“A little progress is still progress” ~ Life lessons from horse riding

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This is me and one of my lesson horses, Fraser. We’ve been working together on and off for a few months now and it’s been going okay. Well, it’s been going… slowly. But okay.

The truth is, I don’t ride as much as I’d like to these days, meaning I’m not advancing as fast as I’d like to. Work keeps me extremely busy and when I come home, I feel too fatigued to even think about riding. I say this quite literally – the amount of times I’ve simply forgotten to book my next lesson, even though they’re all paid for in advance. The receptionist at my school, bless her, always sounds like she hasn’t heard from me in decades whenever I call. Weekends are also quite packed – we’re preparing for our summer holiday to Martinique (14 more sleeps!) and when I’m not shopping for that, I’m sorting out other things at home or doing housework, cooking, vlogging, doing freelance work, etc.

So yes, you guessed it. Being a busy mum is taking its toll on my riding but… being the horse lover that I am, I somehow manage to find a little bit of time to dedicate to it, even if it’s going to be at the expense of other things.

If I’m totally honest, there is another thing that bugs me. A lot. I feel like I’m always working on the same old things – if you follow me on Instagram you’ve probable come across my occasional riding updates. They sound very repetitive, because, well, I’m forever working on the same things: keeping steady in my canter, transitioning, strengthening my legs, working on my core, etc. and it can be extremely frustrating when you feel you’re not making much progress, or very little. My instructors often tell me that I don’t give myself enough credit – for someone who doesn’t ride that much I’ve actually been doing quite good. They see the things I’ve improved at the end of each ride, they see how far I’ve come. But for some reason, I don’t. In my head it just isn’t sufficient.

My goal now is to learn to have a more positive outlook on my journey – a little progress is still progress. If others can see that I’m getting better, then there’s no reason why I can’t. I have to be brave enough to big myself up for it, cut myself some slack! if my husband or my instructor can see that my horse is responding better than the last time, or that my riding is looking a lot more relaxed than it did this time last year… then there’s no reason why I shouldn’t acknowledge it too… and congratulate myself for it.

“It’s about recognising the little steps you’ve taken, and feeling proud about how far you’ve come.”

I guess this applies to everyday life. My manager at work often tells me that I’m good at talking myself down. How annoying must it be for others to listen to me belittle myself constantly. And most times I don’t even realise I’m doing it. Beating myself up for the things I do wrong, for the lack of progress, the lack of this, or that… Yet the things I have achieved should count just as much, if not more.

I’m becoming more and more aware of how important it is to embrace the power within me – it’s God-given after all. Feeling good about myself, embracing every step, every effort, every new accomplishment, patting myself in the back even if no one else will… Recognising that I am making progress after all, even if it’s at a slower pace than I had initially envisaged. And if it’s obvious that I’ve regressed, the only way from there is up. So even that shouldn’t discourage me either, if anything, it should motivate me even more.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that from now on, I’ll learn to embrace every single sign of improvement – big or small. I will apply this mindset to any area of life: Career, finances, marriage, parenting, personal development…The tiny steps are still steps towards something. A little progress is still progress. The more I acknowledge this, the closer I’ll get to my goals.

“Must. Learn. To. Speak. Positively. About. Myself.”

Until next time…

 

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