Someone posted a thread on the COTH forums asking where you were compared to where you thought you'd be at this time, and it got me thinking. (Enough to post a blog, even!)
I think I spend a lot of time thinking about how I feel like I'm scrapping my way along and feeling somewhat sorry for myself that I don't have access to big $$ and nice horses and sponsors etc etc, but alternately, I find myself INCREDIBLY fortunate to be where I am. I have excellent students that I truly enjoy being around, very supportive friends and family, use of a facility that is lovely and beyond my wildest dreams and access to wonderful instruction.
Most recently, I was graced with the opportunity to own a horse that I thought would be way out of my league and I'm patiently (ok, ok, maybe not so patiently, but not because of him, just because I'm frustrated with myself!) learning to ride a much classier animal than I'm used to. Exactly the step I needed at this point in my career.
I have to remind myself that a VERY SHORT time ago, I had no eventing experience and would have been happy to make it around a BN event without an unlucky stop. (Oh, Ari...) I was lucky enough to take Ari novice and get around clean at his last show before lameness caused his early retirement, which, as devastating as it was, put me in a position to move on to a horse that could move on up the levels. Timing is everything...
Four years ago, I bought an unlikely eventing prospect out of a cow field in Amish Country- now I have an incredible horse who I've brought along myself who willingly drags my uneducated butt around training level events and keeps getting better the more I learn. She was just broke enough to start eventing about the time I had to give up my leased horse.
My leased horse was a mare who was far nicer than I needed and more technical than I probably could ride, but brave and honest to a fault and I was able to cruise around a couple BN and N learning the ropes with a horse who was not ugly or dirty. Exactly the ride I needed at the time.
I took Lyra to our first event in April of 2009. I've come a long way since then, in hindsight, including bringing another youngster up to BN level from scratch in a little less than a year, reminding me how much fun the early journey is, and encouraging me to keep improving the quality of the horses I'm riding.
It's a weird dichotomy, don't you think? Professionally, I'm so far ahead of what I thought I could ever have. Riding wise... on one hand, I have no standing goal of "Oh, I want to go to the Olympics!" or "I want to do a 1* by the time I'm 30." But on the other, I want to go as FAR as I can, as FAST with that I have available as I can without being dumb or dangerous. Every once in awhile I have to step BACK and look at what I've done and gained in a short time and the amazing opportunities that have come my way and know that it will all pan out the way it should....
*anxiously taps toes*