The Next Step Forward..

Thank you for all your kind words, thoughts and sentiments about Jingle, and his retirement, in my last post. I appreciate all the opinions and viewpoints, and after having a really good conversation with my vet yesterday, and his vote of confidence in my decision, I believe this to be the right thing. Financially, and for my future, when it comes to purchasing something new. (Something, I am quietly pursuing right now). But also for my high-strung horse, who best case scenario would be on stall rest for 4 months - worst case, 12-18 months... with no promise of ever getting better after the fact. Finally, how much more do I have to fight? I have been fighting with, for, against and about this horse since I first met him. Nothing has come easy, from everything to saddles to bridles, training to his home, how I ride him to when I ride him.. I'm tired, I'm tired of fighting honestly. Plus, when is enough, enough?

Right now, he is happy, and comfortable, and my focus has shifting to ensuring this for years to come.

So, obviously I have been spending a lot of time in my own head lately, this post is.. one of the same..

***

I went to a cutting this weekend, the first I had been at a year, and it hit me like a ton of bricks - god, I miss this life. I was itching so bad to even just be loping a horse..

Winning the 2000 LR Class in Marana, Az

- This is, quite honestly, probably the happiest, and most fufilled, I have ever been in my life... I am just desperately trying to get back to that place - 


With the passing of my show prospect, Bunny, and retiring Jingle, I have been heavily contemplating my next steps.

First off, I could entirely give up horses, and become a birder. Sometimes, I think that is the right move to make. Honestly, the heartbreak caused by these animals is just way too much to bare sometimes. If I were a birder, I could go get a pair of binoculars and just creep on birds all day... that sounds nice, right?

okay.. I know..

So, if I don't off myself, or become a birder, what do I do next. Well, that's where it get's tricky.

Some days (most days) I want to go work for a trainer again. But financially, I have myself backed into a hole, where... it just isn't possible. Lopers barely make enough money to get by, let alone survive. With rent, a truck payment, insurance, a loan to pay off from a deceased horse, a highly allergic medically expensive dog, a retired horse, and wanting another horse... I just can't do it all.. I can't even fathom it. Yet, I so desperately crave a mentor and a coach. I miss riding everyday. I miss riding different horses everyday. I miss shows. I even miss crazy clients. I miss that entire world.

I could go work part-time for someone, but most people don't seem very receptive of part-time work. I get that, I understand it, but it is tough.

So, with that idea crossed off, from there, do I buy a cutter?

The cutting industry is really tough. I don't really understand how most people do it. (Okay, well I do, most of them have money, and if they don't, they have connections.) I have neither, and thus my budget has me in a chokehold. I could maybe buy something... like a show horse.. but for my budget, the good ones are far and in between so that chances that it will either be lame, or not be that decent are high. I probably wont be able to drop my hand and go show even at the beginner levels. So, maybe I buy something younger. However, the aged events are pretty expensive, and younger horses need way more guidance and expertise than I have. I likely (definitely) wont have enough money to keep a horse in some semblance of training or even ride with a trainer. To make it even worse, most trainers don't love haul-ins, so even with my own horse, it becomes hard to find someone to work with.

So, do I go buy something I can practice on? Something I could put enough miles on, I can atleast get a decent price for it down the road?

That seems like a decent option. Atleast with something cow-ey, I can go do some little cow works here and there, and some ranch cutting classes, and hopefully not lose my tail on the whole transaction BUT.... how far away does that put me from the cutting world? For the last month, I had myself convinced that maybe that wasn't such a bad thing, that maybe I could walk away from that world. Maybe I could do some reined cow horse, even barrel race, just fart around on a horse and not have a care in the world... the options are endless!

But then, at the cutting, I knew... that isn't what I wanted.. I want to show.

So, where do we go from here? Sigh... I honestly haven't the foggiest. I'm going to keep chipping away at the dream though, in the hopes that something, or someone, will come across my desk.

If anyone has their two cents, I'm always happy to hear it.

Comments

  1. Sending hugs. I am not in exactly the same boat but I spent the better part of the last year in a standstill. Apollo's soundness issues over the last year have been exhausting (financially and emotionally). There have been moments where I wanted to sell all of them and maybe have some money/get some sleep.

    Maybe start seeking out a trainer/mentor and once you find the right person to guide you to your next horse. And maybe they'll let you lope some horses :)

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  2. If you can bear the love/heartbreak cycle - sounds like you've absolutely got the skills to take an average horse and make them nice. easy to ride, fun to play with, etc. Then find the perfect home, reinvest, & repeat until you've got the show horse you want. I love watching that process in people who really do have the skills - a little sad when that's not the case.

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  3. Everything takes time. It's tough not having a horse to ride- that's my problem right now- but be sensible, decide what is going to work best for you, and then pursue the goal. Maybe a started 3 year old that you could go to lessons on, and start showing next spring? Maybe one that you could flip for a profit? Come to the Supreme this fall, and go to the sale. Some prospects go through that sale that are good horses but not the "in" bloodline but still can darn sure cut.

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    1. I think my plan is to hold off until the fall/Supreme Sale and see what is out there in that way, then I will be able to make a solid decision of where my path will take me. I'm in no rush to buy something right away, It needs to be a right fit... whatever that may be.

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    2. I plan on going to the Supreme this fall too- maybe Crystal will come too and we can all meet up! If I didn't find a horse before then, I was going to try the Supreme sale.

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  4. How awful to have two such devastating events back to back. I can't imagine my life without my horses. Hope you are back in the saddle soon and living the dream again.

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  5. I hear you I so miss it when i'm not there and I haven't been there for a year. I have a good horse but just not quite good enough to make it go (or I'm not good enough to make her better) And I can't afford another one right now. I am lucky I still have horses and the ranch and I keep thinking that and trail riding should be enough but it really isn't. Good luck in the search.

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    1. Cutting is so difficult in that aspect.. I'm sorry your going through (sort of) what I am as well. It takes so much time, money and commitment to show.. and then, even then, it might not work out. If you know of anything for sale, pass them my way! Hopefully, one day, we can both meet in the cutting pen!

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