So the dressage test got me a little discouraged. I looooove practicing dressage at home and really connecting the with horse while I ride, but I just don't think I like competing in it. Jumping on the other hand, I love nailing it during practice, and then when it comes time to the show, I love it then, too.
I think this experience just tells me that a.) Zeus is not a dressage show horse (or a show horse or a dressage horse for that matter). He is a school horse--and a mighty fine one at that. and b.) I looooooove jumpers (but I already knew that!)
So the best case scenario for me would be to be riding a horse that can keep up with what I want to do. It breaks my heart to think that it is pushing Zeus too much to do what I want to do with him while still having to haul beginners around the rest of the time. He's such a trooper...
Plus, I would really love to advance as a jumper rider. I'm lucky (and unlucky!) enough to live in an area where there are huge rated shows. Anyway, my dream would be to ride in one of these. And unfortunately, neither Zeus, nor my current barn in general, is suited for this.
And thus we have limbo. I'm torn between staying at a place I absolutely love and going somewhere to advance my riding "career". My current barn is so friendly and familial feeling. My trainer is amazing. Zeus is my love. But, then again, I'm being restricted here because I can only go so far with these horses and this barn. That's why I'm contemplating going back to the barn where I first started off for sorta the same reason that I left. I used to think I didn't want anything to do with shows. But, I'm realizing more and more that the occasional show is kinda like a soccer match. Sure you can practice all you want, but it is just not the same as showing your stuff at a real match. The same goes for riding it feels like.
I know I will never have a horse as long as I'm living under my parents' roof and I know I will never be one of those girls who shows every weekend and goes to Florida and misses basically the entire winter of school. But, I don't really want to be one of those girls. I'm happy playing hard and training hard in my lessons and then occasionally showing my stuff.
Luckily, despite my parents insistence that riding is merely a hobby that they can take away from me at any time (which they have done) they are willing to let me ride at all. I can always count on having my weekly lesson (unless of course I'm being punished). And, even though I only get to ride once a week, I get to go to riding camp in the summer. My dad is actually paying for my new, near budget-less saddle. I think for my parents, they think that if they can outfit me with all the material possessions that I could ask for, then I wouldn't mind only riding once a week and not having a horse. Oh, parents...
And speaking of saddles and limbo, I'm also in a state of saddle limbo. I just listed my old saddle on consignment with Beval Saddlery and am in the process of shopping for a new one (thanks, Daddy!). I'm looking for a definite upgrade from the Collegiate I used to ride in. I've tried a bunch of really nice saddles and it feels rather luxurious being able to ride in top of the line saddles for my once a week lesson. hehe ;)
Anyway, I'll definitely have a post when I finally decide on a saddle.
Oh, and only 7 days left of classes and then review days and finals!!!! Summer, here I come!! :D