Are you having fun?
My husband asks me this from time to time after I come home from the barn. I try not to do too much “horse talk” around him, but perhaps I should tell him more about how things are going.
Back to the question.
It’s hard to put into words the feeling when your stingy horse generously decides to become a piaffing machine or offer quality well beyond what you ask for. I know HE’S having fun—but am I?
Unlike the adrenaline rush that my jumping compatriots have, dressage lends itself better to a deep joy and quiet satisfaction. I wouldn’t live WITHOUT those moments—for sure. They are what keep me coming back to the barn, day after day, spending 3-4 hours sitting in traffic just to experience them, yet again.
I’m a fairly lazy rider and don’t like the feeling of working hard in the saddle, with aching abs and sweat pouring down my face, so unlike my gym-junkie friends, burning muscles is NOT what keeps me coming back.
I come back because it is easy. It is joyful. And there is a certain grace about it that pulls me in.
It is not more fun than a barrel full of monkeys. Sure, there are times when I laugh. But most of the time, it is my soul’s equivalent of sitting back and drinking in the last of the tropical sunset, watching the sea turtles play in the surf, with a glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice in hand.
There is not much better than that.