While all the extra time during the off season is mostly a blessing, it can also be, in my base, a big old curse. As a person, one of my greatest hobbies in life is overthinking. I can overthink my way out of a wet paper bag. In fact, there is even a special look I get from my husband to let me know that I am overthinking something.
When it comes to horses, this gets kicked into hyper drive. Horses happen to have that magical combination of being expensive, time consuming, addicting, and unpredictable. It’s like a car… but if that car could take itself driving while you are away and hurt itself. Seriously, it’s an insane sport.
However, it also is one that I don’t see myself giving up for quite a while, so like everything in my life, I want to make plans!
2020 is pretty easy to plan for. May will be 15ish, so I want to get more solid at BN and target either a T3DE (none in our area… which is insane) or AECs (which will be in KY again next year). Both are good reasonable goals. I would also love to do an easier Novice event with May. Most likely, this will be at Flying Cross, which is both super close to home and in September.
Do you feel that coming? Yes, it is a big, giant but. But May is not a horse that I think I will really campaign at Novice. The truth is, she isn’t built for this sport. Her hocks are built to trail out behind her instead of under her. Her shoulders are built to pull something not gallop across country and leap over things. Luckily though, she really loves her job. So what are my options?
Let’s start with: I won’t sell May. Unless I become financially incapable of providing for her due to reasons outside of horses, I plan on owning those fuzzy yellow ears for as long as the universe gives them to me.
So from there, my mind spiraled. I could, of course, but my competition dreams aside and just enjoy the horse. When I bought May, I bought her because it needed to be fun again. The plan was literally to get her bopping around starter and then sell her and get something else. Then starter was easy, and riding became fun, and I wanted to keep her.
We moved and competition plans got derailed by life. I am still an eventing beginner with only 2 recognized BN horse trials under my belt. I think May and I have competed less than 10 times together… But I have learned a lot from this mare. She has let me learn eventing right along with her, which is no small feat for any horse. She took me from what was really a broken rider who wanted to pull, instead of kick, and hunch down into a fetal position instead of sitting tall.
She also took me from a rider who thought BN would be enough to one that found herself eyeing the training T3DE at her most recent horse trial.
The truth is, this sport isn’t easy for May. The lines aren’t built for her. The Dressage judges aren’t looking for her type. The XC courses aren’t supposed to take so many steps per meter. (seriously, those corgi legs are never really going anywhere). She loves her job, and I want her to keep doing it. BUT I want her to keep loving it.
And I want to keep loving it to. So what I really want is a horse that is like… 33% more athletic than what I have. Like all sane, rational beings, this led me down the path of looking at stallions for my mare. I found one. Giggled over the idea. Sent the idea to a few friends who KNOW I am insane. (looking at you Michele) And then I deleted my browsing history and moved on because that would also be an unfair (and super unpredictable) move.
For now, I don’t know what I want in the future. It will probably be green because… money ya’ll, but that is about as far as I have gotten. All I know is that I have way too much time to think about it (and annoy everyone around me). What about you all? Are you all looking at what might be next? Or are you more able to enjoy the moment?