One of my favorite things about blogging is that there’s always someone that’s been in my shoes. Reading stories about riders coming to terms with horses that didn’t fit their needs makes it easier to work through my own feelings about my belated realization that Ezhno will never be my forever horse.
Recently Emma from ‘Fraidy Cat Eventing posted about the balance between the rider’s journey with an individual horse and the rider’s broader goals and ambitions. Her questions came at an auspicious time, and they made me think about what my goals are for my journey with my next equine partner.
This. This is my goal. GOD I MISS JUMPING COURSES WITH FRIENDS.
Do you define yourself as a rider by your goals or ambitions?
I think at this point in my life, I do define myself as a rider by my goals. As much as I wish that I could let my sense of enjoyment be defined by Ezhno’s preferences, the truth is that I find his discipline of choice (pleasure/performance) boring. I’ve spent the last couple of months trying to make the idea of becoming a performance rider work for me, but it just… doesn’t. 🙁
Have you had to make decisions about buying or selling a horse based on its suitability for your goals or purposes?
Hello, current situation. It sucks, but I also think that the ability to know when it’s time to let go and how to sell a horse are important. I’m trying to view it as a learning experience and an opportunity to move forward with my riding.
Do you feel like there’s something bigger out there, something more overarching in your own journey as a rider, independent of the horses that may come in and out of your life?
I think the over-arching theme to my riding career has been rebuilding my confidence and encouraging a sense of “bravery” in the saddle. I do my best to enjoy every good moment as it comes along, but I definitely get a bigger sense of satisfaction from having a set goal to focus on. I want to see progression in my skills and abilities (and the skills and abilities of my horse, too!).
This is what makes me happy AND terrifies me at the same time. 😛
So, what are my goals as a rider? What do I want to be able to do with Horse #2?
I want to be fearless. I want to be able to jump 2’6″+ the way I can jump 2’0″—without anxiety and with complete trust that my horse will save my ass if I screw up mid course.
If I’m thinking in terms of the 2018 show season, I’d like to participate in the entire Lake Washington Saddle Club summer series—preferably in the jumper ring, even if it’s only at 0.70m. I like that jumpers is judged off the clock instead of personal opinion, and I love how well organized the LWSC shows are (plus Bridle Trails is my favorite venue!).
If all goes well (and I can find someone to go with me), I think it’d be great to do a recognized jumper event. The only “real” show I’ve ever been to was the Pinto show, but since performance wasn’t my jam I just went for the experience.
I want to try eventing (and, by extension, DRESSAGE, woooo), though I’m not sure if there are any schooling level HT’s near me and I think the closest recognized event is in Oak Harbor.
Ultimately, I think eventing is where I want to be. 🙂