Taking The Long Way There

I slept on the couch the last time I said this to my husband. It's not my fault he called while I was at a horse show. I slept on the couch the last time I said this to my husband. It's not my fault he called while I was at a horse show.

I spent last night curled up in my computer chair with a myriad of websites and spreadsheets open, as well as several different pens and calendars spread out across my desk. With the show season underway, I have been excitedly planning every little detail about the year ahead.

When Team DF took off for Rebecca Farm last year, I found myself obsessively refreshing Facebook, score stalking and desperately trying to find last-minute tickets. Watching the trailer haul out last summer, Stephanie (my barn mate and BFF of 20 years) and I set a goal for ourselves: We would join them on that adventure the next time they headed off to Kalispell. We would take on the Novice Three-Day at Rebecca Farm.

With that thought in mind, I had planned to try to move up at the end of last year. Life got in the way, and it didn’t happen. This year, we are on target to tackle Novice. Bigger fences, faster speeds and those ever treacherous down banks are all in my immediate future. All I need is four qualifying scores, and I will be ready to make the trek to Big Sky Country to don the maroon pinny.

Last night’s binge planning brought me back to reality. There is no reasonable way, as an adult amateur with a regular 9-5 job, that I can make this happen this year while maintaining my sanity. I would need to have those scores in place by May 27.

Yes, technically, it is possible. There are eight events in Area VI that I could show at to get the needed scores. Two of those are at Galway Downs and one is at Copper Meadows. Both Copper and Galway are an 8-hour haul, and even though I like road tripping, I can’t help but think about all of the additional time off of work just for travel that those trips would need when compared to the three-hour hauls for Woodside, Twin Rivers and Fresno County Horse Park. Additionally, one of the FCHP events is during Rolex and I already took a ton of time off of work for that. (I am not missing the Eventing Nation tailgate party!) Ultimately, this leaves me with exactly four opportunities to get the needed scores. This also leaves me with zero room for error.

I’m not going to pressure myself like that. I am an adult amateur, not someone trying to make a team or catch the attention of selectors. It makes no sense to rush around and feel guilty about taking time off of work and spending gobs of money when my primary objective is to have fun.

Goals, priorities and perspective change. Certainly, I still want to take on the Novice Three-Day at Rebecca, but there are so many other adventures just waiting to be had. In addition to the recognized events, my little red organizer is filled with clinics, local jumper shows, combined tests and unrated events. It is filled with opportunities for fun.

My qualifying scores will happen. I don’t need to chase them. They will show up on their own schedule as an extra reward along the way — as documentation of the adventure.

Go Team DF. Go Detours. Go Eventing.

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