I've decided to be a little self indulgent and write about something that is a huge part of me. Anyone that even knows me a little knows that I am horse crazy. I try to keep it subdued but it is there. Chops friends nicknamed me the Horse Whisperer, and while I'm no Monty Roberts, I do love horses. My friends in high school patiently watched me disappear during the summer because I was riding and showing pretty steadily. I think Chops figured I would grow out of it, but I think it is here to stay. There is a saying about how a girl would rather clean a stall than her room...they just amend that saying to the grown woman that prefers stalls to maintaining the house. Whoops! I have tried to be better about that.
I will admit, I am incredibly lucky. I get to teach riding lessons, so basically play with horses and watch other horse crazy kids learn and progress. It isn't always easy but it really is an awesome job. But, there is always the part of me that wants to ride for me. With two little kids I definitely have not been riding like I used to and I have lost my desire to ride anything as long as I'm riding. I think both the decreased frequency of riding and the fact that I have two beings that look to me to care for them has made me more of a wimp.
Anyways, I don't remember how it came about but I reconnected with someone that I took a few English lessons from back in the day and started lessons again. It is kind of hit and miss and some months I may only squeeze in one or two, but I am having so much fun. I've been riding with Carly, my sister, and it reminds me of the good ol' days where we pretty much rode all day, every day. She has not lost her nerve and is constantly razzing me about being such a wimp. It has been so fun to get pushed past what I feel like I can do, sometimes I fall short but those moments that I rise up to the challenge and succeed have been so refreshing. I finish just about every lesson smiling like an idiot and looking forward to the next one.
I figured I better push myself a bit more and sign up for a show that was just around the corner. It has been so busy the last couple of weeks that I hadn't been riding as much as I wanted to, so I was tempted to withdraw and just wait until I was more "ready." But I decided I better suck it up and do it. I have been having a hard time keeping the nerves at bay and Shadow, the horse I ride, really picks up on that, so I tried my best not to psych myself out. Which is very easy for me to do.
The competition was yesterday, and I feel like I accomplished my goal. We placed last in the first class, I was the only one in my second class but the judge still had me work and then gave me pointers after, which was great. The third class I was in I felt like we really settled down and did our best and we won! (granted, there were only two of us and the other was a girl I teach thats like 12 :) but I feel like it was a personal win for being calm and doing our best) We also won the jumping class, again against competition that wasn't too fierce but for me it was the fact that I conquered some demons, went out and did my best. And I walked out of the ring with that dorky smile on my face.
Showing is a lot of work, and it really isn't easy to balance my sweet, patient kids (and husband, who does not understand the appeal) with twelve hour days so I probably won't be doing too much while my kids are still young but it was really fun to polish up the boots and show. Addie also showed with me and I look forward to having some of the same fun, long, hard days with her that I had growing up with my sister.