Sunday, June 23, 2013

Final Thoughts

    Four months. That's how long it's been since I last updated this blog. I guess you could say I lost my writing mojo so to speak for a little while. It may have had to do with the fact that I became super busy during the semester, getting an average of about 5 hours of sleep every night. I guess that's college life for you. Because so many things have happened in the past four months, I guess I should catch everyone up on things.
     In my last post I left off with saying Stoney was entered in Feather Creek Horse Trials. Well, Mike rode him that weekend (I went to groom and to watch), and he ended up finishing in first place on his dressage score. Talk about a successful first outing after ten months. Shortly after getting the word out that Stoney was for sale, he sold. We're talking within two months. Who knew the horse was going to sell as fast as he did because I sure didn't. I was under the impression that'd he'd be on the market around six months or so and that I would probably be riding him over the summer, so I ended up giving up some great opportunities I had, like spending ten weeks in San Antonio with a group from Campus Outreach.
     So long story short I'm spending my summer in Texas and just enjoying the down time considering how stressed and overloaded I was this spring semester. With the exception of a few summer courses, I get to spend most days riding Yoda, tanning by the pool, and seeing all these great movies that are coming out this summer. I even went to Texas Rose Horse Trials a few weekends ago and groomed for Lynne's two horses, one being in the intermediate and the other in the preliminary division. It's crazy to think it had been exactly a year since I'd been there, and they were holding the selection trials for the Young Riders there again. A year ago I was competing in it there. This past time I went I wasn't riding, and I didn't even own a horse anymore. Oh how fast the changes come in life.
     So coming back to the present. A fifteen year old girl from Alabama ended up with the big goof ball. All the worries I had about his new home soon vanished once I saw her ride him and I got to know her. I'm absolutely thrilled Stoney gets to have another teenage girl that adores and spoils him. I honestly couldn't have asked for him to go to anyone better. Not to mention I get to see plenty of pictures of how he's doing at his new home which makes it even better.

Stoney happier than ever at his new home.

     I miss him of course, but it's not nearly as difficult as I'd anticipated. I believe most of that is due to the fact that I have Yoda to love on every single day. I guess all the love I had for Stoney has just transferred to another horse. Having a three star horse to ride every day is such a blessing and is honestly the most fun I've ever had.
     As far as my life without a horse goes, it's quite a change, but I'm adapting better than I thought I would be. I've been initiated into Kappa Delta and am distracting myself by surrounding myself with my sisters. Earlier this semester I took matters into my own hands and ended up embracing the changes in my life in a new way... by getting a tattoo... or two. Also, my F150 is no more, and I am stuck driving around in a small two door Altima. I think I miss my truck almost as much as I miss my horse... And I don't think having my life flash before my eyes a few times in that car in the few months I've been driving it is helping with the transition. It's safe to say I've been dealing with a lot of changes just in this past semester, but I'm doing nothing other than embracing it.
     So this is it. The final post to this blog. I'm not sure if I will create another blog in the future or not. I'm not sure if I'll have anything worth writing about really, and considering how busy I'll be with classes and Kappa Delta, there's a good change my blogging days are over. However, you never know what will happen. All I know now is that I can do nothing but live each day and handle the continuous changes in my life the best that I can. I'm not worried at all about what this next year holds without a horse. Hopefully it'll hold better grades. I know with my sorority it'll hold a lot of firsts for me that I'm excited to experience this fall. I've met so many amazing people this past year that I know will be here for me this upcoming year. No matter what, I'm not at all scared or terrified like I used to be. I can feel God working in my life right now more than ever. These changes have had me grow closer to Him, and I know he's with me every step of the way. The inner peace that brings is indescribable.
     If you take anything away from my blog at all, it's this. No matter how hard you fall, you will always be able to get back up. No matter how hopeless things look or how blinded you feel, those feelings are only ephemeral. I went through so many heartbreaks in the last year I had Stoney and the changes I was forced to deal with, but I managed to make it back up on my feet. Somehow I carried on, and in the midst of this past year even with all the changes, I found happiness. I learned that change really isn't as terrifying as it seems to be. It only seems terrifying because the places you are about to tread are unfamiliar places, places you've never been or even seen yourself going to. However, you learn to adapt and find happiness in other aspects of life. I've realized now that with change comes other beautiful and great things in life, and I know now that there is no reason to be afraid anymore.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Chapters and Old Cliches

