On most days when I crawl out of bed in the morning I refrain from making any predictions about how the day is going to go until I've had a reasonable amount of caffeine and a good, hard look at my to-do list. If I then click over to my e-mail and stare with little comprehension at the subject lines it's a fairly good bet I'll be having one of "those" days.
You know what I mean—one of those days where you have to flog yourself to actually accomplish anything at all. For me, there's usually a direct correlation between motivation and the amount of sleep I didn't get. You'd think I'd plan for that by now.
Horses experience the same thing, except we're their to-do list and e-mail all wrapped up into one, and if we didn't bring it all to them, they wouldn't waste time worry about it. Some days Eddie (my horse) will meet me at the gate, ears up, practically wagging his tail. Other days he'll stand at the far end of his paddock and look at me with complete indifference, if he bothers to look at all. I know exactly how the ride is going to go before I even get a halter on him.
It boils down to this: I care and he doesn't. I want every day to be my best effort. I take it as a personal insult when my body or mind can't seem to get it together enough to cooperate.
Eddie seems to accept the day to day variations. He always makes an effort to do what I ask, bless his heart, but when he's less than sterling he still expects his treats and is just as pleased with himself when we're done as he is on the days when he's wonderful.
It is what it is. Don't waste energy worrying about what it should have been. Make sure you get a treat for your effort because, after all, you did try. And, for heaven's sake, relax. You can't change what's already happened and, who knows, tomorrow might be better…but don't let that interfere with the moment.
If horses had a philosophy that would probably be it. We might do well to try it out once in a while.