The Ides of March – I always find it a bit bittersweet.  March in the northeast is funny, often offering late winter storms with heavy snow that wreaks havoc on trees (and any cars parked under them) followed by 55 degree Spring days showing what lies a few scant days down the calendar road.  I’m never sure whether to mourn the loss of any last ski days, begin the mental battle of drudging through 6” Spring mud or eagerly await the balmy halcyon days of summer in NY.

But I find that the undercurrent for all of those thoughts is how I feel in relation to the days of riding.  And while I don’t always ride as much in a week as I want, the desire, the soul yearning pull of being at the barn with Cinemax, and then working or riding out with him is the siren song that lifts me up to forget the throes of Mother Nature.

So this all got me to thinking about both my riding and my work.

Confession time – I admit it – I’m in love with my horse and my job (and my husband but that’s for another post).

I think about both of them.  All the time.

When I’m at the barn, I’m in a total conversation with Cinemax:

Me:        How was your day so far?

Him:       Mom!  Wow, cool – give me a treat for looking so cutely at you.

Me:        No really, how are you feeling today?

Him:       I’ll tell you all about it but see, I’m still giving you the cutest of cute and adoring looks so give me that treat.

Me:        Ok, ok, here (giving him the treat and him thrusting his head into the halter happily munching).

And then he goes on to tell me during the grooming process if he’s stiff or slept funny or stir crazy, etc.  He almost never shuts up, in fact.

And on the days that we go out on the trail, and he’s on deer patrol along with Mickey the lab cross that scouts them ahead, I’m often talking to my inner boss about work:

  • When was the last time I wrote a blog post? What content is interesting for the next one?
  • How can we keep up the fun sharing and good info on Social Media?
  • Should we continue to attend trade shows?
  • Did you see the totally awesome photos that people shared on Facebook from the rides in WY and France and Peru?
  • When should I follow up on the info sent last week with the group that wants to go to Portugal in 2019?
  • Are we doing enough for folks as they prepare for their trips?
  • Don’t forget to check in with the folks going to Ireland to make sure they have the phone numbers they need to take with them.
  • Remind the two friends gong to Spain to bring sunscreen and bathing suits.
  • Call the husband and wife that just returned from France to check in on the trip.
  • Finalize the details on transfers for the new trip getting listed on the site.
  • Do I really need to contact the person that is using my photos for their own purposes and financial gain? That really sounds so ugly….why can’t we all just get along?
  • What more can I be doing to help people?
  • How can we stay in touch with fans but not bombard them with info?
  • Will we be able to customize the Italy program for that client who wants only 2 days and is traveling with a non rider?

And then we come to a woodland stream and my solid steed interrupts my boss and me:

Him:       Nope, nothing doing.  Can’t cross that.  It’s 3 feet across, it’s making a bubbly noise and it’s probably 100 feet deep.

Me:        Don’t be silly (but I’m laughing) we sorted all this out last summer, remember?  It’s no big deal.

Him:       I don’t remember last summer.  It never happened.

Me:        C’mon, let’s go, LOL

Him:       Nope.  No way.

Me:        Yes, seriously.  Just walk across it.

Him:       I can’t.

Me:        You can.

Him:       I Can’t.

Me:        You CAN.

Him:       I’m not doing it.  In fact I’m thinking of spinning around and heading back the other way.

All the while this other conversation is going on:

Mickey:                Wow – running water!  Isn’t this SO cool????  I mean look!  I can jump in it, splash around, dig in the leaves on the shore – this is totally freaking awesome Mom!!!!  I love this place!!!!

Me:        Mickey, stop making so much noise – and settle down a bit, I’m having a small problem here with your brother.

Mickey: Huh?  What?  I’m just having some fun.

Me:        Seriously, cool it a bit and try not to get underfoot please, I’m not totally sure what he’s going to do.

Mickey:  OK Mom – so how about I come in front of you in the stream, drink some water and then walk to the other side, is that OK?

Me:        Yes, just stay where I can see you.

And just like that Cinemax steps into the stream, walks the 3 feet across and continues to walk (not jog,not jig) for the remainder of our ride.  Like there was never any drama at all.  And I can’t remember what I need to do next at work.

And so it goes – the unending things that make me laugh, challenge me, vie for my time and energy, kick my butt, bring me to tears, elicit squeals of delight and generally make me laugh out loud.  All the things that that I love the most and that God has so incredibly allowed to be “my life”.

And I love them all.

Even when I can’t see a way “through” all of the questions.

Even when I have to find the peace of “waiting” (That word irritates me).

Even when I toss and turn all night, worried over some client problem or some facility change or that I’ve not been to the barn in 3 days (or more), or when I feel totally like I’m falling behind and not in control of any of it.

I’m lucky enough to have clients that share their lives freely, send me photos of their horses, ask for photos of mine, trust me to recommend trips that will create memories, stay in touch on Facebook, Instagram and by email – just to say “hi”.

And I’m beyond lucky that Cinemax came into my life.  And that this former GP show jumper deigns to let me take him out in the countryside; let’s me have his mane to grow out a bit; has figured out how to ride “with” Mickey, not trample him or run from him.

At the end of the day when I’m listing the things I’m grateful for from the day, this business and you – the part that makes it all worth it, this horse and my family – all make it worth every moment, every ounce of energy, every piece of sweat, every tear, every time I snarfed my water or panicked about a deadline, all of it show up on that list.

Every day.

And I’m blessed.  Blessed beyond.  With a full heart.