“Forward” is a big buzzword in certain equestrian circles. It’s a technical term for particular kind of movement on the horse’s part, in which the horse is sufficiently balanced and energized to carry itself and its rider (or pull a vehicle or work in hand or on the long rein or…) with ease, grace, and consistency.
It doesn’t even or always mean forward movement, either. A horse can have a forward halt in which all its parts come together and it halts square, with all four feet under it and the balance to move off immediately if asked. It can even back up “forward” in the sense of balance, engagement, and impulsion. It’s all in the intent, rather than the direction of motion.
All of which is relevant to other parts of life than the back of a horse.
When I started thinking about this week’s blog, I was going to do a riff off a post about Barn Drama from Desert Horse Equestrian, which in turn riffs off a Wall Street Journal article. Oh, do I have stories. Some amusing, some dramatic. Some downright scary.
But then I thought, no. I am trying to make this year about Forward. About moving onward with balance and engagement, and not getting stuck in old patterns. That includes revisiting old horrors and ancient resentments.
Learning experiences, now; history as lesson and example. That I can revisit. But as soon as the wheels start to spin in the deepening rut, it’s time to look for another subject to talk about.
I spent the first half of this year in a downright swamp. The wheels spun and spun. Everything seemed to be at a standstill, even while every day was packed to the gills with endless circling Stuff. There didn’t seem to be any way out. Just, stuck. Stuck with the horses, stuck with the farm, stuck with the writing projects.
I’m told by the astrologically minded that there was an actual reason for that. Planets of blockage and obstruction were all piled up and keeping anything from moving forward.
Whether that’s true or not, it is true that as our searing desert summer gave way to the summer rains, something came unstuck. I got my hindlegs under me, so to speak, and started finding ways forward–and the energy to pursue them. I stopped making excuses for not riding the current training project, and started pushing myself to keep the writing projects as much on track as the rest of the cascading Life Stuff would allow. I even started up the editing business again (and put up a sale), to help keep the horses fed.
I didn’t expect it to be easy, and it hasn’t been. There are still times when I curl up in a ball and sing la la la la. But determining to go Forward, and understanding what a complex concept Forward is, helps keep things moving, well, Forward.