I haven’t written in awhile, mostly because I didn’t really feel like it and didn’t have much to say. BUT. As of August 1, I am a half-leaser! So now I get to ride a lot more and I’m loving it!

The original plan, you may remember, was for me to half-lease Duke in August and September. And then he had an injury, which has been healing for what feels like for. ev. er. He will be fine. But he’s not in full work, so I have thankfully been able to change around my plans. I am half-leasing Stryder in August, and planning to switch over to Duke in September, depending on where he’s at with his recovery.

All of this got me thinking about how important flexibility is when you’re an adult amateur. Not physical flexibility, though I’m sure we could all use a bit more of that as we progress through the years. I’m talking about mental and emotional flexibility. I’d be hard-pressed to name another group of people who is more dedicated yet adaptable in their goals and plans than the adult amateur.

For me, part of that flexibility comes from not owning a horse. For the last six years or so, I’ve made it work as a horseless adult ammy. I ride what I’m offered. And I love it.

Like when I rode Maisey in a kickass jump lesson

But I do think that coping with constant change presents somewhat of a mental and emotional burden. I know I am emotionally burdened by Duke’s injury – I love that horse and want him to be okay, and it’s hard when it feels like a teammate is down and out for awhile. It takes energy to adjust plans and visions for the future when things change. And it takes willpower to constantly work toward those plans while being aware, peripherally, that everything could change at any time.

Of course, this is true for horse owners, too, to an extent. We all know how fragile horses are, and how quickly an injury or illness can send everything off the rails.

So how do I deal with the mental load? I choose to focus on the positive aspects of the changes that come my way. This is my general outlook on life, as well.

The good things coming from my time with Stryder:

  • I still get to half-lease a horse and ride more!
  • He is a much different ride than I’m used to, which will teach me new tools for riding
  • Riding many different horses makes for adaptable, well-rounded riders
  • He’s an fantastic horse and is a cross-country machine (I just have to learn how to harness the machine now!)

How do you, as an adult amateur, handle change and mental/emotional flexibility?

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