Is blogger’s block a thing?
I’ve sat down to write this post a dozen times. The cursor blinks and the page remains empty. There is much (and nothing) happening.
I’ve continued to give Nakai a semi-vacation, enjoying light riding 2-3 times a week. I’ve jokingly called it “Endurance Detox” but in reality I am hoping this helps temper his competitive streak. Nakai and Rose are fairly mismatched riding together; their preferred way of going and their stride lengths makes it tricky to pace. It was a great activity to help his adjustability and his trot has improved incredibly, but I won’t pretend that it they didn’t feed off each other. His desire to “win” became my biggest issue with Nakai.
The weather’s been on-and-off crummy. The footing stinks with this last snowfall and subsequent melting. On our loop yesterday everything was snow, slop, and mud (in that order). It looked pretty until you squished through it.
A few other ladies are getting their feet wet with endurance riding this year, and with the start of the season fast approaching I’ve kept to ring schooling and trail riding alone or with Maria. Some nights I pointedly avoid the barn, choosing instead another night I know we’ll be alone. It sounds antisocial (the introvert in me approves), but I remember the whirlwind of preparing for a ride and want to stay out of the way.
It also makes me sad. I’m facing the reality of it being many years before I’ll be able to endurance ride again. Nakai’s officially retired, and he’ll stay with me until he’s ready to cross the bridge. Apps wear like iron, and he could be with me for another 5 years. Or 10, if I’m lucky. It’s bittersweet to have found something we both love only to have a stop a year later. Having to fully acknowledge Nakai’s age (and everything that comes with it) has left me with a fluctuating mood and an irritability that I know stems from fear and the selfish wish for him to remain ageless.
I’m having a bit of a difficult time connecting with him. I like him, I enjoy him, training is going well, but we haven’t clicked yet. It’s an odd feeling since I immediately connected with all of my animals, Khoshekh included. It’s only been a month, though, and the bright side is that I don’t have any expectations. Mulder’s job is to learn to be a dog and a well behaved member of society.