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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Day 10 - How your family/friends feel about your riding

My folks always supported me as I grew up, from shuttling me to the barn every week for my lessons, to leasing a horse for me, to buying my first horse Sparky, to carting us to horse shows and everything in between.  I know I was a very lucky kid to have horses in my life from a young age.  My parents were amazing to allow me to pursue my passion.  My dad is not horsey at all, but has made jumps, brush/tack boxes, stall doors, etc. for me when I have asked.  He built my barn for me.  He still tags along to horse shows once in a while even though I am now old enough to truck my horse myself.  In college, where he footed the bill, he always expected me to "get a real job" and that horses needed to be my "hobby".  I get that and agree with it (though sometimes I wish I just played horses all day...LOL!).  My mom is (and probably always will be) a complete nervous wreck about it all, which is fine.  She never really liked following the horse trailer to horse shows and refused to watch me jump....ha ha ha.  She took lessons one summer back when I was a teenager, but that was pretty short-lived!  LOL!  But despite not being horse people themselves, they allowed me to be one.


That time I tried my hand at dressage in a sidesaddle and my dad showed up to watch.  I love how I am grinning at him like an idiot LOL!
But for all of their support, which I am not trying to diminish in the least bit, I sometimes get the feeling that they don't "get it".  I feel like they think I am crazy....I'm not sure they understand why I spend the time, money, and effort to ride and own horses.  I accept it, of course.  This is not a bad thing, and it does not bother me as much as it used to.  Mom used to say in a half-joking/half-serious way how her little ballerina (I danced for many years...) suddenly decided she liked to get dirty and horsey.  :-D

They might never understand how horses define me.  It is not a hobby.  It is who I AM.  Horses are as much a part of me as being a woman is a part of me.  Horses challenge me, make me whole, keep me sane, give me confidence, and allow me to be ME.  And I always feel like my parents think that is a little bit....weird.  LOL!  ;-)  I think they expected me to outgrow my "horse phase".  But they love me unconditionally, horse crazy and all, I do know that!  


My husband, Jason, while not a horse person at all, does own cattle and grew up involved with working steers in 4-H.  So at least I feel as though he "gets it" that I need/want to work my horses every day and show them.  He and I have similar work habits with our animals and have found success in taking animals from never been touched/ridden, to winning in the show ring.  I am kind of glad he has his own thing and I have mine, because I don't know that I would be able to deal with him being a rider haha.  He has joked that with his ox pulling experience and my horse experience, we ought to get into horse pulling.  That is a firm NO on my part LOL!  He can pull his steers/oxen, but the horses get to be pets and show ponies, that is all!  (Side note: My ex did NOT like horses and treated me quite terribly for owning them.  Funny thing is, they came long before him and have lasted long after him LOL!  He played along for a while, tricking me into thinking he understood me at first, but that didn't last long.  Hence one of many reasons I was divorced years ago....!!)


My husband hanging out while I marshaled the races at Cornish Horsemen's Day 2014.  This is also one of the weirdest photos, because there is a small lady standing just on the other side of Jason, and she is scratching Dreamy's neck.  But it is odd because it looks like my husband has two left hands. Haha! (Diann is pushing 80 and a total spitfire!  I love her!  She and her husband own and race STBs and put on Cornish Horsemen's Day each year.)
I have found that being a socially awkward person who would much prefer to be with my horses than with people, I don't tend to develop close relationships with non horsey people LOL!  I mean, yes, I can function in a work place environment and relate to other adults, but I don't usually hang out with those who are not horsey (minus my family).  My work friends don't really have much of an opinion and don't usually ask much about them, beyond the "she's so pretty!" or "congratulations!" comment on my Facebook posts.  My horse friends currently either don't show or ride as much as I do, maybe because it is just the stage of our lives where horses take a back seat, so while they are all supportive, sometimes I feel slightly guilty about posting or talking about my own current horse activities.  I feel like I get the "you are so lucky!" or "I am envious!" type comments and that makes me feel a little sad.  I am very cognizant of NOT bragging (other than posting on my blog haha) and I am a bit uncomfortable when friends appear envious of what I do with horses.  

But otherwise, I do my thing regardless of what people feel about my riding!  My only rule is that my husband and kids come first, but they also know mama needs her horse time!!  :-)


My favorite photo :-)

Dreamy was super impressed



Comments

  1. oh man, i seriously relate to that entire paragraph about how horses can define us. seriously.

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  2. You were lucky to have such supportive parents. The only time my parents have ever seen me was at the show this summer. And I’m 35

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