A new year always brings with it the feeling of a fresh start. That is so true for me especially this year. I'm having another back surgery very soon - the last one was the conservative route which created space for more disc material to press on my nerves. So this surgery will be more intense and thorough with fusion with titanium plates and screws. I'm really looking forward to feeling better after the surgery so that I can ride comfortably and be as active as my body wants and needs to be. The shop is closed until my recovery is mostly complete. Look for reopening date some time in March.
After the surgery, I'll be taking on a few roles: shop proprietor, horse and rider trainer and riding program director at SJ Riding Camp. I'm so excited! While I'm laid up, I've been working on a riding program curriculum. I pulled out my copy of Alois Podhajsky's book The Complete Training of Horse and Rider to refresh my memory of his teaching. The first time I read this book, I was 16. It's something I've read many times, but it's been a long time since I looked at it again. I'm happy to read his work and know that it has instilled in me a lot of the strategies and concepts I use while training people and horses. This book and Centered Riding by Sally Swift are the two that have had the most impact and influence on me. I'm lucky to have had many influences from various trainers, books and horses to guide my development as a well-rounded trainer and horse person.
My road to where I've come to now was not straight or clear. Optimistically, I see this as a benefit to my growth as a horse person. I've learned how to be patient, not just with horses or riders, but with myself as well. I used to be very hard on myself. I was constantly driven to work multiple jobs and push myself for more and more certifications and degrees. It's amazing how much that type of stress can impact your mind and body. It's taken all my 54 years to truly be proud of my accomplishments and give myself a pat on the back.
So for 2023, I feel confident about my future wherever it takes me. It is truly a happy new year.