For the first time since arriving in Aiken, I found myself wanting to head home. In the two weeks leading up to Sporting Days the work load was full throttle. Painting, brush stuffing, raking, flagging, decorating, etc. In the end a lack of detailed planning and organization created an incredibly stressful environment that I am certain triggered what became a five day stomach virus. I considered pulling my entry not because I didn't feel prepared or ready or concerned over weather worries. I considered scratching because I just wasn't excited. All I wanted at that point (Thurs) was for the event to be over. That should have been the red flag. I woke Saturday and rode my dressage in the pouring rain. Owning horses is all about decisions and I made the decision to sacrifice points in order to give Hope the quietest ride possible. The ring was under water so our lengthenings became stretch work. The result was a score that landed us dead last. The stadium warm-up was experiencing similar conditions and there were horses sliding through the footing. I opted for a hack around and decided my first fence that day would be the first fence on our course. The first fence was great. Hope was giving me some adjust ability, something I have been attempting to accomplish for several months. The next fence came and I saw the long spot. I thought she did too. Instead I jumped ahead, she couldn't get up because of it, and we both went through the fence before I went ass over end in front of her. Elimination. The breaking point. Utter fatigue, distress, and frustration.
I came to Aiken to enjoy my horses yet I find that I am constantly working because someone else has a job that is more important than my time to ride. In the weeks before the event I lost a significant amount of riding time due to these circumstances. I wouldn't mind except I am broke from this venture and everyday I pay for a stall and don't ride seems like a waste. I can be happy living minimally if I am at least able to enjoy my horses. I learned a lot that day; who are the people you consider friends, who are the people concerned only about themselves, and understanding how you manage in between.
I ended the weekend feeling completely without spirit. I didn't spend months working doubles to support a trip here for this. I didn't drain my entire savings for this. I am not even working currently for this. The work was to ride and enjoy my horses and I can't help but feel I have lost sight of that purpose in attempting to accommodate the needs of others. I am better than this and so is my horse.
I started the week with a few changes to my schedule and approach to riding. Trying to remain emotionally static and making sure my horses have specific aids for individual commands. And that they are crystal clear. I had a lesson with Molly Rosin that was extremely productive. Molly gave me some homework until the next time I see her and I will give nothing but my best.
Tomorrow is Full Gallop. Depending on the outcome there will determine whether we travel to Pine Top. My goals for Full Gallop are <40 in dressage, clear xc, and a stadium round with adjust ability (regardless of how many rails come down). My first two outings @ Training level have resulting in a TE and E. Looking forward to my first completed event. Cheers!