     So I'll cut to the chase by stating that Stoney is entered in  Feather Creek Horse Trials at the end of March, our first competition in ten months. Yes, the excitement is uncontrollable (although I'm hoping he can control it). Since coming back to Texas, Stoney was able to start actually jumping on a regular basis since we have great facilities and fantastic weather here. The last month I've literally done nothing but jump a little every day in the hopes of him getting over the excitement of jumping again. It's yet to work... Along with that, I've been seeing everyone's statuses and pictures from Florida, making me depressed (exaggerating a little) and wishing I was there. I guess God decided to make me feel better by providing me with Florida weather because the past three weeks have been gorgeous here. Not to mention I have the next best thing from going to Florida, which is getting to ride Yoda and Jack everyday, Mrs. Lynne's other two horses.
     So back to Stoney. Just this past week, Dr. Anderson came out and gave me the thumbs up to start raising the fences. I was a little worried since we were still rushing at novice level fences and taking off bucking on the backside. I mean, we've yet to finish a course without having to stop and cool our jets in the middle. However, I did think that Stoney may start to respect the jumps and act like a mature horse again if I raised them, sort of like he did a few years ago. So, with that in mind I took the chance. After the few days off and the few days of hacking after getting his hocks injected, I raised the jumps one morning. With the exception of straightness, he was quite fantastic. Straightness was a huge issue though that will definitely be worked on everyday. The wiggle worm was all over the place, but his rhythm was the most consistent it's been since starting him over fences again. Hooray for some progress.
    Before Feather Creek, Stoney and I will be doing a combined test out at Quail Run to see how he handles the show environment after not being exposed to it for quite a while. If all goes well, I will ride him training level at Feather Creek. If he decides that he doesn't have the self control to deal with his excitement, then Heather will ride him at Feather Creek. However, Mike prefers that I ride him if he is acting well so that he can be sold as an amateur's horse.
     Which leads me to my next point. Today I completed a for sale ad for him to be posted online. My brain has yet to find comforting thoughts to fill my mind. Yes, I know it's the right decision in my head (not like I have much of a choice in the matter anyway), but of course my heart is breaking at the thought of having to sell him. For those of you who don't have a horse and struggle to understand, it's like breaking up with a boyfriend. We're talking about a boyfriend you've spent time with at least six days a week for the past three years. Yeah, not too easy. It's the same for us horse girls. And it's just as life altering.
     While I believe that it is hard for everyone to sell a horse they have spent that much time with, I feel it's harder for me. For one, the fact that this horse has so much personality and quirkiness just makes it that much harder to part ways with him. The most difficult aspect though is the fact that I am having to part ways with a horse that made me better and one that I brought up the levels and made. With this horse, I competed at the preliminary level for the first time and did things I'd only hoped to do up until buying him. He made me a far better rider than I could have ever been with a different horse. With all the help and hours Mike and Heather contributed, I'm now able to call Stoney a horse that's well established at the preliminary level. All the education instilled into that horse was not there before I purchased him.
     It seems like there are few people these days that want to go out and buy a young horse and make great horses themselves. I feel like most people want to go out and buy the horse that's been there done that. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. In fact, I know for a fact that if my parents had the money, they would have gone out and bought that horse for me in a heart beat. However, there is something truly special about owning a horse that you know is where he's at today because of the hard work, dedication, and endless hours that you put in with him. That is by far what makes it so hard for me to let go of him. He's who he is today because of me. And it's the same for me.
     Let me state the obvious and say that eventing is filled with many owners who possess great income. They are able to own a horse and compete comfortably. There are so many who don't understand what it's like to have to sell their horse because they can't afford to keep them as well as pay for other important things in their lives. Yes, I know I said we were already planning on selling Stoney originally, but I no longer have the luxury of being able to buy another horse like others can.
     So many thoughts go through my head, wondering if he's going to go to someone who will spoil him as much as I do and treat him as well as I feel he deserves. That's all I want. Someone who will take such good care of him because I know that when it comes to competing, he will take such great care of his owner.
     As if living life without a horse wasn't enough of a damper, I am also forced to sell my truck when Stoney sells and get a car that gets better gas mileage. I am currently known as "that horse girl" and "the girl who drives a truck" by my friends at school. But not much longer. Then what am I supposed to say when people I just met ask about me? I can give them the extremely lame excuse of saying I'm athletic and love the outdoors, yet I don't play any sports. I can now just add on to the list, saying I used to play soccer, used to play basketball, and used to ride horses. Now I do nothing and I'm really not that interesting of  a person anymore because everything that defined who I was has been stripped away. Yup, that's what I'll say. Not really. But I think I got my point across. I fear once these things are gone from my life, I won't be nearly as interesting of a person anymore. Not like being interesting was benefiting me all that much anyway if we're talking about the dating aspect of things. But that's a whole different story in itself, and an extremely disappointing one at that.
     I'm well aware that all my posts these days are quite depressing. I would understand if you got tired of reading them just for that reason. But if it makes you sad and a little depressed just reading it, imagine how it feels to be living it. 
     These massive, life altering changes in my life deeply scare me. They scare me because I can't begin to see what a life without owning a horse will be like for me. I know I will still be able to go watch everyone at shows and even ride (Mrs. Lynne has already guaranteed me horse time when I need it), but there is just something about having a horse to call your own. However, having such great people in my life who will let me ride their horses when I want to is something I'm so grateful for.
     So, with knowing that Stoney will most likely be sold by this upcoming summer and not currently having a job, I decided that rushing this spring was something I would be very thankful for once I am left without a horse. Words can't describe how excited I am to start this new chapter of my life with the girls of Kappa Delta. They are the kindest and most down to earth girls I've met in a long, long time. They are similar to my closest friends from the barn. To be able to find girls like that and friendships at that level outside of the horse world is something I'm very excited about. Seriously, words can't describe it. I am so so so so so happy to be a part of Kappa Delta and have so many great sisters that I can go to for anything. Although I've been stressed the past few weeks with attending KD stuff as well as riding three horses a day....and going to school...and doing homework, I'm positive becoming apart of Kappa Delta was the right decision. It just feels right. If that makes sense at all. I am so lucky that I will have these girls and some fun events ahead to help keep me busy and happy once Stoney sells.
     A few posts back I wrote about how great it is to be able to live the life you choose for yourself and to have the freedom to change things in your life. I still believe that. I've come to realize though that I neglected to say just how awfully petrifying it is to change your life and everything you've ever known. I'm not a strong person. This has mentally and emotionally taken a toll on me. And it's exhausting trying to act like I'm okay all the time. Nevertheless, I take comfort in knowing that it will get easier with time. Everything does. It's a fact of life. Yes, I will refer to the terribly overused cliché about the one door closing and another opening. But in my case, I feel like the one door closing (which I believe to be only temporary) leaves me with not just one, but many new open doors. I'd say I'm pretty lucky in that department of things.

