Why Dream?

Why Dream?

“Thank you for being patient while I go through literally every horse option like a crazy person,” I told my trainer when I spoke to her on the phone Friday morning. She laughed at me.

Truth is, I’ve been coming up with grand ideas for a while. Most I haven’t blogged about, though some I have. No matter what kind of crazy horse scheme I came up with, they all involved hard choices. Sometimes it’s a financial sacrifice, because I don’t have to tell anyone who reads this blog how expensive this sport is. For me, the biggest roadblock in the pursuit of my hunter dreams is how much I love my damn horse.

It’s really not fair to us bleeding heart adult amateurs that our horse has to be both a pet and a performance partner. My horse is an excellent pet. He’s the only equine I’ve ever had that loves me in the way that a horse can love his owner. As a performance animal, he’s got a lot of great characteristics as well. However, the more I talked to my trainer and trusted friends the more I began to see that while he’s certainly not a useless donkey, he might not be the best match for me at this particular time in my life.

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I spoke to my trainer earlier last week about all of this. She made it clear she would support anything I wanted to try (aside from quitting), but softly stated that if I wanted to really progress with my riding that I would need to get a different horse.

So naturally I cried all the way home from the barn, because that’s what an emotional hot mess does when faced with an unfortunate reality. The reality is this – I don’t have time for two. I don’t have money for two. I’m not willing to sell Simon right now (or ever possibly). He can’t help me accomplish what it is that I currently want to do. The next day I resigned to ride the horse I had versus the horse I wanted. I would learn to love the jumpers. I would take up dressage! I would do all sorts of things with the nerd horse.

All my life, I’ve wanted four things: to have a good show horse, travel, write a book and fall in love completely. Traveling is a constant blessing that never ends. I can cross loving someone off as accomplished, because even though the ending was rough the years leading up to that went beyond my wildest expectations. That just leaves writing and riding, which is usually always what it boils down to for me.

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I kept thinking, why dream if you don’t pursue those dreams when given the opportunity? Though it came from very unfortunate circumstances, I have opportunities now with both riding and writing. It’s risky to take advantage of them, but the risk of not even trying is even greater. I don’t want to look back at this turning point in my life five or ten years from now and think, “Man… why didn’t I even try?”

So I’m trying to write the book, and left my mind open to the possibilities of a solution on the horse front. It’s too early to say much, but I’m hoping to have some exciting horse news to bring y’all in the near future.

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31 thoughts on “Why Dream?

  1. If you’re considering going in a different direction, why not think WAY outside the box?? Something completely different might be fun and ignite some new dreams. Western dressage?! You’d kill it!

  2. That’s such a tough place to be. For right now I’m having fun seeing how far I can take Hero, but in the back of my mind I suspect that I might end up in a similar place with him. Time will tell I guess!

    Hope you can figure out something, and good luck on the book!

  3. It’s tough to turn a dream into reality – at some point you DO have to make hard choices. But sometimes those hard choices turn out to be easy in hindsight, and oh-so-right… 🙂

  4. You make such a good point – this “dreaming big” thing is what has gotten me to Vermont right now, and what sent me to Wellington last winter. But man, is it SCARY. So, so worth it, though.

  5. I’ve been in that same spot but in a different way for months. Horses are a bit if an odd spot mentally, and if we all had money we’d likely collect them for all our needs. Sound like you have a good ear to bend (and the whole blogging peanut gallery) and seem to make educated decisions so I’m sure this will follow suit.

  6. I have a signature line on a forum that I stole from a podcast, of all things: “The present tense of regret is indecision.” Going for it has its dangers and learning to be still matters, too. But I have a lot of sympathy for not wanting to leave anything on the table, for sure.

    I’ve also spend the last year and change transitioning the horse I thought I’d have forever towards a potential new home. If you want to hear one person’s experience and/or want a sympathetic ear for whatever phase of pondering, my inbox is open.

  7. Money is a B****! More specifically the money needed to do what we love. Fingers crossed for you. Can’t wait to hear about what you’ve got planned.

  8. I chose to ride the horse I have…for the time being. But not only because of the horse – I’m 100% not opposed to selling Fiction, but my instructor asked me to give him a year, so I am. But I don’t regret retiring from Eventing to Dressage. In fact, if I do sell Fiction, I will continue to pursue only Dressage. My passion and goals simply changed.

  9. It can be difficult to ride the horse you have, especially when that horse isn’t going to help you achieve your dream. I’m excited to hear your news! 🙂

  10. Like I said before, life is too short to never take a risk and follow your dreams. If you can do it, and you want to do it, I say DO IT!

  11. It’s a tough thing I struggle with some myself. I know if I want to event with my team, I will have to figure something out with the pony so I can get a packer. But she is my girl. I’ve always said she would be mine forever.

  12. Long time lurker here 🙂 Oh how I feel for you! I spent 10 years with a horse I loved and who loved me back trying to do what she wanted to rather than what I wanted to, and ultimately neither of us were happy. I cried my heart out when she went on loan as a happy hacker, but it freed me up to pursue my dreams. She is happy as larry hacking and being a spoilt princess just as she deserves, and I still visit her.

    Not saying you should do the same as I did, but it’s not easy for either party to be happy if you are both following a path which doesn’t suit either of you!

  13. I totally feel you about taking a risk- that was me looking at horses. I kinda jumped into ownership and said OH GEE I HOPE I CAN MAKE THIS WORK and we’re chasing some dreams now 🙂 Excited to see what dreams you and your pony partner chase.

  14. I haven’t read other comments so I am sorry if I’m being redundant/annoying but this is EXACTLY my situation. Thus why I lease Yankee and ride Bacardi. It works for everyone. I get to have 2 beautiful horses and one gets shown how he likes with someone who cant afford a horse (sans surgery recently) and I get to train the baby!

  15. Horsing is so emotionally taxing sometimes. You get so torn between loving your beast and wanting to grow as a rider. I don’t have an easy answer for you as I am stuck in this rut myself with Jamp. I love him, but I don’t really know what to do with him as a show horse. We’ve done the 3′ equitation for several years now, and I feel like we need to move on from there. But he’s 17, and not at all a hunter. I feel like trying to get back in the jumper ring won’t be any more successful than it was when I tried that before. Plus, he’s the biggest spook ever. ALL. THE. TIME. I am fortunate that I have them at home, so I can afford to have him around. But time is always an issue.
    Looking forward to see what you decide for yourself and Nerd Horse. Hopefully you can find someone to lease him so he can stay yours, and you can pursue your dreams.

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