Thursday, May 2, 2013

White Flag

I know I haven't posted in over a week. Thats because nothing good has happened. Of course, because everything was going so well finally.

I shouldv'e seen it coming. I won't go into the major boring details, but my emergency $ fund is depleted, and my truck is broken down. Monica has no money/truck, Monica doesn't get to go to Mill Creek next week.

I know, you guys are all thinking, "Just find a ride!" Yeah. As if it were that easy. Mid-Missouri is the butthole of equestrianism and there are MAYBE 6 eventers in a 50 mile radius. Maybe. All of them have full trailers, can't contact, or aren't going to Mill Creek. Even if I could hitch a ride with someone from STL coming through town, I don't have a stall to stay on grounds because I was going to stay with a friend and trailer back and forth. I also have zero dollars to pay a hauling fee or gas, or a stall now and doubt I can make it up in a week and a half with bills due (thats a whole 'nother story. Mostly, life is trying to kick my ass).

Basically a clusterfuck.

Bye $300 entry fee. Bye $200 I spent on schooling. Bye all the other $ I spend on riding.

In addition to allergies I never knew I had, I've been feeling like dog shit about the whole thing and ridden once this week. Once.

I find it pointless to ride. Even if I were going, it'd most likely be the only one I get to do this year (thanks to my emergency fund being wiped out) per usual the last three years. We would prolly get last place again, per usual. I just don't want to do it anymore. I'm SICK of working my ass off to pay show fees. SICK of having a sub par horse who will never win anything, no matter how much I love him or work with him. SICK of living paycheck to paycheck despite having a college degree. SICK of trying and not getting anywhere. I'm almost 23 and never gotten past prelim. There are peopel at Rolex younger than me.

I've tried for 17 years and I haven't gotten anywhere.

I know. I'm being a baby. Ya'll are gonna lecture me about how I have a great horse, how I have more than most people could dream of etc etc, but to me, its not enough. I've always been competitive and getting to the upper levels has been my dream my entire life. Thousands of dollars of MY MONEY, my hard earned money, wasted on mediocre talent. I know I know, "awww poor Monica, Can't go to the fancy expensive horse show with her big horse because her truck broke down", first world probs to the max. I get it. I'm being ridiculous. But have you ever wanted something so badly you would do anything? Well. I've done all the things...and its gotten me nowhere.

But to me its not enough anymore. I'm not happy struggling my way to mediocrity.

Almost everything seemed to crash around me last weekend and I think its a sign. I just need to stop trying. Its never gonna happen.


  1. Yup you are right, it pretty much all sucks. So give yourself a day or two to be depressed and then figure out how to change it.

    One thing I know is that the economy sucks in your area. Down right blows. I know because my SIL is going through the same thing. The only reason my bro isn't is because he has major tenure.
    So perhaps the right answer is to put your riding career on hold for a while, put that college education on paper and start sending out resumes to states where the economy is booming. (pretty much anywhere that there is oil) The fact that you work 2-3 jobs at a time to make ends meet shows that you have a powerful work ethic. So I can't help but wonder if you would do better in a state where people are begging for good help.
    Go where the money is dear, and the rest will come. Although you may have to give up a few things in order to get there. And yes that part sucks too.

  2. Very good advice from Cindy. Get out of where you are. Go where there is work and money. You are young and have very little tying you down. Find a working student position. One that will allow you to have a job. There are SO many options for you in your situation. Trust me you are not alone in your struggles and disapointments.

  3. If you really want to make those dreams happen and you don't think they can right now, change your situation. Sell the horse you have for a more level appropriate home. Move to a place with a better equestrian community, better economy, and better jobs. Keep your eye out for working student position, etc. Also, be thankful he's sound and you have a horse to ride at all.

  4. I was going to offer very similar advise to Cindy's. I went through similar back in my mid-20's and realized I wasn't going to be able to be competitive at my age. I waited, moved, saved and now in my 30's I am facing my first year of being seriously competitive for the first time. Small, local schooling shows aren't being listed, I am now looking at regional shows. It really sucks to put things on hold but if you are facing this much struggle, it is best to put things on hold, move and wait. It sucks but remember everything happens for a reason.

  5. Perspective is key. Remind yourself that its fun above all else.

  6. Also I suspect that those folks at Rolex that are younger than you, very likely had Daddy's bank account behind them to fund the whole thing. One thing you have to ask yourself is why do you really ride? Is for the love of the sport, for the ribbons, or for the connection with the horse?

  7. I'm sorry all this has happened man. As for the riding thing, I've seen it 2 ways, you either go pro like I'm working on, and be poor, but working on your riding and training 24/7 and THAT'S how you get there, or you have to be rich at your job to a support your eventing :p However, my situation is such that I don't have the time off to Event either. That's more of the barn situation but yeah. Honestly if you want to get up to the upper levels, and aren't graced by moneys you kind of have to work at/ working student/ be pro to get it done.
    But remember, showing and winning isn't everything. Jake never won me much either, but he's still my boy. Go on a trail ride, hack out for a while and just remember why you started in the first place.

  8. and also I second everyone that says to move. I had to move here to get away from Northern Ohio which is worse economy wise (and WAY worse horse job wise) than here. Yes moving was EXPENSIVE. But some employers will pay moving expenses if they want you bad enough. And there are loans and such. I've moved myself (largely BY myself) all the times I've relocated. Plus, you can claim the expenses on taxes!

