I began this year (in January) riding a different horse, Diamond, with the goal of showing her at 2’6″. In April, I realized it wasn’t going to happen for various reasons, and decided to show Vinnie again in the same division as last year. We’ve had our ups and downs so far this year, and while I know it’s really only the beginning of show season, I find myself at an impasse.
I have improved tremendously from last year, even if I have trouble seeing it in the videos. I can feel it in my riding and my trainer agrees. I feel like I’ve already accomplished what I can with Vinnie: he is back to his old self and I am more relaxed and actively thinking while in the show ring. Plus I’m making great strides in lightening my seat, keeping my weight in my legs and following over the fence.
So what now? I’ve been thinking about leasing or buying a horse for a while. But for me, there are so many questions that go with the process, it’s exhausting just thinking about them:
- Should I buy or lease?
- What is reasonable for my budget?
- What should I compromise on?
- Will I hate driving so far out to the barn all the time?
- Do I have time for a horse?
- What if I buy one and hate it?
After reading that, don’t you feel like you need a margarita? Because I do. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg that is my waffle. I’m sure I’m probably the only horse-person on the entire planet that is so anxious over whether or not to purchase/lease a horse, I swear.
When I get overwhelmed (which occurs with annoying frequency) it’s almost always the small stuff that bogs me down. I can handle a busy day at work with a million things to do, but if I also have a ton of chores to do at home — I’m instantly stressed out. So I make lists and try to boil it down to the essentials:
In the end, what am I most concerned about? What is the real debate here?
The truth? I’m nervous. I want to make the right decision, both on what to do horse-wise, but also for myself and my family. Horses have always been such a big part of my life, and I don’t want that to change. Riding has always been my escape, my gym, my social network. Showing has always been my moment in the spotlight, my chance to show off and my confidence boost. But all that means nothing if I drive away family because of my decisions, or if I can’t pay my rent. What is the correct balance?
In my pondering, I’ve realized that my situation now is not so different from the situation I was in when we bought my first horse: I’d accomplished all I could on my lease and I wanted to move up and accomplish more. And that is exactly where I am today.
So in the end, I will work out all my questions and insecurities. We will make this work, because that is what my family does; what I do. And in order to move forward with my riding goals, I have to find another horse.
It’s time. I’ve waited until I was ready — emotionally, financially (well, as much as one can be when a horse is involved) and riding ability.
Am I scared? Kind of. But sometimes you just have to jump and have faith.