Sunday, May. 26, 2024

Blogger Emily Pope

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“Let’s take a break tonight and then we’ll teach them how to say goodbye.”

How do you write a blog post to commemorate the end of a 10-year show career with a superfreak of a mare who changed your life? Every fairy tale has its happily ever after, and I wish I could start this off with completing that for everyone by saying that we won our last grand prix.

Nikki and I are about halfway through our show season this summer, and we have a new mantra. It’s called “less is more,” and features trusting your instincts, something that I’ve struggled with a bit this year.

Less is more means not overthinking and overanalyzing. It means turning off the scientist part of my brain while I’m riding, which is tough because as I approach starting vet and grad school, I’ve been working that part pretty hard. Less is more means riding off my feel, not getting married to a number of strides.

Hello there. Remember me?

I said I was going to take the winter to mull over whether I wanted to keep blogging or not after I had a bit of an issue with someone apparently stalking me over my choice of bit. I needed a break to figure out what I wanted to do, as that was rather alarming. But I like blogging and sharing my riding life with people, so after the winter off, I think it’s time for another shot.

If anyone who reads this is a Rascal Flatts fan, you might recognize this blog title as a song title. The lyrics include the phrase “things that matter, things that don’t.” As Nikki and I wrapped up our year, that phrase was on my mind: focusing on the things that mattered, not the ones that didn’t.

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Let’s start off with the obvious: I love my horse. A lot. She’s super cool and I’m unbelievably lucky and she’s the best ever ever ever in my world. Now that we’ve established that for the first of many times in this post, I’m going to talk about some other things. But I really love my horse.

Time For More Tools

Nikki and I had a bit of downtime between our two weeks at Mason City (Iowa) shows in June and our most recent excursion to Maffitt Lake Equestrian Center in Des Moines, Iowa. We’ll gloss over the six weeks off because there was quite literally nothing exciting that happened.

I suffered through some organic chemistry courses and worked on vet school applications.  Nikki found everything quite boring. There you go: our six weeks in a nutshell.

Impulse Buying Is For Gum

5:15 a.m.

Time to get up! Nikki needs breakfast, and she’ll be quite upset if she’s not one of the first ones to eat. Momma Pope and I can be out the door in about 15 minutes (most of which is wasted by me looking for socks).

We hurry out the door and hop in the truck. Momma drives while I try to put on my boot rubbers in the constraints of the passenger seat. We call this the early morning pretzel routine because I am incapable of thinking to put the rubbers on before we are en route to the Mid States Summer show in Mason City, Iowa for the $20,000 Grand Prix.

There’s a lot that goes into the first show of the year. Cleaning tack, perfecting that tight rollback turn, grooming your horse to the nines, getting every little detail perfect.

I’ve been told before that you don’t choose a mare, a mare chooses you. That’s certainly been my experience, as I'm the person that Nikki chose back in 2006.

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