Tuesday 7 April 2020

Time Marching On

 I've had Sophie two years now! It really doesn't feel that long because essentially she's just been hanging around looking cute while she grows up. This was going to be our big spring and summer where I put her in work properly for the first time, but honestly she's still growing and filling out and more time won't hurt. I need to measure her - she looks to me she's suddenly even taller than I hoped for and gradually filling out to be more solid looking (phew!) She'll be 4 in May which is also hard to believe - see above about her still looking quite immature and growing like a weed.

Hello, my name is Sophie and my bum is high again and I have a hairy belly. I'm guessing she's currently in the 14.3hh range

Since I picked up Sophie at the last show I took Bridget to, that means I haven't been to a 'proper' show in two years. That really makes me sad - while I always did get pretty nervous at a show or event I had so much fun at that barn and wish there was a way I could have kept at it. Having measurable goals and feedback was really nice, not to mention the feeling of being part of a barn 'team' with all the fun of cheering for others and the built in support network that goes with that. I need to remember that longer term progress is the whole reason I bought Sophie though and given the bigger picture I think the time out is still a good decision. Fingers crossed this time next year we'll be back out having fun.
April 2018 version of Sophie. I think she was 13.2 hands instead of the expected 14 and so, so, tiny. Everyone thought she was a yearling.

Facebook is also reminding me that this time last year were were at a couple of fun local clinics, trail courses,  and games days. My brain is a weird thing because it wants to tell me I've been lazy or 'quit' with Bridget since we moved here. And to a certain extent...yes I have, but also NO, I've been in the saddle quite a lot. I play with dressage but I don't push for anything either of us isn't feeling on the day, because she owes me exactly nothing and I'm not all that either. You can call me a quitter for that, I'm good with it.  There's much to be said for simply enjoying our outings, whether it be in the ring or on the trail, pretending to know how to do western games, or jumping small things like a pro.

Look at us last month: On track to get to E on our circle. We're serious, alright ;)

Then vs Now:

Then: I was a lot more wrapped up in being 'good' at riding and getting good show results, which of course resulted in me putting a ton of pressure on myself. I've never been super competitive, but I'm very hard on myself. I took riding and lessons super seriously and prioritized the time and finances to make it happen. I loved the barn and the coaching, I love learning, and I really enjoyed the barn 'family' there, but it got to a point where for Bridget and I (and combined with other life events) it was time to take a step back. I was in my own head far too much and although my riding was probably the best it had been, my confidence in what I was doing was starting to get shaky. The mean girl voice in my head was quite happy to back up all the positive coaching commentary and opportunities for improvement in a negative way.

Pictured: Our first competition. Me freaking out and forgetting how to ride. B getting all fierce and saving it.
I do miss our little cross country courses. 

Now: A world of difference - self boarding on a quiet private acreage after coming from that very busy and crowded equestrian business. These days,  I don't normally see anyone else when I'm at the barn or out riding. This is a VERY quiet equestrian community, with the 'big' event being an annual trail ride and camp out. I have so much time. I have space. And, I now am a little lonely and completely lack focus and drive. Even if I wanted to get back to lessons or shows, guess what? There isn't any of that here. On the other hand, being self sufficient, problem solving things on my own and having absolutely nothing go terribly wrong has restored a lot of that confidence in myself that I was losing. I just need to be careful that my current happy/safe space doesn't come at the cost of not learning or challenging myself enough and become an unhappy, stagnant place.

Hard to be unhappy here really

Hazy Future Vision: There has to be some middle ground here?

As I alluded to in my last posts, this enforced time out has really driven home a few things for me as far as my commute and work life (basically, it's stressful and time consuming and generally unhappy making as much as I love the people there). So, I need to 'fess up that I'm exploring other employment options and have made surprising progress there with some local interviews lined up for whenever it's safe to do so.  A job here would  throw a wrench into the whole moving Sophie for the show season to my coach's barn (at the RD I currently work for) thing.

 Where I work obviously impacts the riding and training resources I have available (ie it'll be a bit tough working locally with no coaching locally), but I'd still try to get Sophie and I out to my coach's at least on an intermittent schedule. I'm hoping to achieve a solid middle ground where I have time for all the things and can remain self sufficient in my own space, but have some capability to learn and improve though lessons and attending shows with the gang. I'm going to stick with my previous barn crew/existing coach because they're awesome. An added bonus is that for whatever reason the schedules and the fares to travel down the coast are much kinder than compared to going across to Vancouver Island, so that decision at least is extra easy.



  1. wow have you had her that long I am amazed. So glad she is growing up so gorgeous. And Bridget is SO cute over jumps. UGH i havent ridden in 3 weeks now. They keep offering lessons and I decline. (I would feel horrible if i got someone sick). UGH i wish i could just hang out and not worry about stuff:) Good luck with your job. I had a great zoom interview the other day and didn't get the job. So that sucked ;) HA

  2. That first pic of her, she's adorable. Did you know you can have a photo turned into a Paint-by-Number kit? And a puzzle? It's so much fun, I'm loving PBN.

  3. WOW she grew so much! And good on you getting out there and exploring new options. I hope the perfect thing falls into place.