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October 20, 2011

Riding On A Golf Course Is A Dream Come True

The cross-country course for the 2011 Pan American Games is located at the Santa Sofia Country Club.

It is good to remember the past. It brings me home, reminds me of what I’ve been through, and strengthens me for what is to come.

When I was young, I was on the show team at the barn where I grew up learning to ride called Mountain View Corrals. The team was comprised of my best friends. We understood one another at the age of 13 to even now. We would spend summers riding horses, swimming, playing and eating. The girls and I had similar priorities in life with riding, family, faith and friends at the top and outward appearances, boys and being popular at the bottom. We realized that it is the relationships that we have within life that bring joy, and because of this we found joy in one another and our horses.

The girls and I would take trail rides weekly out in the farming fields behind the barn. The trails would include two pointing for far too long, trotting, swimming in the river, and of course stopping for snacks! On the way to the trailhead there was a golf course that had a snack shop. I am currently and was infamously known for my ravenous eating habits, some call it my “tape worm.” Of course, we couldn’t last the hour- to two-hour long trail ride without a bag of chips and a soda. So, we would stop at the golf course, tie our horses up and walk inside to grab our fuel.

I remember having the conversation with my riding friends regularly about how awesome it would be to gallop and jump on the golf course with perfect footing and rolling hills. It would be fun, surreal and memorable.

Today, I realized this past dream will come true on Saturday. However, Saturday is more than just cantering around a golf course; it will be the day of the Pan American Games cross-country.

The course, opened today, has 24 obstacles spreading over a little over 5 kilometers of golf course turf. The course’s optimum time is set at 9:30. And, I will not forget to mention that roughly 15,000 tickets have been sold to view the cross-country run on Saturday.

Wow! As I walked the course, I felt that each of the combinations were doable, but they have the potential to catch any rider in a compromising position. I feel one of the biggest challenges of this course will be fitness, as it loops up and down long gradual slopes throughout the course.

My coaches, Bea and Derek, arrived today just in time to walk the course. I cannot express how thankful I was to see them and that they would take time out of their lives to coach me at this event. It is their coaching that makes me feel confident and ready. My family has also arrived, which brings me back to home. For these people, I am so blessed to have them at the event and excited to share this experience with them.

It is funny how things come full circle. How I could only dream of galloping on a golf course as a little girl, and now I am getting the chance to do it in an even more exciting way that I could have expected. It makes me laugh and brings me to a place of gratitude and appreciation for the way life works.

Tomorrow is the jog! And then, off to the competition! I am as ready now as I have ever been.

Thanks for reading! 

Until next time,
Ginger & Lauren

LaurenBillys.com

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