Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ambition rampage

I don't know what's been with me all week but I have been absolutely fuming. Churning and grinding in this terribly frustrated mindset. I feel like on both the horses I'm not getting anywhere. Just flailing around in the sand and getting no where. Current progress has been pretty limited though I do realise that's normal with young horses, especially once you get past that initial stage where turning stopping and travelling at the desired speed are the win. Now that I'm asking for a lot more the progress is in smaller increments. 

I don't know if it's the backdrop of the Olympics where dreams are coming true and being shattered and all that malarkey but honestly I think it's mostly the daily bombardment of equine memes all selling the same Coolaid. 

I love horses, I love riding and I love jumping. I always thought growing up that it didn't matter what stood in my path, if I tried really hard I could be it. I'm pretty confident that I was confident I'd be jumping World Cup by now. 

It didn't matter that I didn't have a lot of money, it didn't matter that I lacked in horse power. I would work my guts out and overcome the odds and attain all my goals. Because this is what we are fed all day long. 

I have worked really hard. I've educated myself in a lot of different aspects of horse care, I've trained under some amazing international riders when I got the opportunity. I have diligently (and still do) applied what I have been taught. And I'm a nice rider with good feel. My eye to a fence is pretty good and I can follow instructions. But still I have never come anywhere close to the dreams I used to have. I say used to, there's definitely still an ember burning that just wants to jump a Grand Prix. 

Realistically though following my dream led to some pretty bum life choices. It's been cool jumping all over the country and chasing the series, but becoming a working pupil really was eye opening. The sheer number of horses you need to go through to find a super star is boggling. If they have the jump they don't have the attitude and visa versa. And then you still have to keep them sound and sane which is no easy feat.

And let's be honest the horses with the talent and the attitude are quite frankly dicks and often not very fun to deal with anyway.

You can put in the sweat, and the tears and the blood. You can put everything you have into something until you are running your car on $5 gas a time. It takes more than that though. You need luck, support and money and even then with horses that's no guarantee. 

So I guess what I'm trying to say is dream big beautiful mental dreams, fan the ember of passion and ambition. Believe in your ability to achieve. Don't carry failure solely on your own shoulders. Know that it takes more than just talent and hard work. Don't let your dream cloud your vision so you can't afford to keep riding. Accept that you have to do a million miles of basics on every horse you have and that luck and life will make you feel like all you do is put the basics on and never get to progress on. It doesn't matter where you start or how long it takes you to get there if you get there at all. What matters is that you start. Love the horse, develop that relationship because really the ribbons are just the icing on the cake of being lucky enough to even have a horse. 

Sorry late night stream of consciousness. Will sleep now. Thanks guys. Be brave. 


  1. Great post. I hate all that 'if you dream it you can do it' BS. It's absolutely not true & it just makes the vast majority of people who don't realise their dreams feel like utter failiures....

  2. Great post. It really does take a lot more than hard work and dreams.

  3. This was wonderful. I love it. I agree with Lola, I'm not a huge fan of that slogan. With the horse sports it takes a shitload more than talent and guts, it takes MONEY and time. A lot of things mos tof us don't have in excess. I say be proud AF at what you've accomplished. It can be really difficult when you feel like you're just doing the basics everyday and struggling with talented asshole horses, but you are grinding. I have to remind myself all the time where I started and where I am now, with each horse.

  4. Really nicely written. You didn't dwell on the other costs of following your dreams, but it seems that many elite athletes have payed the price in terms of alternative careers, relationships or keeping a home base. I don't envy them, particularly after their period of great achievement has ended. Loved the final note about putting in the basics.

  5. Hugs for the frustration, it gets a bit like that sometimes ay.

    A head full of dreams is better than memories full of regret, and you can look back happy one day that you were brave enough to chase your dreams. Even when you felt crazy for doing so. It's all about the journey anyway and your time is far from up. Keep dreaming, plenty of people aren't.

    On the other hand, a winning lotto ticket and European import would be a lot flipping lovelier than any number of dreams haha ;)

  6. Definitely a thought-provoking post.

  7. i'm often times somewhat aggressively practical and realistic. i DOES take more than just hard work and talent. there's a certain degree of luck and timing and just being the right person in the right place at the right time.

    but i agree so strongly with your last few lines - at the end of the day i don't ride for glory and i don't ride for other people. it's just for me and for the pure joy of it.