It’s a Journey- Not a Destination

What a fitting title. It applies to so many aspects of life and the all-encompassing life we live. How many times do we hear it or read quotes stating “enjoy everyday”, “make every moment count” or “enjoy the ride”. All so true- whether its a trip to an exotic land or taking a fresh colt to finished horse, it’s a process that should be embraced, not rushed through. Our lives will pass us by in a flash and the goal is to have a good time along the way. Slow down just a bit and take in the scenery around you. Don’t let the trip to the destination become a blur, embrace the journey- no time in the saddle is wasted.


It’s pretty clique but vacations are a great place to apply this mindset. Turn the commute and transfers to and from your vacation destination into an enjoyable addition to the trip. A drive to the airport, a flight, a layover, the list goes on and on. You don’t have to rush through it. Sometimes vacations are needed just to recuperate from the travel time and stress endured getting from point A to point B. This can be avoided or at least minimized. You might even try adding a few “points” along the way.

Extend your vacation

Time may not always be on your side, but if possible turn the travel day into an overnight, etc. If you’re driving to the “city” to catch your flight, plan an evening at a nice restaurant and a night in a hotel before an early morning flight. Driving cross country? Add an overnight stay to the 15 hour straight-through trip and wake up fresh and well rested. You’ll be able to drive the last leg, arriving at your destination at a reasonable time- and still have energy for the first full day of vacation.

No time for the hotel stay- make smaller pit stops

Always wish you had time to stop at “that place” or visit “that person”? Maybe you’ve driven by numerous times before… well stop. Check it out. Say hello. Meet for lunch. Stretch your legs and begin the adventure whether you’re still in close proximity to home or somewhere along the way.

Casey driving in Costa Rica-slowing down to look at the cattle

Make the most of layovers

I’m guilty; I make great attempts to have as few layovers as possible, but sometimes they’re unavoidable. Find something fun to eat or browse through the shops or an art exhibit in the airport. Play cards or take a walk. Embrace the joys of not having to cook- your vacation has begun!

Utilize the time

The total travel time can be managed when booking or planning but it’s impossible to simply snap your fingers and end up at the resort, beach, cabin or other dream destination. Don’t dread it. Use it. No, it won’t be as exciting as where you’re headed, but it can be utilized. Find a great book, catch up on that series you’ve been dying to watch, tie up any loose end at work, rest up- these are all great ways to cope with the lag time. You’ll be less stressed and less tired for the remainder of your trip.

Horse Training

How does this all tie in to the horse industry? The phrase “enjoy the ride” had to come from somewhere- My guess, the back of a horse!

Don’t rush

Consistency is more important than speed. Yes, horse training is a business and efficiency is key, but you and your horse will go crazy if the process is rushed.

Garrett chaining the gate with a young horse in-tow

Find joy in something

Patience is also important and if you can find the joy in something it’s much easier to stay calm and collected. Riding a young or barely broke horse is not always fun or relaxing, but try to find something good in every ride: Nature, fresh air, stretching your muscles, etc.

Set milestones instead of end goals

Selling a horse for top dollar is a popular goal in the horse industry. How much time and effort will this take? The “destination” can look a million miles away when starting an uncoordinated, lanky, young horse. The “journey” can be fun and fulfilling along the way. Test him at a local event, take him on a new trail, expose him to cattle or a rope. Take pride in each completed step along the way. Reaching these milestones will keep you motivated and help you track progress.

As a pit stop is to a road trip, a new obstacle is to a horse in training

Periods of time “waiting” to reach a destination can often seem unbearable, but with the right mind set, the memories and experience in the journey can be amazing.

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