Clearly Spring is in the air, because for the first time in a very long time, eventing/jumping/showing is starting to look really fun again. I think between the emotions around moving on from May, the trials of horse shopping, the difficulty of moving across the country twice in 3 years, healing from my car accident, Grayson’s soundness issues in California, and lots of changing in my work life, riding just needed to be a place with no expectations. The idea of really training and showing and, quite honestly, caring about my riding that much was just too much for that phase in my life.

So where are we now? I’ve been in SC for almost a year. Our home is settled, Grayson is settled, and that feeling is starting to creep back in. You know the feeling… where you start scrolling through XC course walks, watching helmet cams, looking at shows and thinking, “well that looks like a lot of fun”. More people at my barn have started going to some schooling horse trials in Aiken and CT locally, and I now have a trailer*! I dipped my toe in the water VERY tentatively with some little jumpies.

*Trailer isn’t fancy, but its a 2 horse Hawk bumper pull with a dressing room. And I love it.

How tentatively was that toe dipped? I asked someone else to jump my horse around a course first. While I have popped him over little jumps here and there, I really wanted him to have a super confident school around his first courses in… more than a year. Maybe more than 18 months? Not sure. As usual, Grayson stepped right up to the plate and marched around like the pro he is.

Of course, this left me with absolutely ZERO excuses, so I signed up for my own lesson. Because I own the horse, and I should enjoy the horse. Right? Right. So the next weekend, I found myself sitting on my horse in all my jump gear, heading out to the jump field, and in all honesty, trying not to throw up. I was so nervous! We started warming up, and pretty soon I got some standard Grayson feedback of “he cant just putter around like a lesson horse. He needs to think about going somewhere.” Fair enough, time to actually go forward. This warmup served us SUPER well, and we moved easily into ground poles, then crossrails, then we put together a course!

Again, Grayson is a total pro. He marched right around and didn’t peek at anything. That wasn’t a total surprise though, because I had lunged him over all the scary things out in this field a couple of weeks earlier. Either way, it’s nice to feel this horse feeling so confident and happy in his job. He is also so ridiculously easy to see distances on. If I can keep his balance in the right place (and not panic and do something stupid), he stays so steady to the fences it makes it easy to see a distance and ride to it.

We have a lot to work on, but the goal here isn’t perfection. In fact, when this new trainer asked about my goals, all I could say is that I wanted it to be fun and confident for me and Grayson. If that means that we are #StarterForever than I am ok with that, but if it takes us back to BN together or up to N, it will only be because those things look fun for us. And if it stops being fun, then we will find something else to do. I’m an adult ammie, and this is supposed to be fun!

Photo Courtesy of Xpress Foto

The other thing that has felt “wrong” the last year is the lack of a certain, oversized Thelwell pony. I hemmed and hawed for MONTHS about what to do. I miss May, a lot, but I also know she is in an amazing situation. Then a friend of mine lost her long time mare suddenly, and I could almost feel the panic I would feel if something happened to May while she was all the way across the country. Finally, my husband was like “we need to bring her home. She’s our girl.” and that was that. (He was always against leaving her in California, and as usual, he was right.) It broke my heart to give her leaser notice, because I know how great they’ve been together. But at the end of the day, May has been by my side for the last 9 years, and life without her just isn’t the same.

So in April, my birthday present is bringing my girl back “home”. She will be leased out again on our farm, hopefully to someone who wants to run and jump and event, because she still has so much joy to give someone. But this time, I think I am going to reserve a ride or two for myself each month, because some days, I really do need the confidence those yellow ears give me.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. martidoll123

    YAY YOU ARE BACK BLOGGING 🙂 and yay on trailer, on getting May back and so on. HIP HIP HOORAY. And also at least one of your horses does have a tail 🙂

    1. Emily

      The tail is growing! One day it will be back to being an impressive tail for a thoroughbred… probably next winter :-/

  2. Avery

    This is all so great! Especially the fun and the May! Also, trailers do not have to be fancy, they just have to be safe and do their job! It is interesting, I see a lot of people making comments like that about trailers. How theirs is not fancy. I used to show with a girl that was embarrassed about the fact that her horse was hauled in a stock trailer and did not want others talking about her. Fancy trailers do not make better riders and horses! Do your thing girl and good for you! Cheers to more pony fun! And in new places! I love Hawk trailers.

    1. Emily

      Thank you! When I saw a 2 horse Hawk in my budget that was in great shape, I knew I had to jump on it. Timing wasn’t great from a money perspective, but it’s such great piece of mind knowing that I can always hook up and take my horses wherever they need to go. And now the adventure possibilities are ENDLESS!

      1. Avery

        YES! And….haha….#life!

  3. Brianna

    You and Grayson look great out there! I’m so glad your girl is going to be closer to home with you <3

  4. T (RaincoastRider)

    I love everything about this. Welcome back May! And I almost feel like I could have written the thoughts on needing the time out due to life but now wanting to get back into things, (and keeping it fun). I think realistically I’m still a few months behind you but reading this was a big “Yes, I definitely want that to be me again!” moment 🙂 You and Grayson look great.

    1. Emily

      Thank you! honestly – just give yourself space and grace. You’ll get back “there” when you’re ready. And remember, you’re already living the horsey dreams of your 12 year old self. <3

  5. Emma

    such a relatable post — i’ve definitely been through a period of, ‘but is this actually fun?’ and couldn’t agree more with keeping that pure unadulterated enjoyment front and center! tho it’s so interesting, after taking so much time away, it actually kinda helped reaffirm for me that, YES I DO wanna do this stuff! y’all look great in the video clip, hopefully the good feelings keep flowing!

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