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Where you are, versus where you thought you'd be?

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  • #21
    I set out, early in my re-riding career, to be a low-level eventer, one of those folks who never goes beyond Novice. I don't know why I chose eventing, except it was closest to what I'd learned as a kid, from an instructor who taught general huntseat and jumping, but was an avid foxhunter and thought all riders should be able to gallop across country, taking in stride whatever obstacles they found. Also, my chief "enablers" as a re-rider were a friend and her daughter who are eventers; they loaned me horses, gave me instruction, and helped me pick my first horse.

    Fast-forward 5 years or so... I never became an eventer. Did one horse trials, on a horse borrowed from my friends, and had a blast, and then less than two weeks later had the accident that nearly stopped me from riding at all. Kept my first horse, who would have been all wrong for me if we'd stayed in eventing, and concentrated on dressage because it seemed the safest thing to do. But I also wanted to ride outside an arena, so I very slowly started doing so, mostly on my own. My trainer thought I was nuts, taking a spooky and not 100% reliable horse out on the road, but I discovered that I was much more brave than I ever thought, while also respecting my own limits for safety.

    I have a... fraught relationship with dressage. I am not talented, and I have physical limitations from the accident as well as just from being, well, me. Horse had a suspensory problem that necessitated a long layoff and rehab period. We started over from zero (as in, horse was exhausted after 10 minutes being ridden at a walk) and are back doing Training Level dressage, maybe considering First, but I don't feel good enough really to move up. Horse is way more talented than I am, but for the sake of her soundness, it is probably better that she's owned by someone who isn't going to push her up the levels. We do a lot of hacking out (weather and bugs allowing), and a few tiny crossrails, and have a lot of fun. She's turned out to be way saner and safer than I thought she was; she's a good, willing horse who isn't terribly brave... sort of like me.

    I do greatly envy those riders who can event and enjoy it. I "keep my hand in" by volunteering at local horse trials and CTs.
    Last edited by quietann; Jul. 19, 2012, 08:26 AM.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


    • #22
      Heinz, this is REALLY starting to freak me out. I swear we are twins from different parents, with twin horses...

      I'm also going through a "what if..." phase in my life, and feeling guilty about it. Since I was in my teens all I wanted to do was ride and train horses and get paid to do it. Oh, how naive....

      During college I *thought* I had landed the dream job managing a boarding facility, riding 4-5 horses a day, and being on the equestrian team. However, due to my pitiful grades and lack of direction, I dropped out of school. BO turned out to be a PITAx10, so I moved Horse to a friend's barn to get away from all the drama. It ended badly, and I should have handled it better, but there were SO many things going on that all I could think was "leave, and leave NOW!".

      The summer before all the sh!t hit the fan was when I really started seriously looking into eventing. It had always been something I'd wanted to do, but with no resources anywhere close, I didn't think it would be possible. This is where my "what ifs" of today fit in. If I had known about being a WS, I'm pretty sure I'd be way farther ahead of where I am today. Even back then I had dreams of going to Rolex!

      However. I have a DH I love and adore and who is currently supporting me and my horse habit because I can't find a paying job. I am living in Southern California, where I always wanted to live. I lived for six months in Horse Central, aka Virginia, and met the most amazing people and horses and gained invaluable experience riding a retired 3* horse in my first actual events, even if they were schooling CT and at BN level.

      The horse I have had for 8 years is sound, sane, and game beyond his size. He puts bigger horses to shame by his sheer will and drive. We have completed our first schooling CT at BN, and have steadily improved at dressage schooling shows in the past several months. We are schooling Novice confidently and preparing for our first H/J schooling show on Sunday. We have yet to enter our first rated event, but that will be in September come hell or high water. The biggest issue I'm having is funding this dream because I feel guilty as hell not being able to pay for it myself.

      Am I envious of others? Yes. One girl in particular who I went to school with who was handed a great deal and wasn't all that talented. She worked hard though, but it just seems (from green-colored glasses) that things just kept happening for her. I know this is going to make me sound like a horrible person, but I can't help but wonder if I'd had a door opened for me like the way it had for her, where I would be in my riding career.

      But on the other hand, I wouldn't have DH and everything else I love about my life right now. It is hard, and I feel guilty and selfish for wanting more/wondering what might have happened, but I'm also human.

