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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

May 13, 2012

When something seems just out of your grasp...REACH FOR IT.

A serious re-alignment of my goals (as they are) for 2012.  Maumee being a bust (from the record point of view), we are chocking it up to "good training."  There are some things that happened that have kind of made me reflect on my place in the MW (midwest), how approachable the sport is to a newcomer, and what it all means to me.  I'm not a person that needs a whole lot of propping up.  I get pretty encouraged by a smile and a hello, it makes me feel as though I "belong."    One of the women giving out the t-shirts at the ride came up to me when as I was withdrawing from the ride for the second day and said "you know...we really aren't bad people."  I smiled, and I spontaneously hugged her, but I wondered later why she said that?  I think people thought I withdrew because I was angry.   I was never "angry."  Just disappointed. I felt under the difficult circumstances of this particular ride it was not in Journey's best interests to do a second day.  I made a pledge to myself when I purchased Journey to take the lessons from Phebes and my previous rides and ALWAYS try to do the best by this horse. Sometimes people read my quietness as something that it isn't.

I'm thankful to Maureen Fehr's, DVM, she has always been so gracious, and patient when I ask her a question.  She also encouraged me that I'm doing a good job with Journey (who will never "race"), but it seemed to resonate with her HOW IMPORTANT doing well by Journey is to me.  People who have done the sport for twenty years sometimes loose touch with the early trials of "getting it".  I also want to fit in and feel like I have a "place" within the sport.   I'm ready to try and find that place...somewhere.  

But every ride is an educational experience. You sometimes over hear things said that  bother you a little.  You find  people who are helpful, and you find the person who reaches out.  So I take a deep breath and realize that I'm riding only for myself, and nobody else. There is no regional club where I live, and we (Journey and I) are just a small orbiting satellite on the perimeter of a bigger established sport out in the Midwest.  My goals in the future will certainly have to be limited to the personal scale.  I'll have to satisfy myself with how did Journey do today?  My focus will have to align there, rather than reaching for a feeling of inclusion, or acceptance.  I'm just a big square peg trying to force myself into a small hexagonal hole.  This may all sound "gloomy" but really it isn't.  At least I "know" my place, and it gives me a boundary in which to function and follow my dream to someday be an endurance rider, to someday be asked to sit around the fire with someone else, and talk about this thing we all love to do so much.   Too reach for that illusive "something" that is just out of my grasp.  ~E.G.


  1. I'm a longtime lurker (who absolutely LOVES your blog). Just popping out to suggest you reread the middle of your first paragraph. I think you misspoke your opinion of the people at the ride. :-)

  2. *sigh* GOD...I'm an idiot.
    Today my heart is just too heavy for my chest.
    Thanks Melissa.


  3. It is too bad that you don't have a local club there. Did you say at one point that it had folded? I belong to one, and it is much easier to feel that sense of belonging in a smaller, more local group that's for sure!

    But really, you have sort of built your own local club I think. I read your blog faithfully and I can see what a great job you are doing with Journey. And so can all of your readers.

  4. The Indiana club folded about the time that I started. I went to one of their meetings, and not sure they ever had another. I see some of the clubs out there having such fun activities to bring the fun down to a more cohesive level. Because really...can most of us doing our three, four, or five rides in a year begin to relate on the National scale? I look at MOTDRA and OAATS, and SERA and some of the groups out west and they have so many smaller venues to play on. No wonder people love the sport. Recognition of rookie horses/riders, some with non-arabian awards, just many sweet little niches that pools you into your own interest. When I purchased Journey my hope was to get her registered within the primary Appaloosa registry under the hardship clause. I was willing to spend the money, but I'm not willing to have her spayed. It is a risky surgery that costs several thousand dollars. She's a really sweet mare (most of the time). My plan was to possibly compete in that venue. Nope. I contacted the Appaloosa Sport Horse Association which advertised they were working on a distance program, had her DNA tested to prove she is what she is, and was told that though they have contacted AERC on establishing a connection and program for Appaloosa sport horse enthusiasts, that they never could get a return response. I even went one step further and offered to help facilitate an Appaloosa Sport Horse group within their organization and they (the sport horse org.) did not respond to me. So at any rate, that also isn't going to happen.

    I am so grateful for all my blog buddies that help me to stay motivated and feel at least a long distance connection to our sport.