“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.
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.
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.