Six years ago this weekend, I showed at my last horse show. I had just finished my internship at AQHA and was about to move out to Oklahoma for my job at NRHA, but I had three weeks to be home. So for two weeks I rode Nino, my great Palomino Quarter Horse gelding that I had won the 2004 PHBA World Championship on, and prepped him for our favorite horse show circuit during Memorial Day weekend.
I don’t remember much about our rides, just that I was happy to be with my “horse show family” and riding my wonderful horse. Dally was along for the ride as well, and everything was perfect to me that weekend.
Flash forward six years later, and I’ve since moved to Lexington and am lucky to sit astride a horse once a month or so. The only horse shows I attend are for work–whether it’s to write an article or to work as a show secretary. Nowadays my competitive needs are fulfilled with dog agility trials and running.
Never would I think that I’d be where I am right now.
It’s hard to look back on the different events that shape our lives into what we are today and decide if they were the right ones or not. I had full intentions to move Nino back down to Lexington, but he passed away the first week I lived here. I had started to look into purchasing a new horse, but then the realities of being able to afford purchasing a horse and boarding him became clear that it was going to be difficult on such a limited budget. It wasn’t a smart thing for me to do at the time.
Unfortunately, things haven’t gotten any easier and I’m still horseless in Horse Country. It has always been my dream to continue my life on the horse show circuit even while living the “grown up” life of a full-time job and a significant other. When is it time to stop trying for that childhood dream?
After spending three days back home on the family farm working my horses and spending time in the barn, I finally felt relaxed and truly happy. Feeling the wind whipping across my face and hearing my horse’s hooves pounding the ground with her fast, hard breaths while we sprinted across the pasture was the most exhilarating feeling you can ever feel. It was then that I felt careful and pure happiness for the first time in a long time. So much has been going on in my mind and in my life that I needed that reminder of who I really am.
So how do you recapture that old life? Or is it your old life because you can’t bring it back?