As early as last fall, it was looking more and more likely that I would eventually change jobs (started at the new firm in April!). Which, in a way, was convenient timing for my new employer bc I was laid up with a broken leg and was already living the life of limited horsing.
|limited horsing is not best horsing|
That's worked out perfectly fine for me too, since my riding so far this year has not exactly followed the trajectory I expected anyway.
My confidence was slow to recover after missing so much saddle time from the injury. Our jumping started coming apart at the seams in March (this post was the first time I wrote about crashing through the tiniest of fences from a trot...). And ultimately I decided to drop back to BN instead of N for our season opener at Loch Moy - in the name of confidence building, not confidence proving.
|overcome your fears! literally!|
This is hard for me on a few different levels. Yes, I love horses and even the quietest moments spent with them can improve my spirit and mood. Yes, Isabel is a very special horse to me and the investment I've poured into this partnership is immeasurable. And Yes, the work we are doing right now will ultimately (hopefully, fingers fucking crossed) make me a better rider and horsewoman in the future, even if it's not very glamorous right now.
But. (And you knew there had to be a 'but,' right?)
But dammit, it's just not what I wanted to be doing. And I'd be lying if I didn't say that Isabel's and my performances at shows this spring have cast doubts on whether Isabel is a realistic competitive partner moving forward.
|all the pretty ribbons|
It's a scary thought tho, and I suspect a very deep rabbit hole. So many 'what ifs' there.
What if Isabel isn't the right partner anymore? Frankly both of my jump trainers have reminded me that there are other horses in the world - and have both gone so far as to describe (unprovoked) specific creatures they thought might be good matches. And Isabel is not mine - let's not forget. She has a forever home with a woman who loves her deeply, if from afar.
|she's pretty easy to love|
What if I move to OF? It seems like an obvious choice - I'd be able to keep my current stable (puns haha) of trainers. My current barn friends wouldn't be far away and we would probably still lesson together regularly. And ya know, have trailer, will travel right?
Except. Well, I work in DC now with a commute that spans 2hrs each way - and OF is even farther in the opposite direction. Sure, I only go into DC 2-3x a week... but wouldn't life be easier if I lived closer? And supposing Isabel weren't part of the picture, wouldn't I be a fool if I didn't at least explore the possibility?
|the path forward?|
So rather than actually addressing any of those questions, I continue to plug away at fixing the problems in my ride with Isabel. It might not necessarily be easier, but at least it's a known evil.
We will see what comes first: things improving enough so I can get back to doing what I love doing with horses in the first place; or acknowledging that my goals (vague and nebulous tho they may be) are not a match with what Isabel has to offer any more. Time will tell, I suppose.