      I have to remind myself that I'm only 26, and that there is still A LOT of time to accomplish my goals, which are pretty big. I. WANT. to compete at Rolex. But I also worry about not achieving my goals. DH wants a family; I do too, but not anytime soon. I feel selfish about that, but I also realize that if I had a baby right now I would NOT be a happy momma. I feel I want to accomplish a few more things before I take a year off. After all, my horse and I are literally just getting started in this craziness!

      Damn, that was a novel...
      runnjump86 Instagram

      Horse Junkies United guest blogger


      • #23
        Well, envy doesn't happen much when we keep our sights low! I was the horse-crazy kid who never had a horse. Read about them a_lot, but my only "contact" with them was to ride my bike for miles to hang out and clean stalls (for free). I took some lessons when I had a job in high school to pay for them.

        Fast forward to being an adult. After college I was able to lease a horse and then bought my OWN (finally!) Board costs were much cheaper then, but still overwhelming when I had a crappy paying job and hubby was in grad school and working in a university lab. I was in awe of the fancy horses at my barn, people who showed, had trailers, etc. I tagged along with a fellow boarder to my first event and was completely hooked. My first horse was an Arabian so I wasn't sure how keen he would be about eventing. But what a trooper he was! We did a baby event (2'6" division) and we won our first event. Ok, even more hooked now. We had fun doing BN stuff and I remember the first time we showed at KY horse park. I had visited there as a kid and I was ridiculously giddy because I was actually SHOWING there. Never thought I'd ever get to do that. Major thrill.

        Fast forward to now. Several horses later (my first horse--still alive and in his 30's giving rides to little kids!) I have 2 horses at a relatively pricey boarding facility, but now we have decent incomes so it's easily affordable. Moved up from hauling a little 2 horse with a small SUV to a full-sized truck and 2 horse trailer with a dressing room. Get to compete at a number of events a year. Qualified and rode in the AEC's twice. Now show at KY horse Park a couple times a year (no more emotional, giddy moments, but still love to show there).

        I work more hours at my job than I would like, but I do enjoy my work and it pays for my money sucking hobby. My young horse is braver than me on x-c (which is exactly what I need) so I seemed to have lucked out with her. My older, semi-retired event mare (who owes me nothing) is still sound and happy to be ridden or cart beginners around. I LOVE that I could afford to give her a "forever home" with ME! That makes me happy every day!

        Would love to be 10 years younger and have all this, but that's not really an option. However, from where I started with horses, it definitely feels like I am living the dream!


        • #24
          I accomplished more than I ever set out to or could have dreamed of with my current horse, and while I am so thrilled to have done it, I am really ... melancholy, I guess ... about it now.
          After competing (not very well) in Pony Club and up to prelim in high school, I quit riding during college. A few years out of college, I was working as a newspaper reporter in a Colorado ski town, desperate to start riding again, when I was given a 4 yo OTTB. We started taking lessons with the local folks and, because eventing was what I knew, borrowed a rickety old truck/trailer to haul to clinics and such. I remember pulling into that first clinic and seeing a prelim Weldon's Wall in their cross-country field and thinking, Gawd, I'd love to get there again.
          Over the next two years, using the borrowed rig to travel 2-4 hours to shows & clinics. Would trade work shifts so I could do a 2-day event on Sat/Sun, sleep on the bench seat of my pickup, drive 4 hrs home Sunday afternoon and skid into my desk (still in dirty breeches & boots) to work a night shift. With the help of the local dressage & H/J instructor, this track baby and I bumbled our way up to training. I knew I needed serious help to reach my goal of prelim, so ended up taking a sabbatical from journalism to go be a WS for 6 months.
          Drove across the country w/tiny trailer (by that point I'd purchased an old 2H trailer for $1000 and a pickup truck), made ends meet and spent winter with Denny Emerson. Did 4 prelims and a long format CCI*. Took magazine job in Pennsylvania so I could keep eventing.
          Neither job nor eventing was progressing particularly well, so I "gave up" and moved back to Colorado to return to newspaper job. Met new people and trainers and moved up to intermediate, then advanced (neither of which had been in my original "plan" but the horse seemed capable of both, so why not?). Competing at those levels required driving 18-22 hours (one way) to get to shows but I met great friends to do the hauls with. Did first advanced with one of those friends -- it was the first advanced for both of us -- and no trainer, just talked out the course with each other and eavesdropped on professional's course walks at the combinations.
          Came back East for a work promotion and competed through CIC***, despite setbacks along the way and still being poor to mediocre at it all.
          I am so proud of what I accomplished as an adult amateur, and today I truly do enjoy trail riding that same horse in his retirement.
          But ... Today, despite having a bigger bank account and fewer hours to work, I can't imagine doing the work shifts, the DAYS of cross-country driving, everything that went into getting to that level, plus working FT-plus.

