It's amazing how things change.I haven't ridden in an advanced competition in almost 6 years. After having brought 10 horses from scratch to advanced,I hope I am still on the track for number eleven. Peter Pan is my only eventer at the moment. Next Dance will soon be jumping in the Show Hunter ring as he we think he will excel at that discipline. Zidaan,my new jumping machine is too great a teacher for me to mix up his expertise with eventing.That leaves Peter until I can come up with more horses.
Times have changed for us all for sure. I used to have more students and clients and horses than I could possibly manage.Now that I have tons of experience and a complete facility to train horses for any discipline ,things are painfully slow.
I have a great group of new people coming for lessons but as I look around this incredible farm ,I really have to wonder what happened?Paradise Farm is an amazing facility only lacking an indoor school and an aqua tread. I am blessed to have what is here but I wonder where the people are? It seems to be an active rider or known these days at all one has to be a marketing expert rather than a true horseman.
I often hear from people,Oh I didn't know you taught lessons or rode other peoples horses. I thought you just rode for yourself.(REALLY?)Advertising hasn't seemed to do much good. It is costly and well worth it if there is a return ,but not so worth it if there isn't.
I hear from some people they think I am too tough. Riding is tough. Getting hurt is tough.Competing is tough.A horse spooking and bruising your foot or leg is tough.Trying to prepare people for the REALITY horses may bring is a tough game and there is no room for sugar coating.Losing weight is tough. There is no easy way. Saving money is tough.But the sacrifices, hardships,excercise and practice pays off. Those people that come here and take a few lessons quickly see results and few leave dissatisfied.They may be very tired but they are smiling and satisfied with their investment both physical and financial.
Peter is gearing up for a fall season of Intermediate.After falling off at Jersey Fresh I feel I need to do my homework and clean up my act.I am looking forward to a preliminary run this week at River Glen,then shall be making my way to several events in area III.We are still not sure about fair Hill or Chattahoochie for our fall 2*.
Barbie and I decided not to travel as much this fall and stay closer to home in my efforts to clean up.Money is also a major factor.I would not be going anywhere without the aid of the American Horse Trials Foundation.I have been a member since the 1990's. That foundation kept me riding throughout England and Europe and is still helping me today.Many thanks to all of you that have helped me keep my dream of riding going.
I do not have my eye set on making the team as much as I once did,as I know it is not realistic at the moment,primarily because of money.Having this big farm is a huge undertaking.Paying employees and farm maintenance takes away from the endless road trips of the past. But it does not mean I am not out there still going.
Peter shows signs of making it a lot further in his career.Zidaan is going to do wonders for my career.And I am hoping Harry will have a new career that he loves. Riverdance is being brought out of retirement so I can have another horse to jump big on again.If I only knew then,what I know now.
In watching a Burghley video,Kai Ruder from Germany said he rode Burghley as a young boy then it took him 20 years to get back.An inspiring message to us all. Horses take time.Practice Practice. Barbie wants me to go on and get going. I feel I am going to be conservative with Peter so I do not blow it.Peter is only 8 and there is no rush.
So hopefully this will inspire someone out there to hang on and keep going too.Horses are an addiction. No doubt I am hooked.It's worth it in the end.We're gearing back up for the fall. Let's hope good things are out there for all. Kick on.