September 1, 2020

The Big Plan

It was a Saturday in mid-July when I got a text from Connor's breeder that she was getting back one of her ponies, who has shown through USDF First Level, Castleberrys Aeres. "Cool!" I said.


The next morning, I woke up to a text from my CrossFit BFF Nicole telling me she and her wife had just bought their first house, which has five (!) spare bedrooms and is 20 minutes from GP trainer's barn.

Oh the places she took me

The following evening, we had the barn meeting in which my trainer broke the news that she was going to be ending her lesson, training and boarding program in six weeks. Starting September 1, I would still be paying my normal board, but I would no longer have two required lessons a week added onto it.

Then when I got home from the barn that night, I saw GP trainer was advertising a relatively rare open training spot at her barn.


 

The path forward couldn't have been more clear. I am going to "pull a JenJ".

You may remember JenJ's path toward her Bronze really got kicked into gear when she sent Taran two hours away to her GP trainer for full training, and she drove over there unbelievably often for lessons herself as well. It's something I've had in my brain as a pipe dream to do myself, but it didn't seem possible or feasible or financially responsible when I would have to pay nearly a thousand dollars a month to hold my spot + lessons at home AND boarding and full training on top of that at GP trainer's.

Me on T at his training barn in January of 2018

But now. Now it's possible. Connor is 14 and still the picture of health, not even a joint issue to speak of. I can afford it. And I think if there's one thing I've learned from this pandemic, it's that tomorrow is not guaranteed - not for people, not for institutions, not for events. I'm not going to go ham and stop contributing to retirement or anything, but I AM going to seize opportunities when they come rather than daydreaming about "someday".

I struggle with inertia on home improvement projects too, often due to not wanting to spend the money, but I'm always grateful once my husband kicks me into gear.

So Connor leaves September 7th to spend at least two months, possibly four if he's happy and making progress, at GP trainer's barn. He will receive 4-5 pro rides per week depending on whether I can make it over for a lesson and whether CGP is in town or not. I plan to visit weekly, and depending on the status of the pandemic, will stay overnight at Nicole's to make it a two day visit.

You're going to live here soon, little buddy!


In the meantime, since I'm going to be paying for a stall at home regardless, why not fill it? Connor's breeder has agreed to let me free lease Castleberrys Aeres (pronounced heiress) for as long as Connor is at CGP's. Aeres is, ironically, is the baby horse I foaled alone the night before my wedding reception nine years ago when a family health emergency pulled his breeder out of town for the night. So we have definitely come full circle, and I can't wait to re-meet her as an adult!

Me showing baby Aeres in 2011


37 comments:

  1. Such a cool opportunity for you, Conner, and Aeres! :)

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  2. SO exciting!!! Glad you have a chance to do this.

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  3. Wow, sounds like everything fell into place too perfectly to pass up this opportunity. So excited for you!!

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    1. Yes, it really did, I feel so lucky to be in a position to do this.

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  4. If that is not the universe opening a whole hallway for you, I don't know what is lol

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    1. THIS DUDE. Let's run down this fucking hallway together!

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    2. Hahaha totally, HALLWAY RUNNING FULL SPEED

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  5. This is AMAZING! A new pone to play with while you and Connor pursue some dreams?! Seriously, this is so exciting!

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    1. Yes! I feel so lucky, it really did all fall into place so amazingly well.

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  6. Omg omg omg I love all of this so much and can't wait to hear more as it develops

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  7. As you know, I'm a HUGE believer in taking opportunities when they come, so GO FOR IT! We never know when the last 5 minutes will be, so never miss a chance to make them great if it's feasible!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement, it means a lot! I really hope I look back on this as a transformational decision in my Dressage career.

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  8. How cool is that!? And you will have another cob to play with. That's fun!

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    1. Yes! Still sticking with the breed I love, but this one is out of totally different lines than Connor, so that will be fun. And she's a mare, I've never exclusively ridden a mare before so that will be fun also.

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  9. This sounds like the best of both worlds, how exciting!

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    1. Thank you, I hope it ends up being a good decision!

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  10. Replies
    1. Only time will tell but I hope it ends up really helping move us forward.

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  11. WHOA this is SO COOL. I can't wait to read about it!

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    1. Ahhh I am so excited. Will definitely blog as much as I can, although media will of course be limited.

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  12. What an amazing opportunity for all involved.

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    1. For real, Connor's breeder was almost in disbelief that I would take a pony off her hands for free, lol. It really is working out perfectly for all involved.

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  13. OMG I'm SO excited for you!!! I'm totally with you- who knows what the future may hold so if you have an equestrian dream go after it now!!

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    1. Thank you :) And totally agree. Even without the pandemic, just the fragility of horses in general means you just have to go for things while the getting is good, I think.

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  14. that is so freaking cool and i am jealous as F! :) enjoy!!

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  15. Woohoo! I'm so glad this all worked out so well for you and Connor and can't wait to see more about the progress you make together.

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  16. She was the cob we brought back for Jen [other one] to pick up from our barn when we dropped Roscoe off for breeding. She handled a three hour delay due to an almost blown tire great. Can't wait to see!

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