Last Friday I was taking a lesson at the dressage barn and my coach and I were discussing our schedules for lessons. She said something that got stuck in my brain:
“I have a friend who is an eventing coach; she would probably travel to your barn for lessons. I know that’s what you’re really interested in. If your horse is sound you should go for it.”
What?! I moved away from the eventing barn. I accepted my life as a trail rider/occasional student of dressage (until the young horses are grown-ups). I didn’t think about eventing at all anymore. I gave up.
Apollo is sound and I’ve ridden every day in March (I suck at my plans to blog every day but I've been doing great on consistent riding and working out!). We’re slowly building up both of our fitness and getting back into a groove. Maybe we could give the eventing thing a try….again...?
I sent a bunch of text messages to the one person who I knew would give it to me straight. I wanted her opinion on what I should do with my big pony. I told her to be honest and not to worry about sparing my feelings in her response. I respect her opinion immensely and she knows both Apollo and I quite well. I sent her walls and walls of text (I’m such a fun friend!) and then I waited for a response.
I was expecting one of the following responses:
“Yes, ride your horse and stop babying him you dumb ass.”
“You will ruin him, he is clearly not up to it and you have to let it go.”
What she wrote back was much more helpful and although a little hard to read it was true. She essentially said I wasn’t doing him any favors by being easy on him. He needs to build fitness and have a job. He needs to be properly conditioned and likely some of his initial lameness issues at the eventing barn arose from him not having enough/proper work for a long time. She suggested really working on his conditioning and then coming to a few small jumper shows with her in May and seeing how he does. I'm trying to take everything in right now and make a realistic plan for my big pony and I.
I am open to thoughts and opinions from blogland as well if anyone has any wisdom to send my way!