So finally I am heading to the barn after work today. My motivation level coupled with my work load has been stressed to the max. When I get home I just want to relax and chill. Which means eating and sleeping and hanging out witht he roomie.
"G" came home from his trip to school and I went over there last night. We had a good night and ate leftovers from the past few days for dinner. Watched a little TV, played with the dogs and went to bed. It was relaxing and the AC was on, bonus! Got up in the morning and have been running ever since. Work sucks and is way too busy. I can never seem to feel caught up with cases closing and opening every minute. The documentation is sometimes overwhelming.
SO I have made a promise to myself tonight to atleast groom and visit with Possum and then I'll probably end up riding some. I feel like I've been away from my barn family forever. My next show isn't until the end of August so I'm not riding as much as I probably should be. This weekend I vow to spend more time at the barn, hit the trail and work on some ring stuff. I'm sure Possum is loving his little hiatus.
Wanted to discuss something today that I think about sometimes. I really want a nice show horse that has athletic talent, good conformation for what I want to do and is attractive looking. (no offense Possum). But the more I think about it; how can I afford to show this wonder horse? As it is without sounding like I'm bragging becaise I'm certainly not. Possum and I are currently showing at the highest hunter level and height for this area, meaning Maine and parts of NH. What would I do with a truly great horse that was easy to work with. I would end up paying an arm and a leg trailering to the big shows, paying all of those expensive fees and then I would become one of "those".
"Those" I am referring to are a great majority in the hunter world, show bitches. Ones who never carry a bucket of water. Ones who don't take care of their horse, hire a groom and braider and have someone do everything for them and they just show up the day of the show. Part of showing I like is getting up early, loading my horse, unloading him, getting him settled usually tied to the trailer and then hanging out with him until it's time to warm up and show. Don't get me wrong. I'm always asking for leg ups and for someone to hand me water when I'm about to pass out. But I take a great deal of pride in doing it all myself. I don't have a trainer. I get help sometimes from friends and another pair of eyes on the ground. Sometimes when I tell people this they just look at me sideways and can't believe it. ALL of the work I have done with Possum has been on my own for the most part. We have never taken a formal lesson and in fact the last time I had a formal lesson was in college over 5 years ago!
I learn by watching, reading and studying. I watch tons of lessons. I read tons of books and watch videos and shows. For the most part I know what I need to do and try to translate that to my body and into Possum. SOme of the disadvantages of not having a trainer or taking lessons is the learning scale. I feel that I progress much more slowely than someone who takes regular lessons, but I just can't afford it.
SO if I had this fancy super horse who was push button and won everything, is that really what I want? Where's the challenge? How can I come up with the sum of money? and do I really want to become a member of the exclusive snobby hunter type that most are? (not all are like that but their few and far between)
I remember last year at a hunter show Possum was a little hyper and I didn't get a chance to gallop him the day before. SO we started walking to the side road which the barn was located on. The owner came out and asked what I was doing. I told that that I was taking him down the road to stretch his legs. She told me that they do not trail ride here and the horses are not allowed off the property. She told me that I was just waiting for an accident to happen. I couldn't believe it. My horse who I can take anywhere, through the woods, over stone walls, parades, swimming and she doesn't trust me to canter on the shoulder of a back road, gimmme a break. I politely informed her in my best social worker voice that my horse and I were perfectly safe. That I had signed the liability release so that she was not liable and that I was doing something for my horse that will best suit him in the ring. I then walked off. Ofcourse everything was fine. I galloped Possum on the dirt shoulder, he felt better and I did too and then he was ready to put in a nice hunter round.
Why is trail riding and having fun in my book with your horse so forbidden in the big show world? Are people afraid that their horses will like something else and then sour to showing. Shouldn't the goal to be to have a happy horse? Let's face it, some horses hate showing. SOme horses hate trails. Just like people horses have a preference. I myself prefer to do lots of things with my horse. I trail ride, gallop, do games, jump like a jumper, jump like a hunter, some dressage work and others. I like to believe that my horse also enjoys trying new things. Showing for Possum and I is like eating our vegetables. We may not always think it's the finnest thing in the worls but it's good for us. It makes him and I better as a rider and horse. DOn't get me wrong, lots of times it's really fun when it all clicks together, but sometimes it feels like paddling upstream. It's good for us.
So do I want to lose that challenge and step up to the next show brackett? Again. I'm not bragging what so ever. I'm also not saying that I will ever have this dream horse. But sometimes when I'm tired of working on everything with Possum I ride another horse like Moonshine and it's just so damn easy. I just sit up, make little tiny corrections and it's perfect. I'm just basically talking out loud today/ I love my horse, he's great but he's not exactly the perfect show horse. We work very hard at what we have and he alwasy places respectively and I am very proud of his progress. If I ever get that big show horse, can I still have fun doing other things or will he just be stuck in the ring? These are all questions that I ask myself. Are there big name horses out there that like galloping and trails and games. Are owners too afraid of them hurting themselves and due to insurance reasons lock them in a box stall with one hr of individual turnout a day? Let me know what you think, or your experiences.
I have this label at the barn for being the "crazy girl" who will do anything on a horse (safely) and will try anything. Can I still find a show horse that fits my personality and lifestyle?