          I guess I feel a bit blue because I don't think I'm quite as motivated of a person now as I was then. I don't think it has anything to do with what level I'm riding (none at the moment!), it's more that I think I've gotten old and lazy in many ways, and that makes me disappointed in myself. It makes me sad that I can't imagine jumping in my truck tomorrow to do all that again. It just seems too hard to today's lazier version of me!
          I evented just for the Halibut.


          • #25
            a "former" shoer asked me where I expected to spend Eternity.

            Sunny day

            In my own Barn

            Nice bay gelding getting shoes

            Right here Right now This can be forever.

            I fired that shoer when he offered to cast the demons out of my 29 year old Welsh Pony.

            I will spend eternity with that pony heaven!


            • #26
              This thread is a fun read.
              I have never really had any intense goals related to riding. I guess it has always been more about having fun with my horse. Honestly, I just enjoy owning them...and mostly, taking care of them. I am not very good at applying structure to my riding so that I can achieve specific goals... i.e. some days I just want to trot around the field. Other days I just want to pull his mane. This has resulted in slow progress, and I definitely get frustrated with myself. I have to be sure to take regular lessons so at least my trainer can keep me on track.

              I'm blessed to have an incredibly talented horse. I was told by an BNR that he is 'special' and that he has what it takes to go 'all the way'. I feel like I am holding him back. He would probably be skipping around Training with a better rider, moving to Prelim in the fall.... if it weren't for my lack of skillz, confidence, commitment, determination...etc.

              However, I don't feel bad because I realize that he is a horse, with no goals Perfectly content to eat grass all day, every day!

              Our 'goal' is to do a recognized BN event at the end of September. Do a few more BN events this fall, and then move up to Novice by the spring. We'll see if I can maintain the 6 day a week riding schedule which will be necessary to achieve this goal!!!
              Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
              Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
              Take us to print!


              • #27
                Well, 3 years ago I was getting ready to move up to prelim and 3 years later I consider myself a professional training level rider... having had the ride on a few horses who were supposed to get me there but soundness wise just couldn't make the move up. Now I have a foxhunter who does well at novice but won't go training, and a young horse who has done a few novices.

                But, 3 years ago I never would have guessed I'd have more than 1 horse, and that they would live at my house So in that regard I'm ahead of where I thought I'd be. And if I go back even farther, as a kid I dreamed of just having my own horse... forget showing or foxhunting or any of the fun stuff I get to do now. Coming from a non-horsey family, I would have been happy with ANY horse. So I have to remind myself of that when I see my friends get the ride on fabulous horses and win at 2*'s... and I feel like I'm pretty lucky.


                • #28
                  Well, I've accepted that I will never ride at Rolex Kentucky.

                  I mostly show in dressage these days, although I do hit a few combined tests. I've found I prefer my jumps to fall if I mess up...and to be honest, my vest doesn't fit that well, so rather than buy a new one, I just don't ride XC much. And, since I'm not a member of USEA, that is a major stopping point every time I consider entering. Yet another association fee of overhead. It is just easier to go to the local H/J shows and CTs.

                  But, I just earned my final score for my USDF Bronze medal, on my mare who I bought as a yearling! That is satisfying. Of course she is partially responsible for my loss of desire to jump.

                  I have a lovely farm, a couple of boarders, a grown son, and have readjusted my goals to someday earning a USDF Gold medal...which will take me years, since I am still doing it the hard way....learning while I train my horses.

                  I have a new 2 year old, who I'm waiting to see what he'll like. He's jumper bred, so perhaps he'll give me confidence to go back to more jumping, or maybe he'll just be athletic enough to do tempis and will get to Grand Prix level dressage. Time will tell. It is less about the shows than the satisfaction of every good ride!


