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 :'(