How was everybody's holiday week? It seemed like a long one to me, since the email has been slow due to at least a good chunk of people being out of the office for the second half of the week. I took off pretty much the first part of the week because Wednesday I competed in my first horse show in 17 years. First of all I'd like to say that I don't even really want to think about the fact that I am old enough to have taken a 17 year break from anything. Shudder, but there it is.
The horse show was a dressage schooling show in Woodstock, VT. It was a very low key affair in the world of horse shows; an opportunity for people to take young or inexperienced horses or riders out into the world to get a little exposure, and see how you both hold up under a little pressure.
We did ok. Not great, not terrible, although we did have a couple of terrible moments. I have no idea if or when my horse Noble has been to his last show. Certainly not in the two years that I've had him, and I don't think for several years before that, and definitely not since he lost sight in his left eye. So all things considered I guess it is understandable that he lost his composure a little bit. As an up side, I think I was less stressed about the whole thing than I used to be as a teenager, so that's good. And also considering that I got him as a trade from a friend for a little jewelry I think the whole partnership is turning out pretty well!
Have any of you taken up an old hobby recently? I have found the whole experience to have a lot more ups and downs than I expected. Some days I am thrilled to be doing it again, and just enjoy gaining ground and making progress. Then there are days I look back at where I was 15 years ago, and how much better I was as a 17 year old and it makes me feel a little depressed. And horseback riding, especially competitively, is one of those things that the more time and money you throw at it (more lessons, more training, more expensive horse, more equipment) the more hassle free it is. So doing it on a shoestring budget, with a full time business to run and a toddler at home is kind of the hard way. I don't know why I thought I'd be able to just pick up where I left off, but for some reason I kind of did. And I know it is necessary to get the experience of showing under your belt before you can really start to excel, but if I enter a competition, I pretty much want to win. That's the underlying point, right? I guess possibly there are multiple things to achieve when putting yourself out there in the world to be judged, and maybe, just maybe, winning ribbons is only one of them.