Monday, December 31, 2012

When Did I Buy a Hunter Pony?

     Since my last post, things have been progressing with Stoney better than I had anticipated. As I was hoping, the horse did become a bit more mentally sane once he started cantering and doing more each week. Because he was so out of shape and was cantering for longer periods each week, he was usually dog tired any way by the time we finished our ride. To have survived with only getting thrown off once is almost unfathomable. 
     Because I'm not working for Mike anymore, I had to move Stoney somewhere that was more affordable. After weeks of searching around, Lynne Partridge offered to let me keep him at her farm temporarily since she had just sold one of her horses and had an empty stall. I can't tell you how thankful I am to have the Partridge's in my life. They are such kind people, always offering to help me in whatever situation I am facing, and I am so thankful for them. They truly are wonderful people. Although I miss seeing the girls every morning out at Gold Chip, being at the Partridge's is so peaceful, a lot like how my time in the barn used to be back home.
     About a week before I left to come home for the holidays, Dr. Anderson came out and did another ultra sound on Stoney's tendon. It looked great, but after attempting to lunge him (with hooves flying at his assistant's head), we were able to see (eventually) that he was a little off on that leg because he was sore in his heel. We didn't want to risk him injuring the tendon by compensating for the soreness in his heels if he were to jump, so we decided to insert some wedges between the hoof and the shoe before he jumped again for the first time. I can't tell you how immediate and obvious the change was once Lynne's farrier put the wedges on his front feet and lifted his heels up, relieving the pressure. It was an incredible difference. It was so incredible that when Dr. Anderson came out to look at him again, he was absolutely amazed, saying he'd never seen the horse move this good.
     Stoney has also been happier since being turned out. Granted, he is only in a paddock the size of a stall, he THINKS he's turned out, and that's contributing loads to him becoming the horse he was before being put on stall rest. We've been doing a lot of long walks as well out at Quail Run after I ride him, and that's helping a ton as well.
     So, that Friday I jumped Stoney for the first time with Mike since the beginning of July... in the rain. No, I didn't mind getting soaking wet all that much, but it amazes me with the odds, seeing as it NEVER rains. I wasn't sure how he'd act, and even Mike admitted that he thought we wouldn't progress past a cross rail that day. However, Stoney proved him wrong and didn't act out once. In fact, he loped around like a hunter pony for the majority of it. I felt like a novice rider seeing as I was missing quite a bit and for once he was the one helping me out. He acted so well that Mike put together a few combinations (all set very low) for us to do. He got a bit fast towards the end, but by this point the rain had come pouring down and we decided to stop.
     The next night was the Gold Chip Christmas party. Between the great food, getting to see everyone, and Jacob Fletcher crowd surfing, I'd say it was a pretty fun nigh.

