will be able to tell if you can't separate the crap of everyday life from the time you spend working with them.
It can be really hard sometimes. I've had to run rehearsal knowing that my wonderful, amazing Golden Retriever was going to be euthanized the next day because of his cancer. I've had to smile at my band and speak inspirationally to them when I'm on the verge of a breakdown because I'm overwhelmed with schoolwork. I've had to ride my horse when I'm having such a bad day that all I want to do is curl up in bed and sleep. But it can be done, and it's worth doing.
If you do it right, you get to the point where you don't have to work as hard to drop it at the door. For me, the barn is a safe haven now. I step out of the car and automatically take a deep breath as I walk into the stable. I can feel myself calming down and relaxing as I meet my horse, and 99 times out of 100 it puts an instant smile on my face. No matter what's going on, I know that while I'm out at the barn, I'm in control; I'm enjoying myself and the partnership I have with my horse. Even if I'm frustrated with something else, I am able to let that go when I ride, simply from force of habit. Much the same, I find that sometimes I would go into rehearsal having a bad day and knowing that I needed to put that aside for my band -- but by the time rehearsal was over, I was actually having a good day.
Your horses and your band will KNOW if you've brought emotional issues to the table. It complicates things, it raises tensions and it's unfair to you and your band or horse. No matter how hard it seems, you need to leave your rocks behind: drop it at the door. Fake it if you have to. Pick everything back up again as soon as you leave if you have to. But to achieve the consistency that you need for a positive, amazing relationship, your emotions must be consistent and tension-free.
Leave your problems at the door.
Drop your rocks. It's liberating, I promise.
On Falling Short
2 hours ago