We are in! Sunday, Calvin, and I have been accepted into the 2020 RRP TB Makeover. The news came a day early, but we were happy to hear it anyway. Although the competition is a trainer competition- I feel like the OTTBs who are brought along as the actual stars. So, I like to say we are accepted, not me. To me, It all about showcasing the horses, not showing off as a trainer.
So, after the initial giddiness wore off- I had to ask myself, “What now?” I think, for me, I have been training the horses in groundwork the last month and making a connection with each of them- as if we were already accepted. Not doing anything different than I would if we weren’t, because I wanted these guys to have the best foundation, and the best chance at a second career. So, it gave me pause to think about what I should do now that we WERE accepted.
I decided the answer was simple- NOTHING. For our journey, it is important to stay on the path we have started down. A path that is unwavering in the commitment to do right by the horse, no matter the cost. So, I will continue on with our current plans- taking each step as the horse is ready, building a solid foundation, and giving them the best chance to succeed in their (2nd) career.
Because in the end, I am not training them for October. I am training them for the rest of their lives AFTER October.
So, I have to stay true to this journey and this plan. And believe me, it can be hard, full of self-doubt, and sometimes seem impossible to get to the end- but I recently realized I really only feel those things when I start to COMPARE our journey to others.
Social media is fantastic in some ways, and so NOT in others. When you are working in -20 degrees and just trying to build a connection and harmony with your OTTBs- it can feel like you are light years behind those on your FB group posting full barrel patterns or cantering courses in February.
But, as a good friend pointed out- “if you do it like everyone else, you might get the same results as them.” True statement. And maybe I don’t want some of the same results, and maybe some of them I do. Either way, I KNOW what the results will be if I march to the beat of our own drum- the horses will have a horsemanship foundation that will hold up for them- no matter the discipline, the owner, the environment, or the event. And wasn’t that my goal all along in getting back into restarting OTTBs and entering the Makeover anyway?!?
So, what are we going to do now that we are accepted?
- We are going to continue on our horsemanship journey- as far as it can take us.
- We are going to stay positive and compare ourselves to no one, because only then do the possibilities for what WE can achieve become evident.
- I am going to do what is right by the horse and for the horse- no matter if it leads to KY in October, or somewhere else.
- We are going to enjoy the process, and share with others- in hopes of promoting these great horses and being an ambassador for our sport.
So, look for us- we may be on another path, or miles behind, or maybe even miles ahead.
But, we will be out there, on our journey, working towards being the best versions of horse and rider we can be- for October and beyond.