Still Depressed...

Yep, that's right. Still depressed.

Long story short... I finished my fieldwork in Chicago, got to hang out with my horse in Columbia, MO for about 3 weeks (and believe me, I was out there almost every day), and then moved to Kansas City, MO because my lease in Columbia was up and I no longer had a place to live. I cannot afford to move Coco until I am making money at my new job (which starts August 13th), so the time I got to spend with him was like a dirty tease. Now I have to wait about a month until I can have him here with me.

Part of me thinks the wait is good, because it forces me to study for my board exams (which are August 27th- SCARY!) and get acclaimated to a new city before I have my horse here distracting me. But there's another part of me that is in a constant state of depression not having my pony face best friend and the ability to retreat to the barn whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed by studying or bored or anything else.

Anyways, there's even more. I'm depressed to have to leave the Columbia Equestrian Center. Even thinking about it makes me teary. It's amazing how a good barn can change the person a girl becomes (it happened in high school and it happened again in college for me). I have really established a family with that barn. After 5 years, I would say that I met some of my closest friends there, and that makes it really hard to leave. I really hope that these friendships remain steady despite the added distance between us. I plan on visiting Columbia as much as I can and for as many reasons as I can think up, but it still won't be the same. Walking into the barn and instantly feeling like I belong there and like any other care in the world is irrelevant. Seeing a plethora of faces that know me and love me and share my passion for horses is incredible. I'm sure I'll eventually have the same feelings for Hackberry (that's the fabulous new barn we'll be at in Kansas City), but it won't be the same for a while. So far everyone has been insanely nice and the owner is extraordinary, but it takes a while to establish that sense of belonging (Granted, everyone I have met so far has been doing a great job of making me feel accepted and welcome, so hopefully it won't take TOO long, but still). Also, they don't have a lesson program (which definitely has its pros and cons), so there won't be any little kids annoyingly dragging kittens around or helping me think of ridiculous things to jump or asking to ride my pony or looking up to me as a role model for riding and for life.

Another reason to be nervous: I don't know if I'm ready to train Coco on my own without help. I know he's no green horse and knows a thing or two, but every time I ride him, I worry that I'm ruining him or teaching him bad habits. It was nice having Kris around to ask if I should change something or what I was doing wrong or what I could continue to do to make him better. And it helped that she knows saddlebreds and knows both me and my horse inside and out, which made her advice consistently helpful, whether we were working on jumping, dressage, or just having fun.

So as of now, the big move is scheduled for September 1. My friend Kerri and her daughter Kennedy and mom Terri will be bringing Coco from Columbia to Kansas City some time that weekend (unless something changes, in which case a friend, Cassie, from Hackberry has so graciously volunteered to go get him). Until then, I have to resort to texting my friends from CEC about Coco's happenings (as much as I joke that he texts me, it's at times like these when I really wish he could... I'd be talking to him all day long). I have asked Abby (a great friend and an amazing rider) to oversee his care and be in charge of who rides him. The family that leased him (is awesome) and two older girls, Hannah and Grace, have been given permission to work with him, too, so hopefully he doesn't get too out of shape. It'll be interesting when I get him to Kansas City and we can try to work up to the Heritage Park horse trials on October 26-28th... Hopefully we'll be able to do Novice this year! :D

This is probably my last time jumping Coco at CEC :'(


Depression Sets In

Awesome! Coco and I showed in jumpers on Friday night. We were fairly late getting to the show groungs, but Coco needed a bath. Kris had told me that if I got there early enough, I should have plenty of time to bathe him and wait for him to dry while everything got started. Let's just say, by the time we started showing, my horse looked like he had Cushings! I was seriously debating starting a fund for my jumping saddlebred with cushings.

Anyways, we were doing Novice Jumper Rider and Novice Jumper Horse, as well as the Jumping Pairs Relay with Jackie. Our first class, we had a weird turn to one jump and I sat too early, causing us to knock a rail- from that point forward, we went balls to the wall and just had fun. We won our next three classes, getting 39 seconds in our first power and speed round and 38 seconds in the second, beating our nearest competition by at least 4 seconds! In the Jumping Pairs Relay, Jackie and Yankee and Coco and I were going crazy! We were doing really well and then I was getting to a jump too quickly, and had to circle before I could take it so that I wouldn't mess up the order of jumps. We called everything out and went really fast, but ended up with a 2nd- I'm wondering if they penalized us for my circle... :/ Either way, we did fabulously on Friday night and Coco was VERY proud of himself, as he should be.


On Saturday, we showed in the low hunter division. We used the Pelham bit and Coco was like a completely different horse. He was actually a hunter! It was really odd for me. We didn't place very well. We got a 6th in one of the over fences classes and 4th in an equitation on the flat class. I'm going to go ahead and blame saddlebred discrimination! :p

On Sunday, Coco's kid rode him. Mackena is the girl who will be leasing him while I'm in Chicago. He was a fireball... even with the Pelham. I think he would have been fine with me riding him, but Mackena is 60 lbs of child and he knows he can get away with more when she's riding him. He was a total nutcase, actually doing decent on his transitions and standing in lineup, but he will still acting kind of crazy. They didn't end up placing in anything they did that day. Coco was such a butt for the hunter hack class. Coco would not stop circling because he didn't want to leave his buddies in the lineup while he did the line of jumps... it broke my heart when I was standing next to the arena and Mackena looked at me with tears in her eyes because of how stupid Coco was acting. I told her to beat him up and that made her get tough and get him over the fences. They probably could have done really well in that class, too. Oh, well, I guess it was a good learning experience for her about how horses can be immensely different in the show ring as compared to the familiarity of home.

I am going to Chicago for 3 months and cannot take my horse with me. Board in Chicago is wicked expensive and Coco is already established at CEC and likes his home and buddies so I would feel terrible pulling him away from that for such a relatively short period of time. Mackena and Kyra, two girls from the barn and their parents, have decided to lease Coco for April-June. They have been really gracious in their willingness to help me with my bills- they are paying for all of Coco's board and all of his farrier appointments. I couldn't be happier with my choice to allow them to lease him. They are incredible. I'm just sad about the whole situation. It's so hard to leave my horse for such a long time- he's my best friend, and has been since I got him in 2009. I've never been away from him for longer than a week. It'll certainly be interesting to see how I handle all of this... I will attempt to keep everyone updated.