Friday, September 20, 2013

Back in the saddle

It took almost two months, but today, I got back in the saddle.

Ben was, of course, amazing and perfect.  Her carted my rusty butt around my first jumping lesson in quite awhile.  It was the first time I'd jumped since we completed our Training event back in July.  I had some goofy distances, but it really is like riding a bicycle.  It all comes back, and your tush hurts like hell afterward.  I'm probably going to be limping tomorrow.

But the important part is that I went back.  It's still hard, I still find myself referring to Fiona as 'my horse' and looking in her stall when I walk by, but it's getting better.  Time heals all wounds, and the word from UNH is still that she's amazing and awesome and the students love her.

It's been decided that I'll keep riding Ben, even if it's at a much more limited level.   I have to get that darn master's degree, but what can I say, there aren't a lot of horses in the world where you can just swing on and jump around at three foot like it's no big thing after two months off.  I adore my Meathead and I'm excited that we'll get to keep working together, even if he'll only see me once or twice a week.

Now I get to work on the project called moving on and giving Ben a fair chance.  No, he's not Fi, but the Princess is off pursuing her own career and it's time that I work on mine.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Project Conclusion

So this is it
I say goodbye
To this chapter of my ever-changing life
And there's mistakes
The path is long
And I'm sure I'll answer for them when I'm gone
- Something to Remind You, Staind

I got my official e-mail from UNH on Friday.  They love Fiona and want her as part of the program.  The letter officially donating her to the Equine Program is on it's way.  The Princess now belongs to UNH where she will be a dressage school master for their many students.  Part of me is relieved, part of me is heart broken. I'll admit that I secretly wished for her to be sent back and even now my initial reaction was 'I've changed my mind, give me back my pony!'.  But it's done now.

And this is how Project Fiona concludes.  It wasn't the ending anyone expected, especially me.  I'm still second guessing myself, even though I know it is a perfect situation for her.  She is adored, spoiled rotten, and will never have to jump again.  When she's ready to leave the program, I have right of first refusal.  I can go visit her whenever I want.  That doesn't mean it's easy.

I haven't ridden since she left.  Poor Ben has not seen much of me.  His junior rider is having an absolute blast with him and they've been doing well at the shows.  With grad school and my continuing mixed feelings, I'm letting his lease go.  At the end of September, he'll be someone else's ride.

So now what?  This whole thing started with me looking for an eventing partner and now I'm stepping back.  I'll still be teaching and taking my weekly lessons, but riding needs to take the back seat.  My husband and I closed on a house a week ago and that's taking up a lot of time and energy.  I can't quit, any horse person knows that quitting just isn't possible, but I need to put it in the background.

Come graduation, the cycle will start all over again.  Another horse hunt.  But for now, I'm going to focus on finding my love of the sport again.  I still look for Fiona when I go in the barn, but I think it's time for me to get back in the saddle and shake this off.  She's happy, Ben is still here, and I need to remind myself why I find this hobby so addictive.