In November 2017 I made a public promise that not only would I start to ride (for real) again, but that I would also commit to going to a horseshow in mid 2018. The problem is that people were actually listening (whattt?) and since then I have gotten many questions about this infamous first show back. The other problem is that I haven’t jumped a course in 4 years. The other problem is that I have zero confidence in my riding. The other problem is that Chloe, my horse, demands confidence…among many other things. The other problem is that my life has drastically changed in the last 4 years…
I now have two small children. Unless you have children this really means nothing to you and I understand that. I used to roll my eyes at the whole “stay at home mom” thing too. But trust me, these babies suck the life right out of you. Yes, they definitely have their cute moments and I am happy that they exist, but frankly, being a mom is so challenging. It is the hardest thing I have ever attempted to do and this is coming from someone who is an ex-attorney. Everyone knows that being an attorney is the worst thing ever and I am telling you that sometimes I actually miss being an attorney. But really, if I am being honest, mostly I just miss my old life, especially the time I spent with Chloe. And you know what? I now realize that it is okay to say that. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my life or my kids. It just means that things have changed and so have I.
Over the last 3.5 years I haven’t done much riding at all – a tough adjustment when I rode 5 days a week for many years rain, snow or shine. I just haven’t had the time or, on the rare occasions I have had the time, the energy. Compounding the issue is that Chloe needs to be ridden 4+ times a week or else she is a fire breathing dragon. So when I did make it out there, it really wasn’t enjoyable. I didn’t even trust her to canter most of the time. The few lessons I did take were just reminders of how far we had regressed, so I started to avoid those too.
Why the sudden motivation? Well, my kids are 3 and 1, no longer completely helpless babies, so there is some light at the end of the tunnel there. My husband is awesome and we have a nanny two days a week – which means I can ride two days a week and pray for good weather on those days. I realize that 2 days doesn’t sound like much, but it is HUGE! Lastly, Chloe has a wonderful half-leaser, Dakota. Dakota rides Chloe the other 2-3 days a week that I do not and she is totally responsible for getting Chloe back into MENTAL shape. I can’t thank her enough.
So, back to the “what have I done”? This online diary is an attempt to hold myself accountable in my re-riding. I have met some pretty awesome equestrian entrepreneurs in my similar situations that have given me the support and encouragement to share my journey of getting show-ready. The perfectionist in me is terrified, but excited at the same time. I hope to be totally honest in my experiences because so often social media is a staged facade and people forget that for every pretty picture I post on Horse Glam, there were at least 50 others that made me and my photographer laugh or cringe! So buckle in for my re-riding reality. I can promise you it is going to involve many missed distances, more than a few “oh shits”, and numerous laughs. But it will be real, you can count on that.