  9. I think you need some career counseling. You are going in so many directions you probably feel like you are getting no where. Do you REALLY want to get to Rolex? Then do it. Without the money you are going to have to get a good working student position. You will have to forego most other things in your life and just do it. Go where you have to to make it happen. If Yankee isn't the horse to take you there then sell him. Maybe that will be the fund to start you on your way. Hard? Yes but if you really want to make it then you are really going to have to grow a pair and deal. I am sorry but life just totally sucks sometimes. It doesn't matter what your dreams are they are never going to fall into your lap and much heartache and heart break will be what paves your way. If you can't handle selling your horse and moving and being someones bitch for several years then I don't think really want it that bad. Yes there was ONE person competing in Rolex this year. I could say more but I gotta go but really I hope you do make it and it is not impossible. But it will become your life and who all all you are.

  10. Please don't give up. Life sucks and right now all I'm doing is lessons when I really want to buy a horse but I'm saving my money up so that I can get a truck and trailer first. It is hard to see other people having fun but time goes by so fast, save your money up and do what you can, then have a blast in a few years. There is a quote I like to go by, not sure if I have it word for word but: "Do what you've always done to get what you've always got." Just try changing somethings and see what the outcome is!

  11. I have to move for contracts where there is work - if I didnt have family tying me down I'd move permanently to a location with great work prospects and good coaching. It was intimidating at first, but the benefits are well worth it. It's a lot easier to reach your goals with a great job financing them!(Oh, and I've done the barn slave thing too, I loved the lifestyle but the lack of money didnt make real life any easier :)

  12. Every athlete struggles! Another blog I follow is "I Will Jump Sweet Jumps" and the author has posted so openly about almost giving up on so many occasions. Struggles with job, moving, career (including getting degree), and having a talented maniac for a horse. I think she saw a sports therapist to try and get over it and guess what, she is still in horses (and in a professional capacity).

    I can think of 1001 reasons to throw in the towel at any given moment. It is a hard line to tow much of the time. Depression and self pity are the usual culprits.

  13. Hey new to the whole commenting thing, but long time follower/reader. I do have an account but blogger is being an asshole today
    Anyways moving on to your subject here. I have personally been through exactly what you are going through right now with feeling stuck and defeated in this sport. I had a horse who I loved with all my heart but was just average and I worked 3 jobs to pay for him and I always made plans to go to shows but something would always stop me. I did end up quitting for maybe 2 weeks but it was all I could think about. I knew I had 10x the amount of talent of all of those other riders but they had all the money and the fancy horses, and all I had was 2 minimum wage jobs and a horse who was barely making it through prelim. But I knew this was what I was meant to do so I sold my horse, and got a job in the equine field where I can be constantly riding and perfecting my skills. And even though it killed me to see someone else even ridding Rain let alone owning him I knew that it was the right move for the both of us (plus I've got an awesome sale contract that says they have to let me know first if he ever goes up for sale and I get first dibs to buy him back hehe :)). Any who long story short. You have to figure out what you are truly passionate about and if going pro is it then you need to find the best way to get you there. :) good luck my dear and don't lose hope. You are and amazing person and your badassery and shinanagins are truly awesome! :D

  14. Hey, I totally get the pitty party. I completely understand. I have a beautiful and very talented TB...who broke himself playing in the field and was retired at 15 years old. I love him to bits and pieces, but board at a small family run place is $500-600 a month by me (a 20+ horse facility with an indoor is $800-1,200 a month). I have been going from misfit horse to misfit horse for the past 6 years because my budget for a lease is very, very minimal. I have learned soooo much though. Maybe I am delusional, but I keep telling myself that as long as I keep going my steak of bad luck will break. The horse I show now was a track broke 19 year old broodmare who hadn't been ridden since she left the races. Even her owner said to me, "You always make the best of the horse you have at the moment. I wish I could give you a nicer horse to ride and lease, but it warms my heart that you are doing so well with a horse like this"

    When I go to shows I don't often see anyone ages 22-35. I think a lot of people hit the wall so to speak during that they. They wanted to go pro, but resources are limited so when they can't make it, they quit. Those are the people who come back after they have had a kid or two (and a rich husband) who dominate the adult amateur field.

    All I can say to you is that if you want to keep riding you should. Just keep plugging away at it. I have had a great time during the past 6 years since my boy was retired, leased 4 different horse, been to countless shows and become a much better rider. Would I trade all of that in for more riding time on my horse...a thousand times over.

    If you don't want to ride anymore maybe a break isn't the worse idea in the whole world. I have a feeling that as much as you love to win, you also love to just ride.

  15. I can't really give you any advice, but I do want to say I am so sorry that you're going through this right now and that everything is standing in the way of making your dreams come true. I really wish things would straighten up for you. I understand wanting to give up, but please don't. It won't make you feel better I promise. Having no dreams or goals, wandering through life completely aimlessly, living day to day is no way to live. It totally sucks. Please don't go down that road. Just hang in there! You've gotten a lot of great advice and your lucky break is coming. Everything happens for a reason. Also, please keep in mind that you have an amazing, healthy horse that you love. There are some people who can't compete because their horses are falling apart or dead.... I think not having money is a way better alternative. I don't want to sound preachy or anything, just want you to appreciate your horse even if you can't compete right now. I'll send good thoughts your way and pray that a solution presents itself soon. Just don't give up!!

  16. On the bright side, riding is one of those sports where you can just get better with age. Yeah, there are people younger than us running around Rolex. Do you know who's winning? People older than our parents. Seriously. Would you rather be Andrew Nicholson or Katie Ruppel?

    Like that's hard.

    Evaluate where you're at and figure out what has to give. You can't have a normal life (like you peers) and make it to Rolex.