Genny over at A Gift Horse posted a really interesting question the other day- if you could get a redo with horses, what would you change?
Hard one, right??
In my mind, I break out my horse experience into two completely separate blocks: pre-college, and post-college (roughly, though I was out of the saddle for closer to 7 years in total). There is a complete lack of continuity to those parts of my riding experience, so I’m going to think about them separately as well.
Let’s start with pre-college.
I have one big regret here, which was my absolute sky-high anxiety around riding. I had everything in the world going for me- a young healthy body, naturally good equitation, access to incredible trainers, my own super fancy horse, regular rides on other horses being offered, PARENTS THAT PAID FOR EVERYTHING, and more. Everything. I had everything. With all that, I should’ve progressed so much more quickly and accomplished so much more. I should’ve had a true junior career.
But I didn’t. Because I was scared. For no reason at all.
So if I could have a redo, I’d want to overcome that. Realistically I’m not sure how- I was an absolute basket case who couldn’t get out of my own head, and I’m not sure what I could’ve done differently. It’s not really a regret in the sense of “oh I wish I could do XYZ instead of ABC,” but more like “wow I wish I wasn’t like that as a person for all those years.”
I’m also tempted to say that I regret taking 7 years off. Imagine how far along I’d be if I had an additional 7 years under my belt?!
But I really needed those 7 years to focus on my education, grow up a bit and get out of my own head, and build a life that can support riding. So I don’t actually want a redo on that. I’m very certain that it was the right thing at the time and I would probably make the same decision over again, no matter how much it stank to be away from ponies.
Which brings us to the Current Era, which includes lessons to half lease on DragonMare to FrancisTown.
And I don’t think I’d redo a single thing. Maybe be a little more frugal over certain things so I could stress less about money during show season. Maybe get Frankie his SI injection a little earlier last year so he wouldn’t get sore. But really these were learning opportunities and I took something away from each.
I’d buy Francis again a million times over, I’d choose my trainer out of the many in my area every time, I’d use a similar progression to get Frankie and I up to speed. Maybe some people could have progressed more quickly, but what we’ve done has built an incredibly solid base and a happy healthy safe horse. We’ve taken a few calculated risks to push our boundaries, but we’ve built a partnership that can weather those risks.
It certainly hasn’t been a perfect process and I’ve certainly made mistakes. Ultimately, I think I’d go back and make those same mistakes if it brought me to where I am now.
I think just even reflecting on these things are good for us.
Agreed! There’s something cathartic about intentionally remembering and reflecting.
hey that was a cool look back in the day 🙂 HA HA love it. I am so glad you got Francis and no matter how you redo it I wouldn’t want to change that ever 🙂
Same here, I’d pick him every time!!
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Hmmm…I’d change…just about everything…HA! I took a ton of time off and wish I hadn’t but then I wouldn’t want to give up those years of competitive whitewater racing that took the place of horses, so maybe not so much.
It’s tough! Even things that didn’t go to plan ended up working out in a weird way, right?
I think it would have been beneficial to me to have a different trainer as a junior… But I’m not sure I’d honestly want to go back and change that because I still got to do a lot of really amazing things, that I otherwise may not have. I think things tend to happen the way they’re supposed to.
It’s kind of nice to look back and appreciate that the past is what got you here.
It’s always that balance- if something else worked out, then other awesome stuff wouldn’t have. Agreed that for better or for worse, the path led to a good spot!
Such “good” picks. I mean honestly I should’ve gone back further to my pre-college riding too, because there are big things I’d want to redo. But hopefully I’m a better person now because of that? At least one can hope.
So glad that you have found so much of the good stuff to surround yourself with now 🙂 🙂
Agreed, even the not-so-good led to good stuff so it’s hard to want to change too much!