Saturday, November 5, 2016

Four Years Ago

It's been far too long since I've written in this blog.  I'd like to say I'm going to try and consistently update it again, but being a busy college student that may or may not actually happen.  I feel the need to post something now because I've been pining away at home wishing I was at Galway Downs this weekend.  Being as I'm stuck at home, hard at work in my first quarter at UC Davis, I've been reflecting on some things--like how much as changed since I was at this event in 2012.  For one it was my first semester of community college and now I'm a first year transfer student.  But what else was so special about four years ago? Well...

In 2012 I was riding a very different horse, Better than Christmas, known around the barn as Kit.  She was a lease and I had just spent the year rehabbing her from a bone bruise.  She was typical thoroughbred crazy in dressage (understatement of the century) but a cross country machine and I learned a ton from her, even if none of that was how to ride dressage.  This event was the last time I ran her prelim as well as the last time I completed a prelim, though not for lack of trying.  The last four years has been very up and down with horses.  I had one that decided she didn't want to jump, and then another who didn't really want to do the upper level cross country.  The plus side?  Even though they didn't work out my dressage education, among other things, is a thousand times better than it was four years ago in no small part because of them.  One has a great home as a dressage horse, the other is switching careers to show jumping.  Now I'm back to riding a crazy thoroughbred who seems to love what he's doing, only time will tell if we get to go around prelim together.  Speaking of which...

This is Liam aka Limitless, pictured at Woodside in April of 2012.  The aforementioned crazy thoroughbred that I'm currently staking my eventing future on?  Yep, this one right here.  I've had him this whole time while a couple other horses didn't end up being the "one."  Funny how it's come full circle to him now.  He was four in this picture, three when I bought him, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing beyond how to stick his spooks and get him over fences.  After lots of in and out of work with me as time (and my sanity) allowed, I finally put real effort into getting him going a year ago with some serious help from my trainer Lauren LoPiccolo.  But wait... you know what else is different?

Four years ago I knew less than a quarter of the people I consider my closest friends now.  In February of 2013, just a few months after Galway, I moved to LL Equestrian.  This was one of the most defining moments of my equestrian career, if not my life.  The people I've met and the experiences we've shared... I wouldn't trade them for the world.  Even if they still confuse me sometimes (see picture on the left).  My riding has come so far in my time with Lauren and the people there are like family.  Dana and I moved together and are closer now than we were then, which reminds me...

On cross country day at Galway Downs in 2012, Dana and I sat watching the FEI divisions while we fantasized about our dream barn.  We talked about what features we wanted, where it would be, who would be there, and how it was all just a dream and would probably never happen.  Well now by some miracle Dana and her husband Bryan are building Big Sky Equestrian Center, future home of LL Equestrian--and it's right down the street from my house.  Who would have thought that those fantasies we discussed while watching the horses jump through the moat would someday become a reality?  I couldn't be more happy for my friend, my barn, and honestly for myself and my horse because we will get to train out of such a beautiful facility and Liam will get to live there.

A lot has changed in four years.  Life has a way of doing that.  I suppose that this post is my way of telling myself that though I've had some pretty awful luck on the horse side of things in the past four years, a lot of really amazing things have happened too.  So now here I am, still chasing a dream.

"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities." -J.R.R. Tolkein

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