I had two horse shows to choose from this weekend. I made the decision not to attend either one. The first one was on the show schedule for Sarah’s barn and was put on by the state Quarter Horse Association. It was a 3 hour drive from home and I really just didn’t feel like making that haul in January. The second show was only an hour away at the same place we went in December. I considered going there on my own for the day on Saturday to ride in the pattern classes, but by the time Friday rolled around I really wasn’t up for showing in 25 degree weather on my own. I stayed home and ended up having 3 days of fabulous rides in the 1/3 of the arena that wasn’t frozen.
Something has happened to me in the last few months. A grown up has taken up residence in my head. I haven’t decided if I plan to let her stay long term. She says things like “that’s an awful lot of money to spend on a horse show”, or “you could use that money to pay down your credit card debt” and “will you be financially sound when it comes time to retire?” Like I said I’m not sure how long I plan to let her hang out, she’s a bit of a Debbie Downer but she makes some valid points. I don’t know what the future holds for me right now when it comes to horse shows. I spent a lot of money last summer when I stepped up to the AQHA shows. When I look at the list of shows this year there are several schooling shows that will require the 3 hour haul and a 3 day committment. After I add up entries, stall, gas to haul and trainers fees the schooling shows now cost what I would prefer to pay for a rated show. I honestly prefer 1 day schooling shows, I don’t mind staying the night before, but I’m not sure if I want to stay the entire weekend.
My job is incredibly busy year round, it’s not the kind of work I feel I can just walk away from. My work week is typically 50 hours long and I tend to take some of it home with me on the weekends. I’m sure this has summoned the grown up in my head. I love what I do for a living to the point that I don’t often take time off. The holidays were extra busy due to customers preparing to go live on their software for the 1st of the year. I still have left over paid time off that I didn’t use last year, the only time off I took was for horse shows. My weekends are precious time to me as there isn’t a lot of down time during the week, especially in the winter with the shorter daylight hours. This makes me lean even harder to only go to horse shows that I personally put a lot of value on. I know that the 3 day schooling shows are a great way to ramp up for the breed shows, but I don’t believe that I can afford the time or money for both.
At the end of the day I need to figure out what my show goals really are. Do I want to show AQHA? I would love to ride in the Ranch Horse Pleasure class; I think it would be a great fit for Grace. Beyond that I don’t know that we really belong at those shows. Then again Grace is doing so well right now, she feels better with each ride. I have list of riding goals that I need to write down and share with you; I focus on them each time I ride. The mare continues to amaze me at how she continues to improve as she gets older. Part of me doesn’t want to show at all for fear of messing up the good thing I’ve got going right now.