Me, Jess, Erin, and Jacob making up the group of Arkansans at the party.

     So Sunday I made the drive back home to Arkansas with Stoney. I'm happy I got to bring him home with me because I'm sure I would have died leaving him in Texas for four weeks. Even though I've adapted to him being boarded for the past year and not having to take care of him night and day, I haven't disliked taking care of him and the other horse that's here to keep him company. Though pulling a full wheel barrel of manure through eleven inches of snow I could have passed on.
     It's safe to say I'm not all that thrilled about the weather here. Yes, I secretly enjoyed the snow, but I really didn't need eleven inches. Or to be put under blizzard conditions and lose power for two days. In the two weeks I've been home, I've gotten to ride a total of three times. I should have known with the weather here. It's a week later and the snow is still on the ground trying to melt away. And guess what, more rain this week, starting today. I'm thinking I may get a chance to jump Stoney once before I go back to Texas, and boy am I more than ready to go back.
     I've loved spending time with friends and family, but I have to admit I miss my room, my friends, and the barn back in Texas. Not to mention Texans hold themselves to being more polite than a lot of people here do. Oh, and I've come to realize how terrible the radio stations are here compared to Texas. I mean awful. Arkansas should be ashamed of the terrible music they play. I'm ready to get back to Denton and back to where it will be nice and dry. I'm hoping I don't have to see rain for a few weeks, and I'm sure that will be quite likely.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

“There is no life as complete as the life that is lived by choice.”

