Friday, September 19, 2014

SFTS: Why do I do what I do?

Jenn over at STFS has a great blog hop going, so I thought I would join in.

Her question is why do you participate in your particular riding discipline?

Whew, this could be a long response.  I call myself an eventer, but I also compete at dressage shows.  In fact, I'm sure I've ridden at more dressage shows than events.  I've dabbled in hunters and jumpers, and while I enjoy them, they are not my passion.  I used to do endurance and could do it again (that's the thing about phobias they don't make sense, I'm scared of trail rides, but love endurance on arabs). Oh yeah I do racetrack stuff too.

Breaking up text with random P-diddy photos from the other day
To be honest I'm good at dressage, I enjoy it, I understand it, I can pass that understanding to the horse.  When I was younger (early to mid teens) I was desperate to jump, but dealing with fear which I finally learned to control.  In the interim my trainer was desperate for me to go to young riders for Dressage.  Thing is that takes a lot of money and I certainly didn't have access to a horse that could be good enough.  God bless that trainer, aka Dad number 2.  He didn't bring up young riders again once he knew there really wasn't a way, instead he had me riding practically every horse in the barn at least once.  I would warm up and cool down his fancy client horses, I groomed, I did farm chores, I learned.  He made me the most well rounded horse person he could, he taught me to give shots, drive a trailer, drive a tractor, make jump courses and xc courses, run sprinklers, fix stuff.
Yep I know how to do this
  It was incredible.  The whole time I was riding dressage on every type of horse though, the jumps were calling.  The feeling of a gallop across a field was calling.  I had a new horse named Genevieve, we were training her and I was feeling confident so we started jumping.  At the same time an acquaintance (who became an incredible friend) had me start helping her get her horses fit after winter.  Those horses were Rev (heart horse) and Venture (horse I took Prelim a little over two years later).
Prelim drop into water
Backing up a step here, I had been making plans to be a working student (on the east coast) sometime after highschool, I kept telling myself that I would remake myself then, I would jump then, I was too embarrassed for the people who knew me to watch my hopeful transformation at home.  But the best laid plans.
Really cool shot by mom!
 Those three horses taught me to love the jumps and the cross country.  I had lusted after it, but I finally learned how to make it a strong and lasting love.  I gained skills and confidence.  Before I knew it I was traveling around to events and doing well, all from home.  I had transformed my horse riding identity right in front of the people I knew best, and the best part for me to realize was that they were all rooting me on the whole time.  By the time I did go back east and do the working student thing I was ready.
Another by mom, gah I love this horse
I warned you that might get long.

I guess what I do or who I am is the eventing girl that does dressage and rides mostly green or problem horses.  What a title.  What I'm looking forward to now is getting Prisoner and Diva going enough that I can go Prelim again.  And then I want to go Intermediate.  Then Advanced.  Call me crazy but my mid-twenties self still dreams of the olympics/WEG.  I know the chance is slim to none, but it is a great carrot to dangle out there and keep me motivated.
P-diddy working his booty. pc: mom
That was all the back story on why I do what I do.  The real reason, the visceral reason, the reason I keep coming back?  For the feel when it all goes right.  The hair blowing, toe curling, stomach churning, spine tingling, face splitting smiling, eyes watering, joy inspiring feeling that happens when you roll around the course.
Thankful after Prelim XC


  1. Nah not dumb to dream of olympics and weg, I do too (not WEG but International GP jumping!), keep the fire stoked, keep the dreams alive!

    1. Dreams are the best, we can root each other on!

  2. girl please don't ever stop what you're doing! i'd LOVE to watch you go to t the upper levels!! i'm so excited that you have such a talented boy with you now :)

  3. Love, love, LOVE this post! Thanks so much for participating in the hop :)
    And don't ever stop dreaming about the Olympics and/or WEG....I'll be 30 next year and I still dream about competing on a big stage like that!

    1. Glad to know we all keep a bit of our 12 year old dreaming self alive!

  4. Gah, I'm behind but this is an awesomeeee post. I've been a lurker of your blog for a while and hearing you say you want to go advanced, I can see it! Given, I'm a dressage queen myself but really though - don't give up on it. :D

  5. Great post!! Galloping on XC is truly unlike anything else =)