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?
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I was there two years ago when I decided continuing to peruse Eventing on a mare who despised it was insane. Then I got Eeyore and everything has changed.
It’s really nice to hear you thinking about this not only from what you want as a rider but what the horse wants and is able to do. Maybe something will drop in your lap and you can lease May out to be a starter packer while you train up the next one.
Yeah – I think that is where I am at. Probably not next year, but maybe the year after that will be the time to open myself up the possibility of something else. The name of the game is to keep the horses happy, without making myself miserable. 😉
Girlfriend, I am in the moment because that is all I can do! I once was a big planner and had dreams since I was all independent and working and blah, an adult….which….as we all know, is not necessarily all it is cracked up to be! So, I enjoy my pons and let them teach me to be present and all the good life lessons they have. I also already bred my mare haha so I ride her baby and love having that piece of her. Talk about the best next step for me! I will stop before I tell you to do that because it is expensive in both money and time.
hahaha I literally read your blogs because they are so in the moment. It is such a refreshing change from the constant dialogue in my head. May would make the cutest babies though 😉
Well you just made my day!
The past few years, every plan I’ve tried to make has gone down the toilet! So just living in the moment I guess. But it’s smart of you to start thinking about these things so you can keep persuing your goals and also still enjoy your horse(s). While I’m not a big cheerleader for back yard breeding, I think a baby May would be SUPER cute! Plus you’re a responsible horse lover and you’d be sure to take care of that baby… SO…. I’m not saying breed your mare… But it would be really fun to follow along! And also, can’t pretend like that thought hadn’t crossed my mind for Shiny in the future. She has a great brain, and she’s pretty, and talented enough.
hahahaha Do I dare show you all the stallion I was thinking of? Just sayin – https://warmblood-sales.com/horse/vinca
Definitely plans to get another one lol. Obviously not for a while (ugh, school), but I have certainly been eyeing and following the CANTER websites and Benchmark TBs for potential OTTBs, looking at what confirmation and soft eyes I tend to be drawn towards to give myself a feel for when I really start to pursue buying another one. I still love QHs tho so I’m thinking I may end up with an appendix QH lol. I would go for the same – a green horse. Because money as well haha! But yeah I’ve just been looking for a while, looking at what movement I do/don’t like cause like you I just want a horse that’s like 33% more athletic than Amber. We’ll see! Right now I’m enjoying riding Amber, so I guess I’m planning AND enjoying? lolol
Yes! My short term plan is to enjoy, and my long term plan is to… do something. 😉 That counts as being somewhat in the moment right?
full disclosure, I have also been stalking canter and everywhere else as if I might actually buy something. I keep telling myself that I am just looking to “get an idea” of what a budget might have to be. 😉