I guess I'll start it off like this...as some of you know and many of you don't know, I used to play baseball back in the day. A recent blog post on Horse Nation by Yvette Seger, about the similarities between baseball, finally gave me the excuse of why I may fit in, in this horse world. But it's probably my only excuse, the rest is just being crazy enough to buy into it.
Short of three years ago I met this girl Maggie, we were as we call it "framed". She knew just about nothing about me, but our mutual friend gave me a rundown about her.
Rides horses?! Awesome, I'll finally get to ride one, I've lived in Kentucky my whole life and haven't yet, that's like sacrilege.
She Events...I'll wikipedia that so I at least get what she's talking about...but have mostly no clue.
Ride Riley...have a blast and want to learn more
(can't remember how long later) Riley gets least and I have to learn on Will and the famous pony Ransom.
And it was all down hill from there, I was hooked, I have to show at least once. In a way it was to show Maggie I was that interested and wasn't all talk, but there was a lot more to it I would find out.
To bring it back to the baseball thing, ever since I was five I was playing organized sports; football, basketball and baseball (I would have played volleyball too since it was my mom's sport, but it was always during baseball season). Baseball was my sport though, I pitched in high school and even got some offers to play in college. I ended up deciding to go into architecture instead though. What was I thinking?! Actually what no one knew until I got done with my senior season was that if I went any longer I'd probably blow my elbow out, I was in a lot of pain after every game I threw.
For the longest time I was always occupied and extremely passionate about something that I was involved in. Even though I can't play anymore, I still love the sport (Go STL Cardinals!) and will eventually coach little league some day, I just don't know when. I even drag Maggie to games, lucky for me the first game I took her to there was a bench clearing fight in the middle of the first. Is that comparable to anything in eventing? the closest thing I can think of is jousting.
When I started riding with Maggie, I instantly felt that passion about something again, and it wasn't from me. The amount of excitement and drive she had for riding really grabbed me. Baseball, like most other sports has a timetable. At a certain age there is no progressing. You can still play in pick-up leagues, organized leagues, but there is a certain point when you can't excel past your peak. It felt amazing to be around someone who was just as passionate as you about something. And in a way it filled a hole, something I was missing.
But now; mostly joking, I ask myself...what in the world did I get myself into?
It has been a countless number of shows (thank God I made it through the first one), three Rolex XC marathons and many of late nights at the barn either setting rails or cleaning tack. The list could go on, but my mind doesn't want to think that hard right now. And I'm still here and I'm going to show. It started with a hand me down pair of half chaps from Maggie. Then a pair of paddock boots. Then, at Rolex 2012 Dawn and Maggie both got me whips and bedazzzled/glittered them, that is when I knew I was in too deep.
I was actually probably in too deep just months into this, depends on when I started to show up at the barn, treat in hand, and was able to create a horse song out of any song that came on the radio. You all didn't know I could do that did you? Just ask Willard about his apple bottom jeans and wolf boots with the fur, or Riley about Riding Polo. Did you know Riley is a huge fan of Ke$ha? She's his guilty pleasure and even follows her on twitter. Willard loved Pretty Lights and Bassnectar, but we still can't decide Cole's favorite yet. Then I started creating a comic about the boys and their life on the farm, Horsin' 'Round. The mind works wonders when you sit at the barn all day waiting for some crazy redhead to get done riding or working. I never mind though, there is something soothing about being out there, just you and the ponies in the scenery that makes Kentucky so beautiful. Like Yvette wrote, there are plenty of songs I could sit back and think about while riding or just hanging out at the barn. I need to think of a start box song now to make sure I'm ready to go.
And now Rolex 2013 roles around...is there a certain time frame from when you start to when you hit the point of no return? I just want to see if I'm average of above average. After just about a year I took Will to a Dressage show, and now I'm on the verge of eventing. I'm making my combined test debut at Sayre School in two weeks! And thanks to some Rolex shopping, I'm ready to go. I now have a not so bedazzled whip, saddle pad, show coat (the tailor better have it ready next Wed.) and I'm in the process of breaking in some tall boots. My feet hate me tonight after using the bathtub method of stretching my boots.
And as I sit here in 3 layers of socks and soaking wet leather boots, praying they would dry faster, i still have to wonder, why do I want to put myself through this?
But it's all so much fun, I've had more XC experience than anything and thats the best part.
I actually feel very lucky to have been introduced to the sport of Eventing. I have been missing something that takes hard work and a new desire to learn. I'm also very happy to find that it was compared to my favorite sport. If you have read this far and remember to ask; ask me about when I completely botched my walk-up song my senior year and see if you can guess what song I went to bat with for one game.
I don't know how to describe how excited I am to finally take Riles to a show! I'm so happy Maggie has gotten the horses she has, each one holds something special to me, even mr. big head (Cole Power i.e. Cole) already. Will taught me so much and Riley was there from the start, and I even have learned a little on Cole, my goal is just to get a ribbon in anything on each...and then take Ransom the Wonder Pony to Rolex ;)