     Where to begin... I've gotten terrible about keeping everyone up to date on things. Then again, this blog was initially created to keep everyone updated with Stoney and I, and it's safe to say we haven't been all that busy since July. On a quick note though, keep your eye out for a new layout on my blog that will be coming real soon! Going back to my grey, obnoxious monster, I'll let everyone know that his injury is healing better than my two vets could have wanted, and they are quite thrilled with the process. They are so thrilled that Dr. Hersman decided to not do the second stem cell treatment upon examining him for the second time this past weekend. 
     So, after a month of walking under saddle, we are now on to trotting a little each day. Just like Dr. Anderson and Dr. Hersman, I am relieved his rehab is going so well, and I am equally relieved he's able to be in some sort of work in the hopes that he will stop attempting to throw me in the dirt. I will tell you, he has already succeeded once... And I have absolutely no idea how it has ONLY been once (I am knocking on wood as I type this with one hand). I am quite positive I will be reunited with the ground again (probably more than once) when Stoney is allowed to begin jumping again.
      Now that he is in a routine of spooking at absolutely everything, even if it only exists in his mind, a neck strap to hold on to when trying to stick to the bronco has become a normal every day piece of tack that is put on. Let me say, it works way better than grabbing mane, which usually results in me pulling literal chunks out in my attempts to stay on. Oh yes, it has been quite an exciting, entertaining (for others who get to witness his wicked moves), and not so boring time bringing this horse back. The perks of owning a thoroughbred. It's true when I tell you that up until now, I've never ridden a horse that I wondered every day for quite some time if I would even stay on for the half hour I was in the saddle. Nevertheless, I will say that after this is all said and done with, one thing I won't be is loose in the tack.
     It's safe to say Stoney has been feeling quite good about himself lately. The more he is allowed to do the more mentally sane he becomes... at least for the first week or two. He then becomes bored again, is convinced he is good enough to do more, and I am left holding on for dear life as birds, other horses, and motorcycles from two acres away cause him to leave the ground off all four. Literally, this horse finds anything he can as an excuse to act out, and when there is nothing, he results to making it up in his imagination. I am then nicely left with a ticking time bomb underneath me, unable to predict when the next round of bucking and rearing will occur. All this started out quite harmless, with him just acting out once or twice a week, but after succeeded in getting me off, it has now turned into a full on attempt (multiple times per day) to just have me hit the dirt again. The neck strap and myself refuse to let this happen.
     Like I said, it's been interesting to say the least. As for school, of course I'm still absolutely in love with North Texas. I am planning on rushing in the spring and getting more involved on campus and am really looking forward to it. I'll go ahead and let everyone know that after a lot of thinking, I've decided that it is time for me to take a break from the eventing world and competing for a little while. While you retrieve your jaw from the floor, I'll tell you that I was just as surprised as you are that I've come to this conclusion. 
     To say this last year has been tough for me in the horse world doesn't quite cover it in my mind. It's always been tough, but this year just hit me with one thing after another. There's only so much one girl can take. I believe you need to fight for what you want to achieve in life, but I have put up a fight for quite a long time. After numerous times of thinking there was none left in me, I found a will to stand myself on my two feet again. I just can't seem to do that anymore.While I believe you need to fight for what you want to achieve in life, I also believe that you need to do whatever it takes to make yourself happy. 
     Like I said above, this decision to take a break from the sport has already been considered a few times in the last three or so years when I've faced hardships and defeat. I can tell you, it is not a new feeling. A big factor in all of this was the fact that to own a horse and board it down here would require that I work to help pay some of it off. Owning a horse and working come as a joint package with no exception from my parents. Keeping up with both of those means not having enough time and energy to focus and get the grades I need to keep my scholarships and eventually be accepted into pharmacy school. I'm afraid if I don't focus on school, I will not be able to get a profession that will allow me to comfortably afford this sport in my future, and yet I'm also afraid if I don't have a horse, there will be a huge gaping void in me. A downing situation? Tell me about it.
     After a lot of discussing with the family, we've decided to just put the money in the bank that we get out of selling Stoney once he is better and let it sit for a while. Part of it will go towards getting me another truck with less miles, and the rest will be saved until I am ready to buy myself a really nice and talented novice level horse. Do I think my break from competing and owning a horse will last more than six months? I doubt it. I'd give it a year tops. And even if I find myself unable to take that long of a break from owning a horse, I know I could be very happy for a few years just having a young horse and bringing him along with the help of Mike and Heather but not necessarily competing all that much (that much meaning about four events a year). If I chose that, like I said, I would have to work as well, and that is just not something I can handle at this time.
     I honestly can't see where my life will go once Stoney sells, because for the first time in ten years, I will not own a horse, and my horse will not be the complete and utter focus of my life. However, I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing; it's just a very unfamiliar and somewhat scary thing. Although it's frightening, I find peace in knowing I don't have to worry because God already has it all planned out for me. I've decided it's time for me to stop spreading myself thin and for me to stop sacrificing everything for a sport that I haven't even been given much success with in return. 
     All this time, I've chosen for my life to be as difficult and exhausting as it is. I've made the decisions to take on so much, and now I'm just choosing to make my life easier. That's what's so great about life. It's yours. You're in control of it. Getting to live your life by your own choices is the greatest freedom you will ever encounter. Your life can be whatever you want it to be, and right now, this is currently what I'm choosing to do with mine.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Juggling Upside Down

