Friday, May. 24, 2024

Blogger Kristin Carpenter

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For as long as I can remember, my riding lessons have been filled with the order to, “Look up!” It isn’t that I find my hands particularly fascinating, but it’s just that when I concentrate on something, I tend to stare fixedly at it. My surroundings disappear, and it’s just me examining my fingers and begging them to stop moving so much. And that’s a problem.

There are obvious reasons this is an issue: I could run over someone or something, I could miss terribly at a jump, I could get off my line. But that’s not why I am writing this blog.

I am typing this (quietly) while my 4-month-old baby is asleep in his car seat. We just got back from getting his shots, and after the screams over the pain and unfairness of life, he finally fell asleep and I am not moving him.

I haven’t blogged in almost a year. It isn’t that anyone would have noticed, but more that I am in awe over how much has changed in that year.

I got pregnant.

I sold my one-star horse.

I got a new house (and moved the week I had the baby).

The greatest illusion in life might be that there is more time. Time to get things right.

As Americans we obsess over checklists and preparations for life events; we want to make sure things are right before we do things. I have friends that wanted to make a certain salary before proposing, or wanted to achieve a certain work milestone before getting their passport, or wanted to consistently place in the top three before investing in their dream destination event.

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There are a lot of ways to learn life lessons, but I learned mine from a horse. When I think about how I mastered patience, a trait that serves me well as I work with teenagers, I remember bawling my eyes out on my defiant Arabian when I was 13 and he “just wouldn’t put his head down!” Dressage eluded me, to say the least.

I have been to two funerals in six days. One was in Louisiana last week for my aunt, and another was in Arlington tonight for the father of my 15 year old client.

When death comes, as it inevitably will, I think we all like to picture a quiet passing after weeks of speaking to our loved ones about how complete our life was, and how loved we were, and how we are ready to let go.

When we find a passion in life, we dream that we can spend our free moments or make a career pursuing it, and that our dedication will bring both success and emotional rewards. But the more you hyper-focus on one area of your life, the more it closes in on you and disproportionately amplifies its own importance.

If you think eventing is just a sport, then you must realize that the eventing community is really a family. While most of us are competitive people, and clearly fans of adrenaline, we tend to view the sport as our partnerships versus the course, not us versus each other.

The only thing that changes faster than the weather in March is fate on horseback. This past Friday, I was feeling very prepared in all three phases for Lizzie’s first preliminary run of the year at Southern Pines (N.C.). I needed to ship over on Friday, and being that she is always a bit green about water, I figured I would stop on the way and just pop her through a cross-country water a few times.

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