Growing Pains

The past year I’ve accomplished many things. I graduated high school, achieving my goal of receiving the “most dedicated athlete” and the “top female athlete” awards from my school. Then I spent the summer working full time and showing my two horses.  My mare, Flash, is a paint western show mare. She’s had her ups and downs, but has always been successful in the show ring. She’s a chestnut, and for anyone who knows anything about horses, chestnut mares are.. challenging, to say the least. I’d owned her for 4 years up to this summer, and it was decided that fall was the time to sell her to free up some time for University.

As it happened, she was traded back to her original breeders who were happy to take her back (she was apparently the first horse who did anything for them in the show ring). In return we got a foal, Felix, along with another foal in the future. Possibly one of Flash’s, if they breed her. At our last show of the season she decided to go out with a bang. Bang being bucking around the ring and then finally coming to a dead stop, rearing as high as she could without going over backwards, and leaving me with rotator cuff issues and lower back injuries.

Flash and I

She was always a drama queen. She taught me how to be tough. I fought for every little thing I earned with her, but once she knew I was going to fight just as hard as she was, she would show up every other horse in the ring. Of course almost every show I had to start over with this challenge. Sometimes you have to fight for greatness, right?

My hunter/jumper gelding, Willie, is possibly one of the best investments my mom ever made. From my perspective anyway. We bought him as a 6 yr old, thinking that he would be a good horse for me to get into the jumper scene with.  He soon proved to be twice the horse we thought he would ever be. Last summer, and this spring he has grown into a handsome boy and done very well in the show ring. I’m hoping that this summer will be our best season yet. He’s in peak condition, and we have a big show coming up next month.

Winter Fair 2010

This is Willie and I at Winter Fair last year. This was our first time at this level of show, so we went in not having high expectations. We came home with top 7 placings in almost every class we were in. Needless to say, I was VERY happy with my horse after that week of competition.

I just got back from hacking Will, and we’re finally getting to the point where I can tell he trusts me, and he’s willing to trust my decisions.  There is no other feeling in this world to compare with the feeling you get when you find that connection with your horse.  It takes such dedication and patience to get there, but every second of frustration is worth the result. I’m finally starting to feel like I’ll accomplish something I’ve been working towards for the past however many years. I’m working with some of the best coaches in Canada, and the changes I’ve seen in myself over the past season are incredible. Not only in my skill level, but in my attitude.

Now I just have to get over these lingering injuries. Thank god for my athletic therapists!

Ciao for now!

K.

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