t The Art of Mastering Change
This post contains affiliate links. Have questions? Check out the disclosure page.
What is Change?
Change is defined as “make or become different”. Well that doesn’t sound so bad right? Making something different, or becoming something different isn’t so scary. Caterpillars become butterflies, that is beautiful change. So why are we so scared of change? I don’t think that it is change that we are afraid of. I think it is the unknown. A fear of change, is maybe just the fear of the unknown. A fear of the things in our life we can’t directly control.
Time for Change
There are some big changes coming to Red Bell in the next few months. Divorce has been a major change in my life, and it still feels odd. The waves of that change are farther reaching than I could have ever imagined they would be. And now it is time for the farm to catch up! It is with great sadness that I announce that the property that Red Bell has called home for the past three years is for sale. My time here has been incredible. Don’t get me wrong, it has also been frustrating, tiring and overwhelming at times, but I am thankful for every second and every lesson learned, even the ones that kicked my ass.
The First Day
Buying and running my own place has truly been a dream realized. How many people can say they actually accomplished such a big dream? Not to many! And I am very proud of myself. I will never forget holding the hand of a close friend, and running through the horse pastures on the first day. It was a moment that was meant to be. Since then, this place has brought me so many more new friends, and special moments. The plan has since changed, but just like me, the farm and the business are a work in progress. I am by no means done! I still plan on taking over the world, but my headquarters and copilot are changing, and hopefully for the better.
The farm brought me Elvis. My heart pony. Yes, I have raved about this pony endlessly, but he deserves it. There is something about a pony that will walk slowly and calmly around the ring with a dead beginner, little kid on him but in the next minute will take an advanced student galloping around a cross country course, that is truly special. My all time favorite ride on Elvis is the day Kasey was walking around the ring on him, and then had a full blown melt down because I wouldn’t let her jump the coop. Sorry kid, no jumping 2’3” until you can canter on your own!
I own power tools, and I know how to use them. Oh yea, and I can change my own oil now too! Taking care of 11.5 acres and as many as ten horses at a time is a lot of work. But is fun work! I learned how to use a chainsaw, both a regular one and one on a pole. I have learned how to drive a manual tractor; and I am going to miss cool summer evenings mowing, headphones, country music and a good beer. Maybe the new home owners will need some help? I have learned how to install and take out fencing, among a million other skills that are handy when you are a farmer. Sure it can suck, when its hot its hot, and when its cold its cold. But working with your hands teaches you a lot about yourself and helps clear your mind. Farm work, if nothing else, will teach you two things… one is patience, and two is never turn down help!
I have a lot of friends in this business that would joke and say that they wish they could do horses without the people. But what would the fun in that be? Sure, I talk to my horses, and sometimes they even answer back in their own way, but horses without people would be pretty lonely. Don’t get me wrong, horse people are their own special breed of crazy, and I have had to ask a few boarders to leave because of drama. I have however met appropriately crazy horse people, who have become my very good friends. I love all of you, even the more difficult ones, because of the lessons you have taught me, and the smiles you have put on my face. Some of my favorite memories at the farm involved uncontrollable laughter in the barn. Thank you.
I will need a million blog posts to tell you about how much I have learned, both teaching lessons and taking lessons. The stories I could tell, everything from having my trainer say that watching me sit a buck on Roo was very impressive, to watching a student save herself from a fall, just to slide off the front of the pony when he stopped to grab a snack. Oh if my ring could talk! She would make fun of the crazy leggings I wear while teaching, she would laugh while telling stories of Kasey hiding under the coop or Sam trying to get the dog to ride her horse. There has been cursing to go along with the laughter. Horses can be frustrating! There has been sweat and frozen fingers, lost shoes and broken tack, concussions and hard decisions made. Trailblazing adventures getting lost in the woods after galloping around Fair Hill. Oh the memories. And I have to thank you all again, from my youngest student, my very own Miss Kasey Unicorn Princess, to my teenagers (damn it is not easy getting you to smile! Even with my bad jokes), to my students moms who keep me on my toes, and to Tina, who I swear looks just like she did when I was 13. Even with the difficulties, I wouldn’t trade these last three years for the world.
The smiles are my favorite part. Teenagers can be frustrating. They have an ability to make you feel super cool in one second, to beyond old the next. But every time I get a smile I feel like I have a super power. That sounds so cheesy, but watching the lightbulb switch on in a kids head when they nail a beautiful transition or the smile when they jump for the first time is so special. Ribbons won won’t mean much in years to come for some of these kids, but knowing that I have helped make them more confident and caring people to help them move into their futures keeps me going. The best though? When they thank their ponies, that’s when I know I am making a difference. I have had some of the same barn friends for years, and I hope these girls are making life long friends and cherished memories.
The Art of Mastering Change
When using master as a verb it is defined as “gain control of; overcome”. Is it possible to gain control of change? I don’t think so. But I also think that it makes life beautiful. Horses change, just like caterpillars. Watching the progression of a green horse as it moves into a seasoned pro is beautiful change. Is it possible to over come change? No, but it is possible to over come your fear. You school your green horse and the two of you grow together, you become different and tackle the unknown. Do not be sad for me! Just because we are leaving our current home, does not mean we aren’t moving into a new one. I am currently on the search for the new home of Red Bell and hope to settle on one soon. I hope the faces remain the same, while we make new friends and welcome more people into the barn family. We may not ever be able to master change, but we can embrace it, and continue to ride the bucking bronco that is life. When you fall off your pony, you learn something, dust yourself off, and get back on.