How many times have I said this? Not quite a million – but close. How are your transitions? Let’s practice transitions. Show me your (fill in the blank) type of transition. It’s a huge part of the Parelli program, so it’s integral to how I teach and train. But integral doesn’t equate to easy.
I can clearly remember the feeling when I was first competing in dressage schooling shows of seeing the approaching letter and knowing I needed to be preparing for the transition and yet feeling completely at the mercy of the upcoming change. It was coming as surely as little Amesly was moving along and we needed to transition ready or not.
This week had felt a bit like that as well. For four days each day held a few hundred miles, a new barn to overnight in, a new electric site to plug into. Same horse, pup and trailer but new places and faces along the way. It was such a relief to arrive at our favorite overnight just south of Albuquerque and have the camp manager know me and call me by name.
It even felt strange driving back into Canelo. Everything the same, but I felt different. I felt…worn, yes. Changed, yes. Supremely relieved, yes. Thrilled to be back with Dennis, yes. Overwhelmed, yes. Somehow over the 10 weeks I’d found a way to go with the flow with my girls, surrounding by supportive family and friends, secure in my little trailer. A place for everything and everything somewhat close to its place. Now I’m reaching for Peppy’s medicine but left the calendar I chart everything in hanging in the trailer closet. I go to grab clean underwear from my drawer and the drawers there but the underwear’s still packed elsewhere. I hop out of the shower and my towel is hanging on the door just as it should be. Til I realize that’s most likely because Dennis never washed it and it’s been hanging there for 10 weeks. Oh well, at this point, thank God for a towel and for the amazing man Dennis is.
But transitioning is hard, at least for me. Even when I like the place I came from and I like the place I’m landing. It’s so much less about the before and after than it is about the forced change. The out of control, off balance feeling. The stretch.
Maybe you’re reading this and not relating at all. Maybe you thrive in change. I hope so, and I’m happy for you.
Maybe I’ve been called to this somewhat transient lifestyle because God knows I need the practice. I almost hear him coaching “show me your transitions, Juli!” But I’m not ready, it’s uncomfortable, can’t I just keep going on like this forever…”Just keep going, upward, downward, you got it!” And then finally a walk break on a loose rein. Hallelujah.
It changes the way I ride and train my horses, that’s for sure. Gives me a new appreciate for all they have to balance and stretch as I coach them through the ride. Causes me to think of ways to help prepare them better for the transition because it is hard and as the leader it’s my job to support them through it. I’ll write more in the days to come on Savvy’s journey transition through this past week. I’m still processing how to read all that she’s shown me and how to ease her path as best I can.
So, for now, maybe I should drive down to the barn and hunt through the trailer for that illusive underwear bag. Or maybe I’ll just enjoy this walk break a little longer. My coach knows I need it. “For Jesus doesn’t change – yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.” Thank God. He’s the consistency in my million transitions.
This blog blossomed in the midst of a crisis. It grew into an outlet for the overwhelming feelings I was experiencing back in the spring of 2017 and became a tangible way to connect to my network of contacts that mean so much to me. Now, over 4 years later, it is re-born.