After the semi ok, but not really great cross country schooling, I’ve had a hard time not thinking about the immediate horse future and the long term goals.
I’m not stupid and I don’t have rose colored glasses. I know Gem isn’t the perfectly right horse for me. I know most would have walked away a long time ago. This is supposed to be fun, so why torture myself?
As Gem ran circles around me Saturday morning in her pasture, the thought solidified in my brain. I’m going to lease her out to an endurance rider for a few seasons. Let her return to the trail. She is way too young physically and mentally to retire, I fully believe she would hate it, yet I don’t really want to do this with her any longer and I can’t return to endurance at this point in my life.
There. Plan made.
But then I got to the show and Gem patiently let Wyatt pick her hooves clean, brush her out and fuss over her. She carried him in warm up with others trotting and cantering by without putting a single foot wrong. She was careful and calm during his class even walking past the scary hay bale jump.
As I stood waiting my turn, she napped. Her head would bob and then snap up as she woke up. No screaming. No pawing. No moving all around. Horses crammed in front and behind us and she didn’t take notice.
In warm up she was relaxed, listened to my aides and popped over the cross rail without hesitation.
In the arena, she fed off my nerves and poor judgement and held me accountable but wasn’t dirty or mean. She got the job done.
I watched all these other people kick my butt on lesson horses. Little 8 year olds in pigtails who cantered the entire course. I thought how nice it would be to have that. To get on my horse, canter easily around pretty much being useless except for steering cuz a monkey could pilot it without issue, and then gather my many ribbons and go home.
Then I went in on Gem and my entire perspective changed. Was it easy? Nope. Did I look like the worlds biggest slow poke idiot? Probably. But here’s the thing. We did it. Together. And the feeling of accomplishment that flooded me when we soared over the final jump in each round is irreplaceable and unmatched.
Sure I would likely be jumping higher on a different horse. Yup, I probably would still be heading to a HT in December. But you know what? My lower leg position wouldn’t be as solid. Gem has taught me that. My hands wouldn’t be as relaxed. Gem taught me that too. My eye wouldn’t be as good at looking for a path many, many strides in advance. You guessed it. Gem taught me that.
I’d be a lot farther in my riding, but I doubt I’d be as good (relatively speaking) as I am currently at it. So Gem stays. For now anyway. Until she pisses me off again. I’ve been threatening to sell her for near on 8 years now. I doubt she believes me any more.
10 thoughts on “Gem Can Stay”
Haha I doubt she believes you at all after 8 years. Horses…mares…so hot and cold!
I don’t think she ever believed me. She knew a sucker when she saw one
Irish is frequently on the auction block. AT 17 he just looks at me and says ‘who are you kidding?’ Sigh. I think Gem is a treasure and maybe at some point there will be a second horse and Wyatt will be playing with Gem.
Yeah, she knows she isn’t going anywhere. Lucky mare.
Love the resolution on this post. They do have so much to teach us even if its frustrating sometimes.
LikeLiked by 1 person
No way I would have learned what I have with a different horse. I may have had more fun, but I’m glad for the experiences.
LOL…you would be bored with a perfect horse (But we all dream about it)! And the fact she is so good with your kid is priceless. 🙂 Sorry you are stuck with her. HOWEVER In a perfect world having her and another horse would be nice (once you get a farm:)!
I worry that I would be, but some days it sure would be nice. Or you know, she could at least show a little bit of appreciation for all I do.
LikeLiked by 1 person
❤ this. you guys definitely have a special partnership!
It’s an odd one