                  • #29
                    I thought when I got back into horses after a couple-year break in high school/early college that I'd just take some lessons, maybe do a show here and there.

                    I thought when I bought my horse that we'd put a lead change on him and eventually resell him as a nice local 3' hunter.

                    I thought when I moved him to my current barn that we'd learn to play with the eventers over little stuff, only _little_ stuff, but I swore up and down that I was never ever ever competing again.

                    Fast forward a few years and here I am reading COTH over breakfast before heading off to the Area 1 championships with my "nice local 3' hunter" who ran a T3D last year and who I'm hoping to move up to Prelim aboard next seasion...LOL

                    I've never been one to make big pie-in-the-sky goals. I just kind of go along and see what possibilities become available and what paths open up. And I've been really lucky -- knock wood, no major catastrophes have thus far derailed our progress along the way -- and I've done a lot of hard work to leverage that luck and to make the most of the items I can check off in the "pros" column of my life.

                    Horse still doesn't have a lead change, though! :-p

                    "The present tense of regret is indecision."
                    - Welcome to Night Vale


                    • #30
                      I am not as far along as I thought I would be, say, when I graduated high school (15 yrs ago, going prelim, figured it'd be easy to get something off the track after college and continue . . . I think my goal was a CCI* at 25 which I qualified for but didn't ride in) but further along than maybe I expected 3 years ago, when after 4-5 failed prospects (not sound, not willing, etc.) I was questioning whether I'd ever get something going beyond mediocre attempts at novice.

                      Right now I have a really nice horse I bought at the track that completed a great season at T, another N horse to sell, and a retiree. Fingers crossed 24/7 for health and soundness as I know anything can happen to horses at any time. I also bought a farm a couple years ago which I never thought I would do--I was shopping for a townhouse.

                      I used to feel a lot of jealousy toward those more successful, esp when I was out of riding in school or just getting back in afterward--some of my fellow YRs were able to hang onto their horses and do the ULs and that really stung. Now, after "starting over" so many times I'm a lot more zen about it though. There are always going to be people with more talent/luck/money/horse than me, but as a human being in 2012 if my biggest worries involve horse shows, I'm really incredibly lucky.

                      I DO still feel that "what-if" though. I've spent a lot of time and money on this sport, and made a lot of life decisions (career, home) based upon it. I love it, but at the same time there are a lot of interesting things I could have done with that same time/money (life, really) had I gone a different route. I think I would probably feel this way no matter what path I'd chosen though--there are just so many things I want to do in life and it's hard to find the resources to do all of them.


                      • #31
                        This is a great thread. Thank you for starting it.

                        I grew up in Pony Club and achieved my "B" rating. I have owned many horses throughout my lifetime. When I was young, I could ride a 3'9" course without blinking. Now, I do not want to ride over any fences any higher than 2'7" -2'11".

                        There were many years, when my DH (retired FBI agent)and I were transferred alot, that we could not afford for me to own a horse.

                        We were transferred to Cleveland in '90. We bought a small farm and I bought an OTTB for $800. Belle was the beginning of my road back to "the dark side".

                        I have owned my current horse, Tess, for 10 years. She is my once in a lifetime horse.

                        When I was in Pony Club, I was jealous of some of my team members, because they were good enough to be picked to go to Nationals. I was not.

                        For the past five years, I have qualified for and gone to the AEC's. Tess has placed in the top 12, three times. The AEC's have been my end goal, to compensate for not making PC Nationals. I have qualified to go again this year.

                        Even though Tess is a Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse, who never wanted to gait, she is the best event horse that I have ever owned. This year, we moved out of BNR division to the OBN division. I attempted Novice two years ago, but had a bad fall. I turned 60 on July 4th. My bucket list goals for eventing have long been met. I will happily stay put in OBN, until I cannot swing a leg over the saddle.

