Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What keeps me coming back

So it's been a very long time since I last wrote on this blog.  A lot has changed since earlier this year, and although many of you may already be up to speed, here's a quick recap.

After an unfortunate finish at Twin Rivers in April for Brit and I, we decided to reevaluate our future together.  Brit is a great horse, but just ended up not being what I was looking for in a future upper level partner.  She is now enjoying life as a fancy dressage show horse for an adult amateur in the bay area.  Liam, my wild beast, came over to Raintree Ranch for boot camp with the trainer, Lauren.  We still have a long ways to go, but we are making progress.

Will he be an upper level mount?  Honestly, I have no idea, but this horse is good at surprising me.  Sometimes even in good ways.

The whole process of trying to sell Brit and find another horse to replace her was one of the most stressful and frustrating things I have ever done.  Horses are my sanctuary, my happy place to relieve stress.  When your stress reliever is causing you to have more stress then things don't always go so well.  In fact I would like to apologize to and thank everyone that had to put up with my antics and break downs.  When something has been a part of your life for so long, how to you deal with suddenly going without?  Being left behind at the barn while everyone else went to shows, not getting to jump for months, not having a reliable horse to do anything on, and then wondering not when, but even if I would ever find another horse, it got to me.  You start asking yourself why you even bother, why put yourself through this, is it really worth it?  I think to an extent the answer depends on the person, but after what I've been through over the past year, no, several years, I can say that my answer is yes, and here's why.

Riding has beat me up and knocked me down more than a few times.  I've had to put down a horse, deal with the heart break of injuries and ultimately giving up on another, spend months in limbo while trying to figure out if one had what it takes before making the decision to sell her, and then most recently, go through the pain of falling in love with a horse only to have something come up or have it fail a vet check.  That last one happened to me probably six or seven times, I don't even remember now.  Each time I would get my hopes up, my mom would ask me if I was excited and I would say "yes!" because I was, but by the end I didn't want to allow myself any emotional attachment because when it ultimately fell through it was that much more devastating.  Towards the end I just felt empty, it almost became laughable.

How long can you keep telling yourself that it's fate and something better will come of it?  How long can you pretend that you're doing okay even when you feel like your dying inside each time you get let down?  And I'm not just talking about the horse search, I'm talking about all the things that have happened to me and that I have seen happen to other people.  What I've dealt with has sucked, but really when you put it in prospective it isn't nearly as bad as some people have had it.  Yet we stick with it anyway.

Now back to the why:
1) I love my barn family and I couldn't leave them
2) I'm a competitive person and a hard worker with drive, when things get tough I've learned to push through.
3) I'm a dreamer that wants to compete at Rolex and own one of the red team USA coats, you don't get there if you're a quitter.
But really it is not about any of the things on that list, it's about a love for the horses and a love for the sport.  No matter how many times it knocks me down I keep coming back to the horses because I can't picture my life without it.  I tried to live without it, at least the competition part, over this past year, but I was miserable as I said above.  Sometimes you don't realize how much you'll miss it until it's gone.

So don't let this sport get you down.  Things have a funny way of working themselves out in the end, and I would never have gotten as far as I have if I had not have kept coming back for more.  And don't give up on your dreams, because then they will never become a reality.  Just look at my Breyer horse mare that I ended up with, below.  If I had given up on my horse search I would have never found her, and maybe never realized my Rolex dreams.  I still might not, but at least I came back so I could have the chance.