Note: I wrote this after my lesson last Tuesday, but then before I could publish it I a) received a pep talk and b) seemed to make a breakthrough with Robbye. Plus the weather broke, which is the number one psychological barrier in my riding. Well, in my life, really.
So I’m not feeling nearly as down, but I still want to post this here for preservation’s sake, and to gather opinions.
After our lesson on Tuesday, right when I was ready to leave the barn, two of the ladies there stopped me to talk about Robbye. I don’t know if they planned the discussion or intended it to feel like an intervention, but it did.
They questioned whether I should keep Rob. In fact, for them, there’s no question at all: they 100% think I should sell her and buy a horse with more experience and/or more potential.
On one hand, their intervention was a great compliment. They see how motivated and serious I am, and they think I’m stuck with a too-green, too-lazy, dead-end moody mare. I am not upset with these ladies for having the discussion with me, and it does feel like they care about me.
The thing is that on a lot of points I agree with them. As much as I love Robbye, I wish I had never fallen in love with her. I wish I had passed on her and chosen a horse whose good work ethic was obvious.
On the other hand, I have enjoyed so much pleasure from the training victories I’ve had with Robbye. I know I’m a green dressage rider and that I should be on a schoolmaster for the next five years (at least!), but that honestly sounds boring to me. Honestly. I don’t think I’d get the satisfaction, or have the same motivation. I’ve always said, and honestly felt, that I’m willing to move slowly, knowing that my training is sub-par since I’m still learning myself.
Anyway, what it comes down to is that I can’t sell Robbye. She’s not really good for anything how she is, and I’m not willing to risk her being neglected or sent to the meat market. I’d rather have her PTS than send her on a crowded trailer up to Canada.
I also can’t justify spending what a schoolmaster is worth. It’s not fair to my husband to spend so much on my hobby when he buys video games during Steam sales and little else.
My ideal plan is to make Robbye my guinea pig. I’m learning how to train and how to ride on her, making a hundred million mistakes on her, and will become a much better horsewoman because of her. In five or ten years, I can buy another baby – one who has the breeding and the build to suggest much more potential. At that point Yogi will be ready to retire, so Robbye can become Julie’s pleasure mount and I can try again with a horse who hopefully can take me where I want to go.
The ladies’ rebuttal to that plan is that I’m not getting any younger. If I want to get to the top – or even mid-levels of dressage or eventing, I can’t spend 15 years of my life wasting my work on a horse who isn’t helping me.
But do I want to hit the top levels of these sports? Eventing, no. It’s too dangerous. Dressage…I’d like to move up the levels, that’s for sure. I’ll never have a horse who can win, but I’d like to chase qualifying scores and earn some medals. But is there any reason I can’t do that at 35 instead of 25?
Anyway, Robbye is helping me. I’m learning so much from her – really, I’m learning everything from her. When I think of how much I’ve learned and changed in the two and a half years I’ve had her…
Really, it all comes back to two facts:
- I don’t want to buy a trained horse. I 100% understand the appeal, but I want to train and I don’t mind waiting and working.
- Robbye can’t be sold as she is. It’s too risky for my conscience.
Am I crazy for dismissing their suggestions?
I want to keep Robbye. I wish I hadn’t bought her, but I don’t want to sell her.