For me, those roots are a pitchfork and a wheelbarrow, knee deep in shit with one hand mucking and the other scrubbing buckets. I started there as a peanut, cleaning stalls and doing chores for a free ride. Recently, since I've gotten more rushed and busy, it's been more of the drive there-arrive-ride-drive home. I wasn't dialed in.
But I had myself a talk. Not just with myself. That shit cray. I talked to my friend/barn owner/actual owner of Dancer and got that frustration with training and trail and thinking she was mad at me and all of what I'm feeling out. She, being the wonderful, caring second family that she is, helped me to see that it's all fine.
Ride. She always said ride your own ride. Now that I'm uncertain, that what she's still telling me to do. The message hasn't changed, but she made sure I knew that no matter what my direction was, it was ok.
Now, I'm coming out every Sunday to pitch in more and offset a lease fee. She has done so much for me, and it wasn't fair to not give back. Thus, the task of cleaning poop, water, and distributing hay from these giant-ass bales that have to weigh a zillion pounds.
And I love it.
I feel productive and I can look people in the eye at the barn again without guilt. And my last two rides have been the best sessions I've had without Rose in a while. They're mostly canter work, which I've not done much of alone, and Dancer is just eating it up. Her walk, too, is almost passable as a "free walk" now. (Maybe I'll give it a month or so.)
For now, I'm riding my own ride and seeing where it goes.