My show season for 2013 has come to a close, and I find myself at the point of reflection. It’s always a huge relief both emotionally and financially for the season to end for a bit. However, I always find myself immediately planning the next year. I spend hours pouring over the USEA Omnibus trying to figure out what’s next for my horses. I am a planner by nature, but as with all things horses, I only use pencil when making my schedules. All of this planning gives me something to work toward, as it can sometimes be hard to be motivated on those cold winter days.
Bug and I came out strong at the beginning of this year, and I thought this was going to be the year that we really stepped up to the plate. I was focused, I was fit, and I had been working hard all winter. Unfortunately, Bug ended up being out of commission starting at the beginning of March, putting a damper on all of our spring plans.
Bug missing a few months of work really took away from his baseline fitness. When he finally came back to work, it took me quite awhile to get him back to the horse that I was used to. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t include my loss in fitness as well. Due to all of this, I believe our fall season suffered. It took us quite a few shows to get our mojo back, and when we finally found it, the season was almost over. Suddenly, Bug was back to himself with his fitness, but I hadn’t been used to riding that horse.
As disappointed as I am with how this year developed, I can say that I have learned and grown up a lot. Having an amazing, thoughtful coach has really helped me to have a plan and understand everything that happens with my horse. I think I have learned more about myself and my horse in this past year than I have in a long time. Even though I have always had my horses’ best interest at heart, I have learned so much about making the decisions that really count for them.
I am always proud of Bug, as he always gives me his all. There isn’t a day that he doesn’t show up to give his whole heart and then some. I struggle with feelings of letting him down at times, but I have learned that he doesn’t see it that way. He does his job because he loves it, and as long as I keep doing what’s best by him, he is happy. I am most proud of the way I have handled the tough decisions this year. I was presented with things that I have never had to deal with before, and I believe that I made the best and most mature decisions that I could make.
This is a sport of constant growing and changing. We should never be static in our learning but always growing and changing. That is something that makes me want to keep coming back for more. The knowledge is always there for the taking, and I plan to keep grabbing fistfuls. Winter boot camp is already starting, and I am ready to whip myself into shape. My horses will be seeing a lot of me this winter, and I plan to come out kicking next spring.