     I know, I know. Long time no see. Honestly, there hasn't been much to write about. Weird right? Try having actually lived these past two boring months.
     So, I thought I'd start with an update of how Stoney is doing, seeing as this blog was mainly created to keep up with him and myself. Stoney's rehab is going great, and he is healing faster than Dr. Anderson could have ever expected. He was actually blown away by the progress. The good thing about this horse (and no, it is not his obnoxious personality) is he is quite a fast healer. In the few years I've owned him, anything minor he always recovered from ridiculously fast. I guess you could say we're pretty lucky in that aspect of things. So, after that great news, we have now gotten to move on to walking under saddle. Just walking on a lose rein, even for only thirty minutes a day, has drastically changed this horse mentally. I think just getting back into the routine of things of me sitting on him six days a week is making him mentally sane again...and me as well. I went from riding/working with this horse six days a week to not sitting on his back for two and a half months. Saying that was mentally difficult for me just doesn't quite cover it. Before progressing to being under saddle, Stoney was coping well with the stall rest, but he had his days (just as I) where he literally had the expression of "I hate the world" (to put it nicely) tattooed on his face. I can assure you, he is a much happier pony now. Are plan now is to continue with the walking under saddle for a half hour each day for the next month, and then we'll see where we're at with the recovery.
     As for school, I am now moved in at University of North Texas and quite settled into the place. Just this week, I think I finally am starting to somewhat know my way around when driving...kinda. One thing about starting college is that you rapidly become aware of the direction of every step you take so that you don't get turned around in your head. I became really good at this in only a few days and am now a walking compass. Also, I have thankfully not experienced any face plants going up the many flights of stairs I take or any other humiliating experiences. However, I've already locked myself out of my room and saved myself from nearly face planting up the sidewalk that came up out of no where and tripped me, so I'm sure those even more humiliating moments are yet to come.
     It was very difficult having my world flipped upside down. For the past year, the barn has been my life. Now having school become the number one priority and the barn second is quite a change. Not to mention, I found out exactly why most people that have a year off between high school and college either don't go back or drop out.  Why you ask? Because it's hard. A lot harder then you can imagine. I thought I struggled at math before, but now I struggle with it even more after not doing it for a year, to the point that it's embarrassing. However, it seems to be getting easier day by day, so let's hope it continues in this direction.
     Socially, I haven't had huge buckets of success. Mostly that was because of my work hours, but I'll get to that in a minute. I have become really close to a friend I met at orientation who lives a few doors down from me. Watching movies, going to the rec center, and eating in the cafeteria together are becoming rituals for us two girls. Just this past week alone I've already gotten closer to a few people in my classes, so that's promising. And as always, I still have all the girls at the barn.
     I have to say, although I was hardly even around campus these past few weeks and running all over the place trying to juggle life, I have been lucky enough to enjoy some mean green football. Yes, I am aware that North Texas has not been known in the recent past for their football team, but they have REALLY improved in the past year or so just with the new head coach. I feel these next four years here will be really exciting with the football program, and what better place to enjoy it then at the SUPER nice new stadium that was opened only a year or so ago?
     The people at this campus are better than imaginable. It didn't take long here to get the vibe of how accepting everyone is of one another. With the amount of diversity that there is at this school, that is such a great feeling. Most everyone is great with everyone, and you get the feeling with these people that you can just walk up to a random person and start having a friendly conversation and by the end of it, you've made a new friend. Everyone is super nonjudgmental, and let me say, the school spirit here is CRAZY. So, long story short, I AM LOVING COLLEGE.
     As for work, I guess you could say I was a little crazy thinking I could work thirty plus hours a week, go to school, take care of Stoney, do homework, and still be functioning. After a few weeks of that, my body made it very clear to me the idea I had was not going to be possible. I was mentally and physically drained, and the combination of those two were making me emotionally drained. What a mess. After talking to Mike and him being the great man he is, he is now allowing me to work fifteen hours a week and just deduct those hours from his monthly boarding rate. Because a week has not been enough time for me to play catch up with my mass amount of school work, I am still very stressed mentally. However, seeing as I'm not spending ten hours straight away from my dorm each day and my body doesn't feel like it's barely functioning, I am able to handle the stress a lot easier and with more joy.
     So, back to homework I go. It seems to be my life lately, though it won't be tomorrow. Tomorrow is game day here at North Texas against Troy. It's safe to say it'll be a good day! Go Mean Green!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Area V is Where it's At

