Well, the final hurrah of the year is over. The show duds have been packed away until year. The self-imposed stress of horse shows is behind us and we can get back to just training…after Ike enjoys a few days of well earned down time.
Our Second Level championship ride had a major spook, but the rest of the test was solid and our score enough for an eighth place ribbon. While it now resides next to the two we earned at Training and First Levels, it somehow has an extra special place in my heart.
This year was a big one for us. It was the first year ever that our shows did not include any of the lower levels. This was the year that I felt that Ike and I truly connected – collection is possible and I have seen glimpses of the still untapped power. The falling acorns helped me find my medium trot and Ike’s passage. It is scary and thrilling all at the same time.
But most of all, I marvel at the awesome group of friends who I have met through my equine endeavors and who share this grand adventure. We all arrived at this point by different paths, yet as we sat together in the barn this weekend, it didn’t matter how we got there. We were all there to enjoy our horses and cheer for each other. Strangers became life long friends. Fellow competitors morph into friendly faces and you cheer for their success. You volunteer your time to help the show run smoothly and sometimes you can turn someone’s day around by wishing them luck or congratulating their nice ride.
Horsepower is a good thing, but the power of the horse is something truly amazing. To all my friends, I cherish you all and look forward to our future adventures.