                        For those of you who are only 19 - 26 years old, you have a lifetime to achieve your goals. I was 54 when I started to achieve mine. Keep dreaming and spending as much time in the tack as you can afford. Riding is a lifelong sport. You just might find that life will surprise you when you least expect it.
                        When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


                        • #32
                          I am not where I thought I would be 10 years ago when I bought the horse I thought would be my first real event horse, but I am mostly okay with that and right now am enjoying the journey.
                          About 10 years ago, I bought my first gelding who was supposed to be the event horse that would take me up through the levels, hopefully to prelim. However, he has been chronically unsound/injured since month 3 after buying him.
                          I spent a year or 2 trying to see if he would come sound enough to event and when that did not seem to be happening, I leased a greenish mare to play with in the meantime and was able to take her BN and N before her owners sold her.
                          Then I bought my mare who was the next horse that was supposed to take me prelim . Learned a ton from her and we made it up through training and the T3DE and while we schooled prelim, she did not seem to want to do that level (at least with me) although she was certainly capable of it. I was considering selling her when she must have found out , so she went and tweaked a ligament. It took more than a year for her to come back from that and then another year to find her her new home.
                          Bought my new guy last November and am hoping he will make a good event horse. Other than the 2 months I missed because I broke my arm this spring, I am having fun with him but he is green and we have a lot to learn.
                          Still hoping to make it to a one star someday.
                          The main reason I am sorry I have been derailed in getting to prelim (other than the vet bills ) is that my original "ultimate" goal was a long format one star- I wish I had been able to do one.
                          Right now, I am hoping to take the new guy to some horse trials this fall and see how it goes.
                          There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


                          • #33
                            Honestly... I am in an entirely different place. In 2008/2009, I was riding at the ** level on a fabulous horse who had all the makings and talent of a world beating horse and we were aiming at this years olympics. So this is a tough year for me. We had an bit of a spill that was a major confidence breaker for us both and we had trouble getting going again. We were also dealing with some personal issues that had cropped up with my trainer and put a difficult strain on my training. At the same time, I graduated school, got a job that forced me to move away from any decent training facilities and I didn't have the money to train and compete. I've done four shows since then. Three at training and one at prelim. Now I'm married, just bought a house and barely have any money to keep my horse! I still own said fabulous horse however. I ride casually once or twice a week, and he is partboarded to a young woman who loves him dearly and is learning tons on him. I love him dearly and think he's just as happy today, living the good life at 14.

                            I am a bit envious of those who are able to keep going, training all the time and doing what they love. I love my husband, love my horse and love my job, but I miss riding competitively so badly. Thankfully, I do remember that I am only 28 and have years ahead of me where I can start riding with a baby horse again someday. My Olympic dreams have been put on a shelf, but maybe, if all the stars align, I can have them back one day.

                            I know you said not to put the olympic dream on there, but that was a firm and realistic goal that my eventing trainer, my dressage trainer and myself were all pushing for.


                            • #34
                              The fact of the matter is... I don't know. Somewhere all my goals (riding and otherwise) kind of got jumbled and lost... and I'm working now on figuring out what they are (again).

                              All I wanted to do when I was growing up was ride. Have a ranch (lived in Utah, who knew what english riding really was?) and ride. Every bike was a horse. Every walk turned into a canter on an imaginary horse. Every birthday and Christmas wish was for a horse. Didn't get my first until I graduated from college. 8 months later I attended my first Rolex and was completely hooked on eventing. 3 months later I was at my first event (no business being there, mind you, but we did it). Back then... I wanted to do a real 3-day. Managed to get about halfway around XC at one before she stopped jumping due to issues I knew she had. We never did another, but we did do another training 3-day (our 3rd by that point).

                              When I bought Frankie, I still had Char. I'd tried to breed her and that didn't work and figured at the time I'd keep going with Char as long as she could while bringing Frankie along. 6 months later, I put Char down. I knew Frankie had talent but I needed a break -- financially as much as emotionally. I LOVE watching Frankie go now and I'm thrilled to have been part of her life and that Suzie keeps me up to date and lets me be involved when I can (I'm grooming at Richland for her).

                              Since then I've been playing here and there on school horses and babies that my friend Jen picks up. She's been EXTREMELY generous in letting me ride and show whenever I want for the most part. I always thought it would be wonderful to have my own farm, run small schooling shows or host clinics. So when we bought the farm with an option to add land (to be able to do that), I was excited. But, as someone said, life doesn't always run by my plans and now I have a 3.788 acre farm with enough equity/cash to pick up 7 more acres BUT a landowner that doesn't want to split the 33 acre parcel in such a way that I can afford it. So I have a farm that isn't quite what I wanted AND I'm on my own. Thus the whole revamping of what my goals are.

