Quite an honor, thank you!!
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Now I feel obligated to come up with an equine-related post, even though horses haven’t been in my life since last weekend! (Jobs are rough sometimes.)
Today will be a dreaming day…
It seems as if I have some very large, potential opportunities on my horizon. Not wanting to jinx them, I won’t go into great detail, but each gets me out of the state I grew up in and onto bigger things. Discussing with a co-worker/friend/mentor the other night we hit on the value of dreams as they pertain to my potential move(s). You’ve got to have something to shoot for and achieve, or you’ll look back and wonder where all that time went and why you didn’t “jump” on opportunities as they arose.
One of my biggest dreams – other than just HAVING my own little home and my own super-star horse – is to really get into endurance riding. Inclement weather and long hours in the saddle are things that have never bothered me. If I’m on a horse, I’m the happiest girl ever. I love getting out into remote, or seemingly so, places on horseback. I love the solitude of it. I love the adventure. I love the unique trusting bond that forms between rider and horse due to these excursions.
Sure, a deep bond forms between any rider and equine partner, but each discipline will form a different kind of bond. Getting out into a wilderness setting without aid of another person close at hand – and potentially no cell phone service! – creates a very different bond. You trust your horse’s senses to cue in on things that could be potentially dangerous, and your horse trusts you to help s/he guide through obstacles and choose a safe path from one destination to the next. Something I do, too, is really keep my eyes and ears alert for small things that aren’t dangerous to us, but my horse might find scary at first because they are novel concepts. A startle that leads to a fall in the woods in the middle-of-nowhere would not be ideal! In addition, I always cue in on my horse’s ears when we’re out alone. His hearing is far superior to my own; if his attention flits somewhere its usually for good reason. I’ve seen a lot of things I would have otherwise missed thanks to this!
I love getting out and seeing new places – what better way than an endurance ride? This would guarantee a higher degree of safety for my horse and self, while still allowing me to get out see some truly incredible places.
Pre-me doing any of this, I need a horse. And I recognize that its going to take loads of time and commitment on my part to help my horse rise to the level I’d like us to reach. Slow and steady. It’s a goal to shoot for in the next two years or so. Build my finances, get dream horse, begin training, do a few LD rides here and there, slowly building over a few years to where we are comfortable doing longer and longer rides. I’m 22 now. By the time I’m 30 – it could be the year I turn 30 – I want to have ridden in the Tevis. This feat is one of my biggest horse-related dreams and I truly believe I could get there in 8 years. If I don’t, well, I guess I don’t. I wouldn’t risk the health of my horse for it, but I hope to find a horse who is capable of this.
In 6 months in 2007, I had Stan conditioned pretty damn good apparently. I didn’t realize how well (other than noticing that he wouldn’t lather up in sweat like he used to, his breathing was rarely very labored, and he was more than capable of cantering 2 miles up a mountain road/trail) until people experienced in the discipline told me so. They reckoned he could have easily completed the 50-mile ride. We just did 30. And that was pretty sweet. But all that conditioning? To me it was just the greatest excuse in the world to get to ride 5 days a week! I LOVED getting out. 80% of the time I was riding alone, too. So, given that I have trails available to me to ride with future-super-star, conditioning won’t be too big a barrier!
I'm excited to have this dream to work toward in the near future. And I'm excited that it has a high probability of coming to fruition by the time I'm 25. All I've ever wanted was a horse I could ride and play with all the time. (Noo, I wouldn't ride future-super-star into the ground. I know the value of off-time!) The thought of working on one little goal after another, each day/week/month/year with future-super-star is thrilling. I can't wait.
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Now its your turn, what big dream(s) did you have for your future-super-star and yourself? Have they happened already? Are you working toward them?