Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Year Ago

It is funny how much changes in a year.
This time last year, I started on the journey that would lead me to owning Boca.
Last April, I made the mature decision to see if I could live life without horses.
I decided if I took the money I spend on horses and riding, and put it towards sensible life things, like my savings and a 401K, I would have all these nice life options, such as early retirement, travel, even a vacation home.
Over the winter, I had already scaled back my riding for financial reasons. I was taking a lesson and did one hack ride per week with a lovely local trainer.
But being an only child, I don't share well. I didn't want to be one of many weekly riders to a kind lesson horse. I wanted more.
I was mentally fried from years of being hard on myself in the ring. I really needed to get out of the sandbox and remember why I loved riding in the first place.
So, metally fried, broke, and with this crazy idea that I could live a life without horses, I told my local trainer that I was taking a break from riding.
As you may have guessed, this did not go as planned.
I wound up one Saturday afternoon, sitting in the parking lot of my local grocery store, bawling my eyes out in my car. 
>> Hey, I never claimed to be emotionally stable, did I? <<
I decided that maybe what I needed was to take a break from riding horses.
I found a local stable that raced Standardbreds and decided to go offer my services.
What resulted from this was the option to free lease a retired Standardbred trotter named Jax.
Although it didn't work out long term, leasing Jax introduced me to the barn where I would meet the girl that went horse shopping with me, and where I would board Boca.
My first year of owning Boca, we spent a lot of time outside the sandbox.
We dressed up in silly costumes...
We went swimming...
We gave pony rides...
We basically did any damn fool thing my pony-club deprived childhood heart wanted to do.
And along the way, I learned that he was trustworthy and kind and stubborn and brave.
I learned to let go of kicking the sh*t out of myself for not being the rider I wanted to be.
I learned there may be days when our communication is not great, when he isn't feeling it, or I'm not feeling it, but that's ok.
Because it's fun again. And I have him. And he's pretty damn great.
We are closing in on the end first year togther. May 28th, 2015 will be the start of my second year with Boca. And I can't wait to see what it brings!


  1. That's awesome. And some crazy progress and maturity. I confess I am trying to grow like that, stop forcing myself to be what I think I should. You look happy. Boca looks great!

  2. This is going to be a great year for you despite the bumpy ride the past few months :)

  3. What a great story! So glad you guys found each other. :-)

  4. This is wonderful! I'm pretty sure I'd have the same reaction if I tried to take a break from horses, but I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to try.

  5. It is so easy to focus on what we can't yet do with horses that we forget to take stock of what we have learned to do...Year 1 of Boca & Shauna has been awesome; i cannot wait to continue following your adventures into year 2 and onwards ☺

  6. I love this post :) I think its great that taking a break made you realize what you really want and what the most important, and often forgotten, parts of riding are. That sounds like a great year!

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  8. what a great journey to finding Boca - can't wait to see what's next for you guys :D