In Our Horseback Riding Lives, Change is Always a Challenge

And, Change is a Gift

There is always change in our horse lives.

This can happen when our horse has to be laid off. Or, we might experience a change in our financial capabilities to follow through on plans. Or, we might get the news that a trainer or a vet is moving. These are just a few examples. You fill in your own blanks.

Change is the only thing that is sure in our lives.

As I write this article, I am feeling that ultimate happy/sad state that change can bring. There’s a big change happening in my life right now.

But, before I go any farther, know that everything is really good. It’s how it’s meant to be. And, for that, I am grateful.

My experience has been a giant reminder that we never get past these challenges in our lives … how to graciously move forward when unexpected change occurs … how to flow with it … how to welcome new opportunities that were unsolicited.

My current experience is a change of personnel. Kristie Marth who has worked with Tom and me for 13 plus years will be leaving at the end of this week. She is taking a new position that accommodates the changing priorities in her life.

This is big for me because she has been my right-hand person for a long time.

Kristie is a beautiful woman inside and out, a great wife and the mother of two gorgeous little girls. She has been the ultimate assistant to me. Her work has been impeccable. Beyond the excellence of her work, I cherished her daily cheery spirit. What a joy.

I have no doubt great things are in her future. And, for that I am truly thrilled for her.

Since I heard the news, I have revisited my beliefs about unexpected change. After a short time of feeling like I was knocked off-kilter by a stun gun, I decided to embrace this new transition.

The following list of values and beliefs is serving as a foundation of thought to move forward. Perhaps these values might serve you some day as a resource of ways you can positively view change in your life:

1. Change always forces us to re-examine what’s important. I started asking myself, “As I make decisions, what do I REALLY want?”

2. Unforeseen situations are huge reminders that change always happens. Somehow, this time I really understand that this is a part of life that will always be.

3. I happily choose to not resist the change. I can see it as something with big gifts in it for me (and for Kristie) or as something negative. I choose to find the treasures. That helps me expect super positive things. I wonder, ” What’s around the corner?”

4. This experience has shown me that it’s so easy to get comfortable with what’s routine. Now as we train two new, bright, promising people, I ask … what worked before? … what didn’t work? It’s easier to change systems that don’t work when things begin anew.

5. New people bring fresh ideas. I’m expanding my world. This is a new office era. My friendship with Kristie will always be, and for that I am grateful. That will never change. Now I have the opportunity to work with a new team of people. Hmmm, I wonder, ” What great contributions they will make to our endeavors?” That’s exciting.

6. I’ve gotten really clear about MY job during this change. My job is to take charge of my response to the change … not try to control the change itself. I have no control over anyone else. That’s each person’s job and really none of my business. (In the barn, when a horse gets injured, I like to think that it’s God’s job to work through the reasons why … my job to nurse. An injury change would be out of my control, unless of course, someone was negligent.) Staying clear on MY job of how I respond during a change keeps me from unproductive, negative thought.

7. And last, but perhaps most importantly, an attitude of gratitude is the ultimate dose of good energy to any challenging situation. Gratitude for the past, present, and future keeps me focused on all the great people and things I have … and not on who or what I don’t have.

So, I wish Kristie the warmest and best of everything. I say thank you to her for all she has done. I appreciate her, and also, this exercise in change.

To Lindee Meeker and Melissa Taylor who have now joined us … I extend a warm welcome to you!!! I look forward to great, new adventures together. I welcome your input and ideas. I expect exciting things in our future together.

And, I am grateful for you. I encourage you to embrace change in your horseback riding life and in your entire life.

It’s all good!

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7 Comments on In Our Horseback Riding Lives, Change is Always a Challenge

  1. Janie Larson on Thu, 8th Jul 2010 10:20 am
  2. CHANGE is what puts ADVENTURE into our lives. Now we all know that some "adventures" aren’t the most positive in nature………but they all pack a LESSON for us (some subtile……….some IN OUR FACE).

    If you can look for the ADVENTURE and see it as an exciting time to LEARN SOMETHING…… get the lesson for FREE! What a deal in this day and age.

    If you resist the ADVENTURE and try to sidestep it……….you still get the LESSON for free, but it moves from the "FUN" of the adventure side……to the "WORK" of the "it’s your reality" side…..which isn’t as pleasant.

    EMBRACE CHANGE…………it’s what keeps us growing and glowing with "ah-ha" moments! woooohooooo!

  3. Chris Toenjes on Thu, 8th Jul 2010 10:30 am
  4. Aunty Barb, love your message! I’m going to share this message with my entire team.. Change is good!

    Kristie – best of luck to you.. This year, I took a leap of faith and transitioned to a new position too , so I could be home more with my kids. It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done.. best of luck to you!

  5. Gay Smith on Thu, 8th Jul 2010 5:07 pm
  6. I appreciate how making changes challenges me to examine my previous assumptions. It can make me take a close look at what I really want and to review and update my goals.

  7. teri cleek on Thu, 8th Jul 2010 10:08 pm
  8. Thank you for the encouragement. I am taking care of my mother who has demensia. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself as my husband went to dinner with our son who’s going for off for army training for 6 weeks. Someone had to stay with Mom.
    As I was reading about cutting, I saw your article. I loved what you said about trying to control your reaction to change rather than controlling the change. I recently asked God (for the first time in my life) to help me to stop asking why all the time. I liked what you said about God reacting to the hurt horse, and you being His "handy" nurse. I found out today one of my horses has a malignant tumor above his eye. The vet said not to remove it because it was rooted deep and would go directly to his brain. I guess he’ll have a home for life, but not so much in the cutting arena.
    Lastly, I wanted you to know that I told of you and Zane in my Sunday School class. It blessed over 25 women. We all wanted to have his courage. I just wanted you to know that God is still using Zane to draw others to Him. Love, Teri Cleek

  9. Carol Caldwell on Fri, 9th Jul 2010 6:26 pm
  10. Kristie, I am going to miss you as Barb is. Anytime I called or emailed you were such a bright spot. I think I met Barb about the time you went to work for her and I did the interview on her tape. It has been a pleasure, your daughters are beautiful as their mom, and may God reward you with many blessings.

  11. Stacy Westfall on Wed, 21st Jul 2010 1:39 pm
  12. Love the article on change! So true. I am acutally going through an office change as well. Perfect timing on reading how you are handling things.
    I feel inspired now-so thank you!

  13. Jennifer Soltys on Tue, 10th Aug 2010 1:58 pm
  14. Thank you for your inspiring words. I am grateful. 😀

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