It's been a long time coming, but I made a decision today. A difficult one, but I feel a necessary one.
Fi isn't cut out to be an eventer. We've been struggling since September to do any kind of jumping and she wasn't jumping cross rails consistently in our last jumping lesson, even with a professional riding her. If she won't do cross rails, I can't imagine she'll ever return to Beginner Novice, much less Novice. She's been so happy as a dressage horse, why would I hammer on the one thing she doesn't want to do?
You should have seen her in my last flat lesson. Lovely leg yields, at the trot AND the canter. Shoulder in on a circle. Her first baby steps of half passe and a walking pirouette. It was wonderful, she was amazing to ride. Yes, she has her moments of stress and confusion where she turns into a llama and protests, but she keeps her marbles together. I've been hearing compliments on the way her neck has filled in and her entire topline has lifted as we've started to work on actual collection. She's a solid First level horse, ready to go out and compete this summer. She will school day after day, always going into the ring and ready to work. She's made me grow as a rider, learning to control my body and be extremely aware of where my horse is. She's just so damn talented. As my trainer said, she's been an amazing journey.
There is no reason to make her jump. Many a dressage rider would kill for a horse with her mind and talent. You can unload her from the trailer, toss a saddle on, and head to a crowded warm up with no concerns. You can head out on the trails or go on a hunter pace with no problems. You can even get good ribbons at a sanctioned dressage show, and this is with an amateur adult that specializes in jumping in the irons.
Fi wants to be a dressage horse. I want to be an eventer. She's so darn happy right now with no jumping in her schedule, and I don't have the heart to ask her to jump again. It kills me to feel her tense up and start to panic. This isn't fun for either of us, and isn't that what it's all about?
Fiona and I will be parting ways. I don't know when, but I'm setting it in my mind. Come this spring, when she heads out to the dressage shows, I'll have 'for sale' fliers for the posting boards. She would be so much happier if she never saw a jump again and I'm just not grown up enough to be happy as a dressage rider. I need the adrenaline. Of course, I'm not in any kind of hurry. If Fi stays with me for another year, I'd be perfectly happy. I adore every hair on her silly red body. I wouldn't let her go for anything less than the perfect situation, but there it is. She will be for sale.
I've never sold a horse before. I don't know if I really can.