356 Days

It’s been 356 days since I decided to start taking jumping lessons.

It’s been 335 days since I took my first jumping lesson.

I’ve had approximately 18 jumping lessons since then, and have gone from petrified of even ground poles to jumping small verticles. Yay!

Next week marks the same event I originally went to where I decided to begin jumping. I had hoped to be competing in it this year. In hindsight, I think that was a bit of an overly aggressive timeline. 😏

But… this year, when I go watch, it won’t be with wide, fearful eyes, but with an eye toward identifying what I know, to watch how others do things, and learn more about the sport.

And wine.

I’m really going so I can sit on the sidelines with a single serve plastic cup o’ wine while “Ooh”ing and “aaah”ing over the cross country jumpers.

It’s gonna be a blast!

I can’t wait!

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The Death Wish

I’ve had this wild thought in the back of my head for several years now of trying eventing.  

It’s insane.  I’m petrified of jumping.  

It took me 2 years to get comfortable with ground poles.  I spent the first 3 months of of trotting over one ground pole with my eyes clamped shut every time we got close to it and praying until we were over it.  I still can’t canter over one.  

I’m a chicken. 🐔

But,  a mere 2 years later,  and I can now ride 3 or 4 trot poles in a row with my eye’s OPEN,  at least 60% of the time.   😂 

Anyway,  a few weeks ago I went to a local 3 day event to watch.  My real reason was to assess the jumps,  the riders, etc.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,  but fear and other priorities have always held me back.  

When I scoped out the event,  the course looked awesome.  They had this great beginner level course set up that was literally small logs on the ground.  The riders were so freakin’ nice.  I stopped a few people to ask where to go,  or where not to stand,  and everyone happily helped. Just super nice people.

But,  what I really liked…  All the horses were Normal.  A bunch of unknown origin ponies,  a lot of TBs,  several drafty looking crosses.  The riders ranged from the super athletic looking ladies to the large bottomed,  flabbier,  older adult looking riders (they looked like ME!!).  

So,  I thought,  why not?  I can try it once.

Better than always wishing I had and regretting it when it’s too late. 

So I signed up for jumping lessons.  

Then utterly freaked because I don’t have the money.  So i texted everyone I knew asking if they needed work done in exchange for $40. 

I’m pathetic.  

Now I need to find an extra $40 every two weeks over the winter.  Aarrggh! 

I don’t think my friends and family are going to employee me enough to support my riding issues.  

If only I could get overtime pay for overtime work (thank you salary rules 😡 grrr). 

I’ll have to figure something out.  I’d really like to try just one event. At least to know I conquered my fear and made a dream a reality.  I’m never going to be an upper level dressage rider.  Nor do I have the money to afford rated dressage shows.  But competing in one beginner level,  local,  3 day event is something I could cross off the bucket list. 

I may need to start selling blood to make this happen though.  😯

There’s got to be someway I can earn an extra $80/month…

The Breaking Point

I’m not sure how to write this. I’ve been struggling for the last two years against what I want, and what I have. The conflict between big dreams and lack of resources. Knowing something is out of reach does not make the desire disappear. And of course, we’re bombarded with the message that even big dreams are attainable if you simply work hard enough, sacrifice enough, want it bad enough.

It keeps the belief that it is possible, alive. Which is a rather cruel joke, because it keeps the conflict alive between wanting the big dreams and knowing the realities make it impossible.

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All you have to do is work at it hard enough for long enough, right? Sacrifice more.

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Except in horses…

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I’m at my breaking point both financially and mentally. Both horses look fantastic. Literally shine. Shiniest little shits in the state.

Both are lame. Utterly and devastatingly lame. Unrideable. Probably not going to be rideable for quite a while.

There goes another summer.

There goes all hope of a lesson this year.

There goes another year I’m older and no closer to my dreams.

Maybe if I just work at it harder… those realities will cease to exist, right. Work harder. I’m not doing enough. I need to be working harder, putting more effort in. I’m not sacrificing enough!!

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Maybe.. maybe if I sell off everything I own, quit my job, convince hubby to abandon everything to live with me in a car, so that I can beg some big name trainer to take me in as a working student… I bet a good trainer would love a middle aged lady with a bad back as their working student.

I bet that’s the kind of sacrifice it takes to get to Third Level in dressage.

HAHAHAHA HAHA

Third.

Hahahaha haha

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I’ve been trying to get to Third for a combined total of 10 years now.

Realty slaps me in the head everyday, and I keep getting back up to try again. Part of me is screaming “For the love of God, just stay down!” It’s depressing to see me get my ass kicked daily.

Another part of me finds this hysterical. Why is this so freaking hard? It’s not like I wanted to ride in the Olympics. FFS, I just wanted to learn how to do a clean flying change before I die!

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