Monday, June 20, 2011


We had a good gallop on Friday, a decent trail-ish ride on Saturday, and a nice dressage ride yesterday. It's jump day and I'm depressed.

Not in the clinical can't-get-myself-out-of-bed type of way, but in the existential-angst-personal-drama type of way.

Izzy is fit. She's awesome. She's brave, fast, balanced, talented, and fun. I'm learning to hang with her. We improve every time we work together. I'm happy and enjoying her.

That said, I keep getting hung up on a couple of details...

Like the fact that we have had two riding lessons this year. Both of them have resulted in incredible progress, but it eats me up knowing how much more progress we could make if we lessoned as much as twice a month.

Or the fact that I live in freaking Idaho. Even if I wanted to go to a recognized event, I'd have to go to another state, minimum 6+ hours away. You think showing locally is expensive? Try tacking gas and hotel on everything just to get there. Heck, even most of the unrated stuff is multiple hours away.

Or the fact that despite my fancy diploma and debt-free existence, I'm working -very- part time at an easy but low-paying job that simply isn't going to accommodate a fancy equine lifestyle.

I guess that's the root of it. I have a job that allows me time with my horse every single day and we have a blst, but our forward progress is limited. If I (magically, in this economy) found a better-paid full time job utilizing said degree, I could afford some more horse stuff, but then I wouldn't have much time to ride and make progress.

As my husband would say, it's a first world problem. I know I need to be grateful that I have such a fabulous horse to begin with and any extras are just that, but sometimes I wonder why I spend all this time training to just sit home...

We're going cross country schooling (hopefully) next weekend. Part of me is excited, and part of me wonders what's the point. We'll have continued issues with water and be great over everything else... and then be back to day to day life where xc is out of the question.

So... now what? I could try to find a job that pays better, but I don't know that it would actually fix anything. Then I'd have less time and more stress. Is that worth it? I don't know.


  1. I struggle with this all the time. Even with a well paying job (and resulting less time), I still find myself having a lot of stuff that is just not in the horsey budget because I have to battle a mountain of student loans, plus a car payment and other adult-life annoyances, so I think the dilemma never ends. Horses are money-soaking sponges, basically, and without lottery-level millions we will always be making compromises. That said, there is a separate kind of satisfaction from knowing the progress you've made has been all thanks to your own good horse sense, hard work and determination. It's a different kind of success that someone with unlimited cash flow, top trainers, a groom staff, and a made six-figure horse doesn't get to have. Granted, I'd probably trade places with the millionaire at the end of the day... but still, you should be proud of your accomplishments with Izzy. She is a lovely mare, and you have no one but yourself to thank for that.

  2. Just because you might not get to show a lot or compete in the upper levels doesn't mean your training or time with Izzy isn't worth it! Maybe you just need a goal to work towards? I know that helps me when I'm down in the dumps. That's why I enjoy Parelli so much - there are basically three levels and there are assessment goals for each level. Once you're ready you video the different movements and send it in to be evaluated. Also, the thing about horses is that the goal is to have fun! Have you thought about maybe doing online horse shows? If you really want to compete, this might be a way to do it without traveling and may be less expensive. Here's some sites I've heard of:

  3. I feeeeeel you on this!

    I am a poor college student trying to make it to the advanced levels but without money....its damn near impossible. And I know its only going to get harder when I graduate and leave my cute apartment in my college town and face the real world where no one really cares.

    I agree with TBA though, just because I can't show, I LOVE my horse and I am SO llucky that I have one! So many of my friends have always wanted a horse and never could. I bitch about not being able to buy fancy tack, tack fancy lessons or go to fancy shows and have a fancy trailer, but at least I have a fancy beautiful horse who loves me! And you do too!

    And I have never heard of online horse shows! Cool!

  4. Wish I had an easy answer. Here in NJ, horse opportunities abound, so we don't have the same issues.

    Any way of pooling resources at the barn to get a trainer to come on a more regular basis? Is there some kind of horse organization that might want some help organizing clinics? Maybe you could help run an in house horse show for the boarders?

    I do understand your frustration, but you really have accomplished a lot with Izzy on your own. You have a great work ethic and lots of determination. More money could help with some of the problem, but if it meant less time with your girl, then you'd really need to evaluate the trade off.

    In the meantime, pat yourself on the back for how far you've come, and try to keep your hopes bright for the future.

  5. : ) I'm with Jean; can you create your own show? Are there other riders in the area, that maybe you could draft a couple waivers, set up a couple classes and get everyone to compete against one another?

    We have enough shows where I'm at, but a lot of the time they're either really expensive (requiring multiple memberships) or far away (yes, you can stay in a province yet still travel more then 5 hours to a show!). The girls where I ride would LOVE to show, but can't, so I'm hoping to put on a little summer show so that they can show off their skills to one another and their family/friends. Figure I'll make them some satin 'ribbons' to win too.

    Don't count yourself out as leader, to start some shows in your area! Someone has to start the movement!! : )

  6. I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU FEEL!!! It is such a frustrating internal battle. help here but you are not alone.


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