The Hazards of Being an Adult Amateur

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Only it’s actually more like empty bank accounts and conflicting schedules and missing work, oh my! And then there’s the never ending struggle with the “I don’t bounce anymore factor.” You know the one … the elasticity you lose once you hit, say, 30?! That inability to hit the ground that suddenly feels like the hardest marble on the planet and just hop right up get right back on? THAT!

Yes, the hazards of being an adult amateur eventer are many. Man, are they ever! We duct tape our boots together, pop endless amounts of ibuprofen, and play Russian Roulette with our work schedules and vacation days to get to that next show. And don’t even get me started on the juggling involved when you add kids to the mix! And husbands. And dogs. And …

I know! It’s a new year. Everything is supposed to be coming up wine and roses. This blog feels like a downer. Well, don’t stop reading just yet.

Because it’s a new year, I have been thinking a lot about resolutions and goals and the direction I want to head towards in 2018, and not just with my riding, but in general. Yes, I want to get fit. OK, more fit. OK, a little bit fit. Yes, I need to lose 20 pounds. OK, 10 pounds. Five pounds? I want to read more, spend less time on social media, eat healthier, drink less coffee (wait, what?!) all those things!

But what I really want is just to be able to take a good, long, deep breath. Really just stop. Breathe. Look around. ENJOY. Now there’s a word we could all use more of! As I move ever deeper into 2018, and as the month of January slowly begins to accelerate and pick up speed, what I really want more of is JOY! I want to be able to really take the time to be grateful for my fabulous pony. He’s not so young anymore (he turns 16 this year!) I quite literally need to take advantage of every single second I have with him and be HAPPY about it!

I board my horse at one of the most beautiful private farms in my hometown. I am blessed to have a great arena and cross country jumps and room to hack. I want to ENJOY all those things. Because I think (at least for myself) that as adult amateurs we get so caught up in the hazards, especially the hazards of time and money, that we forget sometimes to just ENJOY. Enjoy the sport that we participate in and the wonderful, amazing creatures we ride, and the sheer beauty of the world around us.

So yes. I am developing goals, and lists of shows and clinics to attend this year. All of that. But mostly what I really want is to ENJOY all those things.

Now I’m gonna go get another cup of coffee.

Go eventing.