I also wouldn't have guessed that I was going to dive head first into the Hunter world with such gusto (checkbook and tailored sportsman's firmly in hand...).
But it's been a very enjoyable experience. I've found that some of the things about Hunter Land that seemed so unappealing as a wild-teenage-eventer are actually not so bad as a significantly less wild thirty year old with bad knees and a cranky back.
The beautiful $$$$ horses are fabulously entertaining to watch, the fancy stall set ups are not only wonderful when you're exhausted, but fun to put together and organize. The obscene amount of ribbons help ease the pain of entry fees and the pursuit of relaxation and rhythm are something this girl can get behind.
Of course everything seems more rewarding and fruitful when you're winning, so Prairie's impressive twelve (what?) tri-colors over the season have certainly helped indoctrinate me.
|2013 Tri-Colors *minus* hideous novelty color ribbons.|
I was rearranging my ribbon walls in the garage to accommodate her latest haul and was hit by the fact that everything that's (proudly) tacked up is the result of essentially one season of showing. There are a few ribbons from November 2012 (most of them default for last place, ha) and a couple from our early dressage outings last summer - but for the most part the loot in our
trophy room garage is all the result of Prairie's 2013 run.
I will spare myself the agony of calculating how much that satin cost me per yard, since that's neither helpful nor uplifting - but instead focus on how lucky I am to have put a season like this together and to try to not take it for granted.
It's so easy in the moment to be constantly assuming that there will be a next show, or a next season or a next five seasons - and while I'm the first one to write down goals and constantly have the next step in mind (3'6" A/O's... 3'6" A/O's...) The past month of nursing both Prair and Gus a bit more than I'm used to is all it takes to remind me how fragile our competitive aspirations are.
Lameness. Life. Money. Family.
The amount of stars that have to align to even get to the point of sending in an entry form and walking your horse on the trailer is sometimes dizzying. As I was rearranging ribbons and moving horse crap around the garage The Boy asked me "um, where are all the ribbons from next year going to go?"
My first thought was "crap, we're almost out of ribbon walls."
But my second thought was "who knows if there's a next year."
I don't mean to be overly morbid, but I do think it's realistic never to plan too far in advance when you're relying on the participation of a giant, easily broken animal. Overlay that with my own ailments and conflicts, and it's a miracle we even eek out our weekly lessons.
In that spirit, I'll impede on the current Blog Hop post a bit and put something out in the universe:
We're aiming for a trip to HITS Thermal this winter.
I always told myself that I wouldn't travel (or rather I wouldn't travel, travel) for a show until I was reasonably competitive in a rated division. It's always just been hard for me to justify the time, money and stress of the BIG shows to play around at 2'3" or 2'6" or Training level Dressage.
But, as S planted the seed of "just think about going down to the desert" in my head, I began to have thoughts....
Who knows how long I'll get to enjoy showing Prairie. Who knows if/when kids will crop up and exponentially complicate showing. Who knows if in a few years I'll still have the flexibility at my job to up and leave for a couple weeks. Who knows?
So, while I doubt that Prair and I will have confirmed our right to strut in the 3' AA ring by January - if she's sound, and I'm able, we're going to make hay while the sun shines even if it's in the baby leagues.