I Am Unrealistic

My son Nate and I and my TB/Shire gelding Syd. Photo credit: my husband Tim Wadley. My son Nate and I and my TB/Shire gelding Syd. Photo credit: my husband Tim Wadley.

I just finished reading Tamie Smith’s blog about unrealistic expectations for the probably the tenth time. It struck a such chord with me! She made so many valid points: things I need to be reminded of daily, especially when I’m staring at five inches of snow outside my window when I live in the South. While I am by no means an upper level rider (or even a mid level rider for that matter!) I can absolutely relate to her story on so many levels.

If you follow my blogs at all, you know that I am an aging adult amateur with a husband, a toddler, a part time job, and all the accoutrements that go along with them. I board my horse, write a blog, scrimp and save to take lessons and compete at events, look for bargains on tack and dream the biggest dreams.

Folks like Bunnie Sexton are my heroes. She rode at Rolex last year for the first time at the age of 53! I was sitting in the show jumping arena as Bunnie walked around grinning from ear to ear and waving at everyone, so happy to be there. And after reading Tamie’s article, I thought to myself, did Bunnie Sexton have unrealistic expectations too?

I don’t know her personally, so I can’t say for sure, but I will bet you anything there were a few doubters that thought she was crazy. Crazy for her unrealistic expectations.

I don’t want to ride at Rolex. That particular dream is not my dream — at least not yet. My dream is to ride Preliminary level. My dream is to be a licensed official. My dream is to write about what I love and get paid for it. These may not seem like huge dreams for the average person reading this blog, but consider this: I am currently riding Beginner Novice level, hoping to move up to Novice very soon.

I live in a great area where eventing is growing in popularity, but the closest event is still five hours away; I didn’t compete at all last year and I am hoping to be able to ride in THREE (not 5 or 6 or 7 or even FOUR) events this spring/summer; at this point it is hard to find time to write one blog every couple of weeks, let alone daily or even weekly!

Almost everyone I know who is not a horse person (not you, Honey!) and even some who are, think I am cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. I mean, come ON! I have a toddler! I have responsibilities! Right now, I don’t even have a truck! What I do have is unrealistic expectations.

YES! I do! I have hopes and goals and dreams. As Tamie Smith talked about in her blog, I am one of those riders who may not have the most talent on the planet, but what I do have is gumption. And determination. And drive. And most importantly, faith … in my horse and in myself. And in my world that counts for a lot.

Faith and drive and determination and gumption are  what turns unrealistic expectations into reality. Those traits are what write success stories, like Tamie Smith and like Bunnie Sexton. I have every intention of finding out exactly what becoming one of those success stories feels like!  And then I’ll just find another unrealistic expectation to add to the list and start all over again.