As I look back at the last post I made, 10 months ago, about Ted's passing, I still have to fight hard to hold back tears. My life since then has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least. During that time, I was slowing making the decision to leave my marriage. It was a peaceful parting, with both of us deciding that we were simply better off as friends. As smooth as the process has gone, the changes it has brought in my life are unimaginable.
I found myself single at 30, and a little lost. Not sure who I was after 7 years of being someone else's half, I've struggled to find myself, and my confidence.The one consistent thing has been my horses, especially Prophet, and they gave me a reason to get up in the mornings.
P's sense of what I needed has been unreal. When I got married, he came down with some serious ulcers - I think he was trying to tell me something. :) With the split, he dealt with me crying into is mane, just like I've done several times before (having a horse for 10 years means he's gone through a few breakups). After years and years of being anorexic, he started eating with vengeance, giving me one less thing to worry about. His training rides many times were midnight hacks or bareback flats, because at the end of the day I couldn't physically or mentally handle much more than that. As I loaded him into the trailer for the first event of the season, I whispered to him that if he was going to be the end of my marriage, he better make it worth it (only half way kidding). He stormed around that event to finish 1st, and it gave me another reason to get up in the morning.
His second event was right as the weather had started to get better, but we still hadn't jumped much, and I was still struggling to find a constant life schedule. He once again held my hand, ate all his food all weekend, and finished 2nd.
And I kept getting up in the morning.
By the time I got to the third event of the season, I'd started to feel human again (a mere 6 months later). The temps were frightfully high, we ran xc in the middle of the day heat, our show jumping was in the middle of a complete downpour, and my horse brought me through for a 3rd place finish.
Although I no longer needed him to give me a reason to get up - I was glad to have it.
I made the decision to head to my favorite place in the world, Lexington, KY for the CCI*. We've been qualified to run one for about 4 years now, so I figured it was about time. There was a certain sense of pride as I trotted around the dressage arena in my shad, and heard them announcing the accolades from this year... not a bad record to say the least. But as much as my little man fought through the slushy arena, the dressage judges weren't feeling his little TB trot, or my blingy belt. :) Disappointed in my score, but excited to move onto the second day, I fed my guy a few extra treats and went to bed.
The footing was perfect, and P felt amazing in warm-up. He came out of the box and made the first 6 fences feel like I was flying - even the one combination on course I was worried about. But fence 7 was a turning AB question, where I knew that we needed to jump the massive table a little soft to make a good turn to the upright corner. P had other thoughts, leaving out a stride and hitting the table hard. We somehow made the turn to the corner on the end of the reins, but he didn't feel quite right galloping away. Not sure whether he'd bruised his ego or something more serious, I jumped a few more fences with mixed results. Once he put on the breaks to the coffin, I knew I wasn't in a position to kick him around the rest of the decently sized course. I got him to take a breath (he gets upset when he stops), and faced it once again, only to have my horse with the heart the size of Texas tell me that today was not our day. I put up my hand to retire and began the long walk back to the vet box. About half way back my little guy got pissed - like, really pissed. My usually docile, hunter-like pony, was a prancing, snorting, dragon - eager to get out there and redeem himself.
I on the other hand, used that long walk (jig) through the bluegrass to put some things into perspective. I was sitting on this jigging, fired up, pissed off horse, who had carried me through an absolutely terrible low point of my life. And now the pressure could be off him. So what if we didn't get to wear our pretty jog outfit the next morning. He was healthy, he was hungry and he wanted more. So we'll re-route to River Glen for one final run of the season.
For all those supporters who I've been slack about returning emails or phone calls, I truly apologize. I am so appreciative of all my clients, friends, and sponsors who have helped me re-route my life. There's no way I could have made it through to the 'other side' without you. Thank you all, and an especially large thanks to my little bay, big-eyed pony.