                              I started looking for a horse of my own again, but realized that right now, the timing isn't quite right (I would make it work for that dream horse, but not going to force the issue). I have a horse that I'm riding at the local hunter shows. Plus it's kind of silly how giddy I am about a new ride... a 6yo TB/QH gelding that I've known all his life. Taking him to a dressage show on Sunday with the aim of a mini trial in KY in September. So maybe riding goals will start to solidify again. I hope so. Floating is not all its cracked up to be.
                              "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                              "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


                              • #35
                                Oh, boy. My user name should be re-un-re-un-re-un-re-un rider.

                                I'm 40 years old.

                                Where I am and where I thought I would be have shifted many times.

                                Crappy circumstances have interrupted blissful periods of riding. Family, illness, work, you name it-- it jumped between me and riding. Terrible illness two weeks before my planned 4th level debut. Work/family/horse responsibilities and the baby event horse was the only "optional" thing.

                                In December I realized that come hell or high water, NOTHING would get in the way of getting back to horses. It's taken months to clear the decks. Getting healthy. Finding a mommy track part-time job. Budgeting. Finding the courage to believe this wouldn't be taken away again.

                                I just bought THE horse. The one I would have bought five years ago because she had so much potential the sky was the limit. The one I bought this summer because I loved her at first sight and riding her is magical.

                                I know that for many people, trading ambition for patient hope is an unacceptable compromise, and believing that there are decades of riding ahead is impossible. That's how I felt.

                                But I'm grateful that I've gotten to where I want to be and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
                                Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                                Ms. Brazil


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by Jazzy Lady View Post
                                  I know you said not to put the olympic dream on there, but that was a firm and realistic goal that my eventing trainer, my dressage trainer and myself were all pushing for.
                                  Oh, I only meant that I wasn't talking about the "when I was 15, practicing up-down, up-down, on the half-dead old lesson string schoolie, I thought I'd be at the Olympics on my self-made UL-horse by age 19" type story. The dream most horsey little girls have, even if they have no talent or means (or time) to achieve it.

                                  I suppose I should answer my own questions.

                                  Frankly, I thought I'd be competitive and successfully climbing up the levels by now, at least accomplished at Prelim and with a few 3DE's under my belt, and I'd have my Bronze medal. I also thought I'd be an up-and-coming, successful local trainer. In retrospect, while those goals weren't too unrealistic to achieve, I didn't do that well at creating an actual workable multi-year plan to achieve them. That, and some of my other life "goals" got in the way - getting married, for one. I've also been at the same job for the last five years, with only ONE raise instead of FIVE, thanks to the economy and wage freezes. Job security became more important than higher pay, and that stunted my ability to compete.

                                  Where am I? Instead, I'm still bringing up greenies to First/Second level, solid 3'-3'6" horses, competing at events once or twice a year in between the handful of GMO dressage shows I can afford, and then selling them on to trade up to something with a little more talent than the last. Except this time, the two horses I've decided to keep (and take a break from bringing up greenies) aren't young, aren't green, but aren't really finished, either. Neither is ready to compete BN, flatwork is Training/First level, and both are just getting comfortable jumping 2'6". I feel like I'm running against the clock with the gelding turning 14 this year. Both horses would be more than capable of getting me to Prelim, if I could afford it and figure out how to get out of this Lower Level Horse/Rider rut I'm stuck in. I'm great at bringing up greenies - but it's time to move beyond that and improve myself.

                                  I'm admittedly envious of those that can afford (or, in particular cases, whose parents choose to fund) to compete every month at recognized events and dressage shows, and whose horses can go from BN to T practically overnight. And I'm envious of the girl whose first lesson I taught as a WS ~10 years ago, who is now competing 4th/PSG on her self-trained horse and doing quite well. I'm at essentially the same competitive level I was at that point.

                                  BUT...I really love riding the two horses I have. Down the road, down the trail, down the beach at a pace that makes your eyes water, or down the centerline to X. It doesn't really matter. I thought I'd be Somebody, and I am...I'm just not who I thought I'd be.


