In an effort to organize my thoughts, I am attempting to focus what is next for Rio and I. As most of us know, making plans that involve horses can be an exercise in futility, so these are more like hopeful day dreams then actual plans. Ok, Universe? I am flexible, so please don’t think this is a challenge!
The 2018 show season comprised of 5 shows (recaps below if you are new to the blog):
- Waco Christmas Show (Part 1 & Part 2)
- Ft. Worth Show (Part 1 & Part 2)
- Waco Summer Show (Part 1 & Part 2)
- Texas Rose Fall Fun (Part 1 & Part 2)
- GSEC Zone Finals (Part 1 & Part 2)
Other then taking a long break between the Waco Christmas show in December, and the Ft. Worth show in May, it was basically a full show season, our first one ever. Prior to this season Rio and & did one class at a local show (Eq U/S), and then a full 2’6 division at another local show. Both of these were spring of 2017 before he got the spider bite and splint surgery.
So, with one season on the A circuit under our belt, where do we go next?
Honestly, I’m not sure. I want to continue showing of course, but to what extent is unclear. I basically did as many shows this season as I could afford in an attempt to get Rio some actual show experience. I cannot even begin to reflect on how much money I spent showing this year. Sometimes I like to play the “Is it worth it?” game, where I try to decide if I’ve had multiple thousands of dollars of fun at these shows. This is not an exercise I recommend. I’ve decided that the horse show experience is priceless and I try not to think that way anymore. I’d be curious to hear how you cope with spending money hand over fist on what is essentially a hobby? Ever feel guilty?
What I really want is another solid show season for Rio and I. We are just now starting to hit our stride, and I feel a strong pull to not stop or let off the gas just yet. That probably means we won’t have the travel budget to go to Croatia next year like I had been hoping, but I think I’m ok with waiting on that trip in favor of more shows. We all know how unpredictable horses are, and there could easily come a time where I am forced to take time away from shows. As long as that doesn’t happen, I want to go keep going.
A few people have asked me if we will move up to the AO’s next year. For non-hunter riders, AO stand’s for amateur owners. You must own the horse to compete in this division- no leases or borrowed horses. It is also bigger, with most shows offering a 3’3 and 3’6 division. It is also a whole other level of competition.
Does Rio have the jump and the stride to do the 3’3? Absofuckinglutely. He is a giant after all, and makes 3′ look easy. But does that mean we SHOULD? I don’t think we are there yet. I want to be SUPER comfortable at 3′ first. Like, hitting every distance with solid rhythm and easy changes. We are soooo close, but not quite there yet. Maybe at some point next season we will be ready, but not yet. At this point, I plan to do another season in the AA’s. Rio is still 7 (until May), so we should have plenty of time to move him up in the future.
I don’ want to just show next year though- I’d also like to get out and do more stuff like XC schooling.
I think it is really important that Rio loves his job, and loves coming to work every day, and that the variety will help keep him fresh and interested. Andrea, Stephanie, & Grace- if you’re reading this don’t forget to invite me schooling once the nice spring weather comes!
I’ll be starting off the 2019 show season at full speed-I have another show in 3 weeks. Yes I am insane, and yes I’m very broke.