38. Treading Water?

Blog 38 – “Treading Water?”

Lola and Filly at home last year
After agonising at length, once I had left the School of Légèreté I had an overwhelming feeling of relief.  I was no longer contracted to train on specific dates or going to be “judged” for progression as perceived by someone else.  I could choose to train with whom I wanted when I wanted and “progress” as it suited me and my girls. 

Historically I had always had a “next thing” to move on to, a new project or goal and clients, while supportive of my decision to leave, understandably wanted to know what my plans were now.  But I didn’t have one and this was a new for them and it was new for me.  

Initially I felt as if I should be something else, this is one of the reasons I went to STAL and I attended a couple of other dismounted courses too, all of which were useful but were not things I wanted to explore in greater depth.  

I’m not ruling out the possibility of this happening at some point in the future, but I’m not actively searching for the next thing.  

I’m certainly not saying that I’m done learning, that I know everything I need and want to know about horses, riding, or coaching but I am yet to stumble upon one specific area that I want to pursue. 

I continue to explore the infinite possibilities within clicker training and look forward to shared learning with Alex Kurland, but Alex has always encouraged her learners to be self-directed and understands that my preferred “look and feel” is very different to hers. 

Me "Daft Mare" and Max ready for my brother's 40th Star Wars Party
Freeing time I historically invested in regular training means that I am more able to participate in and assist with the lives of my husband, children, siblings, and my in-laws and parents as the parent/child roles gradually evolve into becoming (somewhat at this stage) reversed.

Thankfully new clients find their way to me, somehow and in spite of the fact that I am not actively competing or training – and long may this last (please!)  

I have my existing client-base to thank for this and rely almost entirely on personal recommendations, their words and more importantly their actions and their relationships with their horses are the greatest endorsement any coach could hope for. 

Some of the clients dearest to me have been with me for over two decades, I freely admit that I say a little prayer to the “horsey gods” that I will still have something useful and tangible to share with them after all of these wonderful years - and if I and they felt that I did not then I would most definitely stop coaching.

While I am content and am I am not complacent.

My life current life is peaceful, happy and fulfilled.  

If I started to feel numb or unhappy then I would change what I was doing.  

I’m still working on my “stuff” but in a way that’s difficult to verbalise.  

It’s hard to define might sound as if I’m treading water, but it doesn’t feel like that to me, 25 years in and my passion for it keeps growing.

Next time "Do Zebras get Ulcers?" published 18th June.

For those searching online for more “instructional” resources than offered in these blogs please make use of my video downloads www.ashenec.co.uk

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