                                  • #37
                                    I started eventing again in 2004 after nearly 20 years away from horses. Had some really nice young OTTB's that I took BN/N then sold on, and then in 2006 we acquired our stallion off the track and I started eventing him. 2007 was our first year competing together, and we had some great experiences and learned a lot. I had dreams of competing him Prelim one day and we'd schooled a lot of Training/Prelim cross country questions while steadily working on our dressage with Andrew Harbison. We'd been doing well at Novice, and I'd planned to move up to Training with him in the Fall of 2008 - until I had a freak spill from a young horse in May of '08 and was out of commission for six months with a hip injury that required surgery.

                                    I just haven't gotten everything back together since then. Up until that point, I did the farm and horses full-time, but since then some life changes forced me to go back to a full-time office job. Since we breed as well, that has taken priority over riding.

                                    I'm hoping that this fall I'll be able to get back at it. I've got a couple of nice youngsters that have been started under saddle and I'd love to get them out. So, baby steps are in order. I may not have aspirations to do Prelim any more (although it's not totally out of the question) but I would love to get out there and compete again.
                                    Fox Haven Farm, Inc.
                                    Home of 2002 JC Registered stallion Artrageous

                                    Artrageous has his own Facebook page!


                                    • #38
                                      Had my first ex-rental string horse from age 13-17. Total shoestring budget, did not know what eventing was, did schooling shows and never jumped higher than 3' max, more typically 2'6". Sold horse to go to college. Graduated worked a few years, went to Grad School out of state on "slow boat to China plan." Out of horses for 20+ years. Took a year of 1x per week lessons at a HJ barn. Relocated to my home state bought my OTTB almost 4 years ago (first horse I looked at and not planning to buy a horse for another 6 mos to 2 years). She had only been ridden 13x since leaving the track and I have done all the work myself. She has turned out to be a wonderful horse for me. I can't remember when I first heard of eventing or wanted to do it, but that is what I always wanted to do with this mare. Money and horse health issues kept us from eventing until this past spring when I started taking lessons from an eventing trainer. So I'm a year or two "behind" in that regard. However, I am so excited to be doing this. We did our very first one day horse trial on July 1st and are planning to do our first 3 day BN in September. Definitely want to do Novice, and maybe Training. If I am brave enough and horse is capable perhaps Prelim. She's 8 right now so I feel we have a decent amount of time to accomplish things before she is "too old." But I am most of all thrilled to be finally doing this. Regardless of whether we stay at BN/N or go further, I think it will be FUN. So I am happy!!! And my girl LOVES xc.


                                      • #39
                                        I'm still a junior, and I am so, so grateful that I have so many more years to grow as a rider and horse person. I'm trying to keep these years as fun as possible!

                                        I thought I'd be bouncing around BN by now, since getting my first 'real' event horse last year. Last year, I wanted to have fun at CTs and unrecognized events, but my horse was off with a list of back/hip/mouth/ulcer/etc ailments so he had most of last summer off. I was lucky enough to board over the winter and really progress, so this spring we went right out and went XC schooling many times and gained a lot of confidence as far as jumping goes. Some family things have pulled a lot of the horsey $$ available out of the question, so showing every other weekend isn't a priority anymore. My horse and I also had a disastrous (it wasn't unsafe, but both of us were off our game, didn't have any fun and I started to question why I was trying so hard to do this) at a schooling trial at BN a month ago, so we'll be trying a few more Elementary runs before we think about BN again.

                                        I thought maybe we'd be trying some Novice things, too, but now I realize I'm the type of person who wants to be 110% solid at something before making it more difficult, so we're just not ready. I also don't have tons of show experience right now, and they stress me out. Before I throw in bigger jumps and more complicated questions, I'd like to remember to breathe at the lower levels.

                                        I used to beat myself up about not getting my horse out to the levels he can take me since he's 12 now, but I've stopped worrying about that. He has Prelim experience, and whether or not he'll take me there isn't a problem. He's my first event horse, so I'm going to take my time learning and having fun and if I get to Prelim with him, great! And if I did, I have all of the experience he gave me to give it a go with the next horse who comes in my life.


                                        • #40
                                          I thought I'd be married to a rich doctor and livin it up by now! Figured I'd be able to have some awesome horse/s to pack me around Rolex.

                                          But here I am--single, broke, and riding a cow pony.
                                          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!