Horsewise, 2010 was a crazy year for me. I started off 2010 with HUGE goals and aspirations. I was riding Phoenix and I had planned a big show year for us. We were going out recognized with the goals of getting a national breed award. By Jan 1st of 2010 I had already paid over $400 in membership fees for Phoenix and I and was day dreaming about all of the ribbons and awards I would be getting by this time. I was reminded though that you can NEVER count your chickens before they hatch.
My dream show season was cut way short when things with Phoenix fell apart in the spring. I made the difficult decision to call it quits with Phoenix effective June 1st, cutting my 9 month show season down to just two months and making year end awards an impossibility. For the first time in my life I chose to end something that wasn’t working despite the lure of ribbons. Anyone that knows me will tell you that was a HUGE step. I didn’t even bother to do the 8 hours of volunteer work necessary to get a 60% achievement award making this the first time since I started showing in 2003 that I have not gotten any type of dressage year end award.
When I stopped leasing Phoenix I started riding the Schoolmaster. I learned quickly that maybe I am not as sucky a rider as I think I am after all. During the summer I was living something I had only dreamed about as I half-passed and did my 6 Tempi’s and yet there was still something missing. Even though my trainer encouraged me to show him, my heart just wasn’t in it. I didn’t want to anymore. I barely wanted to ride. I was burned out from giving so much to horses and horse people and I wanted to take a break. Here I was with the only thing I ever wanted, a well trained obedient horse, and I still was having a hard time getting to the barn.
By the time I fell off (first time in 8 years) I was feeling like maybe I just didn’t want to ride anymore. I still saw my Gen everyday, but things in my life started to move around and riding fell to the bottom of my priority list. My trainer kept me going with a weekly lesson and eventually I started to feel that joy from riding again. The excitement that comes after a great lesson, the day dreaming about an amazing ride, the desire to be good at something. Slowly but surely my love of riding has been coming back this year. I lost my way a little bit in 2009 and just haven’t really found my way back.
Most importantly in 2010 was that Gen was around for all of it. My old man had his ups this year with going out bootless for the first time since his injury and his downs this fall when I thought I was going to loose him. I know his immune system is not normal, but clearly whatever plagued him back in 2007 is gone because my horse healed, and healed quickly from his tendon sheath injury. 2010 was the year of me letting go of control of Gen a little bit. I learned that I can go away on vacation, that he can live without boots, he can be outside for 20 hours and that he is OKAY. That was a HUGE step for me. I also learned that if anything ever does happen to him I am NOT going to be okay. I lost it when he hurt his leg and it turned out not to be a big deal. I love my pony now even more than I did back in 2005 when I got him.
I almost forgot a HUGE highlight of 2010. I got back on Gen!!!! It was only to walk, and I only did it a handful of times before he started to be a naughty pony, but I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would do that again. It is a big deal to know that Gen is okay. He might not exactly be normal, but he is closer to normal than he has been in a long time. Overall I would say that 2010 was a year of change, not only with horses but with my goals and equine dreams as well. I almost ended this blog, I almost stopped riding and I almost lost my Gen, but almost doesn’t count. I am still writing, still riding and I still have my pony to entertain me. I have no idea how things will change in 2011 and at this point I couldn’t even begin to guess where my life will take me over the next year.