Lauren over at She Moved To Texas recently did an anonymous survey that basically asked commenters/bloggers to 'tell it like it is'. One of the anonymous comments was something along the lines of "most of your blogs bore me to TEARS." That statement caught me a little offguard, I'll admit. After all, SO MUCH of what we do as horse people is just that, totally boring and mundane. We feed, and water, and muck, and groom, and then we do it all again the next day, and the next day, and the next day. We do it every day, the same thing, over and over, and that's the way we like it.
Wouldn't it be fun if EVERY DAY we could write about some amazing breakthrough we had? Some incredible award we won? Some breathtaking thing we experienced? That sure would make for an interesting read. But that is not the reality of life with horses, or for that matter, the reality of anything that is worth working for. If we could just hop up on any random horse and go jump around a huge course and win a big check, wouldn't that be great? But that gets pretty old pretty fast. Our daily horse life in reality is filled with the mundane, the boring little details, the nitty gritty same old same old. Every day, we put the best feed that we can into our horses. Every day, we care for them to the best of our ability. Every day, we try to be good riders and good caretakers, and do our best to improve little by little. Some days, we regress. Some days, we drive away from the barn in tears, because we had such a bad ride and we feel like we'll never get better. Some days we're soaking wet from the rain, or lathered in sweat from the heat, but we're still out there, doing the same thing, over and over again. We keep on trying, and trying, and trying.
And if we're lucky, one day we'll be at a show, or at a ride, or a clinic, or somewhere that is important to us. And we'll do well. We'll even do great! We'll leave that ring with huge smiles on our faces, a tremendous feeling of pride welling in our chests, because we know exactly how many hours it took to get to that point. We know how hard we worked, and how much it took. And all of those hours - hours full of the mundane, and the boring, and the same-old-same-old - will culminate into one grand and glorious experience. It isn't just the final outcome (ribbons, awards, praise, etc) that makes us so hungry to keep on plugging along on the same path. It is the entire journey in its whole. There is no sweeter victory than one that is hard-fought for. Then, and only then, can we write those posts that are truly 'reader worthy'.
But it takes a lot of boring, boring, boring posts to get to that point.
That's why I blog. I'm not here to put up ads, and do giveaways, and spin great and magnificent unbelievable tales. I'm here to tell a story. I'm here to tell MY story, and all of the facets of it. I'm here to chronicle that journey, even if all I do in a week is trot down the same road, and work on the same bending exercise, and do the same set of obstacles until they are perfect. That is pretty boring stuff to read about, but that is what we do every day, and every week, and every month. We have short-term and long-term goals, oh yes! But they don't come true in one day. We chip away at them, little by little, over and over. I'm not here to sugarcoat, or gloss things over. This story is raw and uncut, and I share the good parts as well as the bad. There are of course some omissions, certain things I don't blog about on principle - we all have our rules about that. This blog is about O, and P, and the things we do together. It's our story, and chronicling it is important to me. It may not always be interesting, but it is always real. And it is always, always, important to me.
Speaking of All Things Mundane And Boring, check out my SUPER AMAZINGLY SHINY CLEAN HARNESS. I spent my Wednesday evening watching Harry Potter, drinking tea, hanging out with Mo, and carefully cleaning and polishing my harness. BOOM! Boring stuff. But polishing your harness to a gleaming shine is one of those little details that is important, one of those habits you have to instill in yourself if you want to be serious in the show ring. You have to take care of your leather, no matter what discipline you do, and it becomes even more critical with a harness - if anything breaks on a harness while you are under way, you are so very screwed.
After a few hours (geez who knew this sport involved SO MUCH DANG LEATHER?), I had a very sparkly harness. I dabbed a bit of brass cleaner on a few choice spots to see if they'd shine up nicely, and they shined up mostly ok. I don't think my harness, which is a very old and very lovely Smuckers, has ever really had a seriously good cleaning and oiling. It was looking a bit dry and sad, even though I clean it regularly at the barn. All of that leather comes in contact with all of that sweaty horse, so it just gets dirtier and dried out that much faster.
Alas, I made the sad discovery today that there is no proper way to properly wrap a driving bridle. (Even that linked bridle isn't wrapped just the way I like it. Because I really am that anal about things like that, even though half the bridles in my trailer are haphazardly tossed up on their hooks uncleaned and untidy.) The saddle and blinkers on my bridle have patent leather and are just awesome. I also washed my harness pads, earbonnet, leg boots and bells, just because why not. I'll need to do it all again before our show, but it was worth it to see just how nice the leather looks with a good cleaning and polish.
I also converted all the patterns from the upcoming show into images, so you can see them! I officially sent in my entry as well, so it is going to become a real thing. Ahhh!
I'm so excited!!!!!