Thursday, July 31, 2014


Sacrificing sounds all good and fine until it comes down to the nitty gritty and you actually have to give things up.  Real things.  Things you love.  Things that make you happy.

I write for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes I write for you.  To keep in connection with my virtual, yet very real blogger community.

Sometimes I write for my horses.  You know cause they read this blog too and I don't want them to feel neglected!  No really, I write for my horses when I work through training issues and document it here to help me improve for their betterment.

Then other times I write for me.  To get things out that otherwise kept in might just make me spontaneously combust.  Now is one of THOSE times.  I am having a hard time sorting out all that is inside of me right now and getting it black and white does help me. 

My question is; what would you be willing to sacrifice?

Sacrifice for a time, not forever but even a short time relatively speaking.  Could you give up riding?  Could you give up spending the quantity and quality time with your equine partner, lets say for a year?  Give up competing? 

If it was for something that you KNEW would better your life, your families life and also provide more time and money in the long run so that you could ride and compete more than you have been able to in the past.  Then could you?

I think most would say yes, that makes logical sense to give up something you love for a short time to allow you to pursue it more passionately in the future.  That of course makes logical sense, but it does not make it easy.

I rode today.  Like I did last week and the week before.  For like an hour one time a week.  My horse is lacking the incredibly muscular specimen he was this time last year and I hate seeing that.  I see my horses multiple times a day.  Mostly just as I am walking up to the back door  but when I look at him and don't see him ripped with gorgeous shiny muscle it makes me sad.

I want to keep up with it all but it just hasn't happened.  I say about every other week that I am going to ride 5 days a week no matter what.  And every time I have more homework, more house projects or more responsibilities that suck my time and energy away.

Like I said I rode today and not 5 minutes in both me and my horse were huffing and puffing.  It's sad.  It makes me sad.  And today I again committed to start riding every day.  And it wasn't a second later it occurred to me that I will be out of town the next 3 days.  There goes that plan.  I will check back in and let you know if my determination continues when we return Monday.  I hope so.  I know these really are not real "problems" but they are my thoughts and feelings and it is where I am.  And the problem is real to me. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I used to think I was pretty bad ass.

There is nothing like small children jumping large fences on small ponies to make you feel like a chicken shit.  Seriously saw some bad ass riders this week and they were all 14 years old or younger with the average age being 10 at Pony Club D camp.  I love pony club!  Really every young aspiring riders parents could do them no favor greater than joining pony club.
I saw them with looks of concern, when asked to jump something new yet take it on any way with boldness and land with smiles from ear to ear and more confidence in themselves than they've ever had.  Kids who last year were struggling over poles on the ground who worked all year and came back this year and now jumping beginner novice and novice jumps with ease.  These are the cream of the crop.  The future of our horse sports and I am proud to be along for the ride to watch them grow and learn.

These are no ordinary kids.  They work hard, they don't complain, they may weigh less than the manure bucket they are trying to empty but they figure out a way to do it.  Because they understand that their teammate is the most important one in their partnership and deserve the best care no matter how hard.  Each kid willing to help the other.

I saw some take spills and refuse to take a break and more determined to ride better and get it right.  Not one get angry with their horse but instead heeded instruction to give a better ride.  You truly get to see these kids grow in so many ways over the 5 days of camp.  Now here are some pictures to make you too feel like a chicken shit.

 First is Elaina on Penny.  My 7 year old daughters pony who Elaina has been having some fun with this summer.  She is some where around 12 hands and jump all the beginner novice like is was no big thang.  Adorbs!  Mind you Elaina has never jumped XC jumps of this size and has really only ever schooled XC twice over some itty bitty stuff.  But she to made it all look like no big thang.

 Then the last XC day they did a switch ride and Elaina rode another girls pony Sheldon.  Who after watching him the first day everyone who knew him said he was a "dick of a pony".  He proved to be just that but Elaina gave him some great rides and she did great with him.

 Jumping the double bank down beautifully.

Canter through the water and up and over the Novice rolltop.

Big stuff! 

Ahhhh perfection

He was acting squirlly to this jump but Elaina rode it well and she is learning young the benefits of "staying in the backseat!" 

Again he got squirlly and she rode it out with success.
And here are a couple of the other kiddos at camp.  Really amazing little riders.  Both of these young riders are 10.

The smile!

Tuesday morning we leave bright and early with two other girls from our club(one of them being the one riding the big bay above) for Kentucky Horse Park for Pony Club National Championships and Festival.  Where they will be competing in Pony Club Quiz.  Wish them luck!!!  Go Pony Club!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

If I died today...

If I accomplish nothing else in life I can die feeling like I've succeeded and accomplished more than I ever thought I would or could when starting out on this journey over 4 years ago.  This is my horse, whom I've trained from his first day off the track and my young rider whom I've birthed and instructed from her first day in the saddle.  If I had a dream about what my life could be this beauty of a video would sum up all of those dreams.

So much has gone into this moment. Time, money and sacrifice being a few.  All the struggle and challenge that I have dealt with and worked through to make this life a reality not just for me but for my children have all been worth it to see this.

I'm telling you it hasn't been easy and some of you that have been around this blog from the beginning may remember some of those struggles.  There have been money struggles, marriage struggles, guilt struggles and let's not forget to mention the seemingly endless training struggles with this giant 17 hand athletic, intelligent ball of fire.  Then there is the chance that your children won't even want to ride horses and even if they do not with the same passion you have for it.  To work their butt off and over come difficulties to keep at it to become great.  There are so many variables and if and when they fall into place you just never know, until they just do.  And they all did for me this week.

This was a purely experimental experience.  I put Elaina on Steady in one of her lessons at pony club camp just to see how they got along.  I thought maybe they would go over a few single x's at a trot.  But over the course of the warm up it started to become clear that she was riding him perfectly.  She was nervous.  You could see it on her face but she never once rode like she was.  She never gripped the reins and held his face and instinctively made every right decision.  She was a very quiet rider.  If he got quick she didn't react she just sat up and half halted.  If she need him to slow down more she circled.  I was floored. Of course I do think my daughter is a good rider for an 11 year old but I NEVER expected her to have those instincts.  I then had to tell her that she is a better rider than she thinks she is while she was up there.  Because she kept looking to me and the instructor with this look of "help me, what do I do" all while doing exactly what she was supposed to be doing.  So we had nothing to instruct her on except for to realize she has got this!  The humility in her abilities makes the whole thing even sweeter.

Here it is folks my 11 year old daughter showing us how to ride a beginner novice height show jump course.  She has not jumped a course that high on any horse let alone on a tough to ride 17 hand OTTB for her very first time ever over fences, like she was born doing it.

Someone said the other day, "some Mom's have to worry about their daughters stealing their clothes as they get older, but I have to worry about my daughter stealing my horse."
The problem is real people!  I also have to worry about the day that her abilities pass up mine and then she will start bossing me around.  I am not quite ready to let my spot in the saddle go yet but I do believe I can share.