First official blog hop! #exciting
If you've taken the time to read My Equine Journey, you know that I've had the opportunity to dabble in a serious number of disciplines. As a kid I would have ridden just about anything, no matter what it was, though I wanted more than anything to be an Eventer. My aunt - the only other horse person in my family! - did Eventing at the lower levels, and I wanted to be just like her. She had it all, as far as horse-crazy me was concerned. Multiple horses, the ability to compete, awesome clothes and tack, and got to ride all the time.
Life had a different plan, though, and I ended up doing Morgans and Arabs in breed shows, for the most part, for many years instead. This proved to be a pretty great foundation for what I do now.
I accidentally-on-purpose fell into jumping. I moved to a country where Morgans, Arabs, and ASB don't really have much of a breed circuit, but hunters and jumpers are everywhere. In fact, the area in which I live has some of the best riding instruction and barns available anywhere. I started out by just wanting to jump a horse over stuff, and didn't care what it really was. Hunters, jumpers, equitation, whatever.
But as time went on and I became more interested in the whole jumping thing, I decided Jumpers were the way to go. I have to say I love just about everything about it. I love the technicality of the courses, the challenge presented by the way a course is built - the striding, the jump design, the strategic positioning of which jumps are where and why. I love the nuances, and how fixing one tiny thing can lead to an amazing difference in riding and performance. On days where I'm not busy thrashing myself for not moving up fast enough, I love the journey from riding not so well to riding better. I love the powerful feeling of my horse when we jump some enormous (to me!) obstacle. I LOVE IT when the jumps go up, even though I'm crapping my pants at the same time. I love the amazing, incomparable feeling of flight over a 1.10m+ wide oxer that you hit on the perfect stride. When I'm not too in my head about it, I love pushing myself to jump more, jump bigger, jump higher, jump better, go faster, ride better. I love the craziness of the division, too - it's risky, it's a little dangerous, but it's fun and at least the jumps fall down. I am not so secretly an adrenaline junkie. Just ask anyone who's driven with me. ;)