     I couldn't help but write a post about Area V today. Yet again, Area V has made their voices known at the NAJYRC in Lexington, Kentucky this year. Our two star team had some unfortunate events occur, but our one star team pulled it out to bring home the team and individual gold once again. Not only that, but one of our other team mates placed fourth individually, and one of our riders who competed individually placed sixth. It really is bittersweet being home and getting to follow our teams throughout the weekend, whether it be on eventing nation or the live results. I wish so much I could have been there, and even more that I could have been apart of the team this year, but I couldn't be happier for our area and how well our teams did. There is an overwhelming since of pride that goes with being apart of Area V.
     Last year when I was back on the east coast, I remember a girl there telling me that when you finish in the top five at one of the events over there, you know you're really good. She said it's a lot different than finishing in the top five in other places of the U.S since eventing is so big on the east coast. Well, I guess that isn't neccesarily true these days. Seeing as Area V not only brought home team and individual gold this year in the one star, but also brought home team and individual gold in the one star last year as well, it's safe to say that when you're competing against these girls and doing well, you know you've done something right. And that's what I did. I got the great oppurtunity to compete all season against the girls that played apart in taking home the gold this year and last year at NAJYRC. In the video on Eventing Nation of Tori being interviewed, she says that Area V is a special team because we're all very close. It's the truth. Everyone is so close and looks out for one another in our area, and I couldn't imagine a better group of people to be surrounded by. We're all a big family.
     For many years now, I have wanted to be able to represent such a great area. It looks like my time and chances of that are up for the one star team, but there may be some chances left for the two star team one day. That being said, there is a point when you have to look at your life and know when to let go. There will always be a time where you're going to have to let go, even of something you've dedicated years to achieving. It may be time for me to let go of the goal of being able to represent Area V some day. It might just not be in the cards for me. I take a look at the amount of stress I took on this past season, the fact that I was literally sleeping on people's couches this past year, and the amount of financial stress I put on my family, all in the hopes of going to Young Riders this summer when ultimately I wasn't even chosen. I look at it all and I honestly don't know if I should keep this hope alive. It sure wasn't fair to my family, and at this point in time, I can't imagine doing that to them again. To push forward or to let go? That is the question. Obviously it won't be answered now, but hopefully I'll have more answers in the future.
     As for Stoney, he is getting better and lazier as time progresses. After only a few days of stall rest, he was practically about to kill me when I took him out for walks, and I wasn't sure how this was going to go on for the next couple of months. However, he has now realized that being on stall rest (with the exception of not being turned out) is actually quite nice. He is enjoying not working six days a week and getting carrots for no apparent reason. At least, that's what he thinks. I give him carrots every time I walk him and he doesn't spin around, rear, and strike out at me. I can only hope he'll make the connection that when he doesn't try to "play" with me when we go for our walks and has composure, he gets treats. And we do A LOT of walking. So as you can see, the horse is getting a lot of carrots and being spoiled for no apparent reason. Of course he doesn't mind. With the exception of having to deal with the new found obnoxiousness he has ALL THE TIME, he has been quite easy to handle.
     Until next time, I hope you enjoy the amusing picture and the facial expressions I get out of my horse. Every time the potent fly repellent systems come on in the barn, he never fails.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Taking a Second Blow

     Sooner or later I would really love to be able to post a non-disappointing post on my blog, but life isn't handing me much else to say at this time. Earlier this week, I was hit with yet another disappointing and heart wrenching blow when Stoney came up lame after galloping at the track early Sunday morning. After having my vet, Dr. Anderson, come out to take a look at him, we found my horse to have suffered from another minor injury yet again. I guess life figured it hadn't thrown enough at me in the past month. 
     So, Stoney is currently on stall rest (which he made very clear today that he is not approving of). I am hand walking and icing him more times in a day than I can keep track of, and this will continue for a little bit longer until the initial pain has passed. He will not be in work for the next few months, and I have also made the decision to not go to Kentucky with everyone on Sunday to NAJYRC and will instead stay back at Gold Chip, working and taking care of Stoney.
     So what's the plan now you ask? Well, after talking with Mike and Heather, I've come to the decision that I will be selling Stoney after he has healed and will start looking for a new and young horse to purchase that has potential to run at the two star level. However, it will take a while before Stoney can go back into work, and he then has to become fit again and worked regularly so that he is able to be sold. THEN I have months of waiting for someone to purchase him and THEN even a few more months of horse shopping before I will probably find myself a horse and I can regularly ride/train again. With all of this, we are looking at at least another year passing before I have another horse. Unfortunately, we do not have the financial means to buy a nice horse until we sell Stoney.
     So, do I think I'm crazy for still even remotely wanting to keep doing this after all the hardships? Yes. You may think I'm a little strange to continue in this and move on, but it's all I can do. I can only accept that life is incredibly hard. It is far from fair and always will be. However, if I chose to be mad at the world every hour of every day, it would only result in misery, so accepting things for how they are is my only option...unless I go with Mike's idea of winning the lottery and buying myself a two star horse. In the mean time of keeping my fingers crossed for that one, I will continue working and taking care of Stoney. I'll be sure to give updates on his progress soon.

 A picture of the grey monster enjoying his time off.