The Long Road: Getting to know you

Last week, AQHA enthusiast Maegan Gossett got so wrapped up in talking about her horse that she forgot to introduce herself. How rude. She makes up for it this week.

From Maegan:

First of all, I would like to thank all the people who left me such kind and supportive comments on my last post. My horse is doing much better. Her heel bulb injury’s bark was worse than its bite. It heeled after four days of wrapping and stall rest. In addition, her anemia is on the mend, and I am seeing improvements in her coat, attitude, stamina and energy levels.

I would also like to take the time to send out a warning. Because of this odd winter we have had, problems with ticks are going to be significant this spring and summer, which means tick-borne diseases are already very prominent. My vet attributed my horse’s anemia to a tick-borne disease. If anyone sees symptoms of lethargy, loss of coat luster, loss of appetite, unusual poor performance, weakness, depression, heart murmurs or pale mucus membranes, you should have a blood test done on your horse. Everyone should take the extra time to check for ticks and be on the lookout for symptoms of parasite-borne diseases this spring. ‘Cause trust me, it sucks.

So anyway, I realized today as I set down to write this that I totally forgot to introduce myself last time. Gah, how embarrassing….

I’m Maegan. Yeah, that’s the way it’s spelled. It was my mom’s attempt to force people not to nickname me Meg. Didn’t work. Now people say my name wrong, spell it wrong, confuse me about my name’s spelling, and call me Meg anyway. My horse is an Appendix mare named Details In My Dreams out of Last Detail. I fondly call her Elle, Elbert, Elbers and sometimes “%$&*.”

I started riding when I was eight, and have been showing quarter horses on the AQHA circuit since I was 10. Mostly, I’ve shown in the western classes, so buying a 17-hand, three-year old jumping prospect was a big step that I completely underestimated. It looked so easy…

Elle is six now, and it’s crazy to think how fast the time has gone. Like I’ve said, I’ve mostly owned show horses all my life, so I never really got that attached to them (minus my first show gelding called Tout. He was a four-legged angel). However, with Elle, I’m head over heels. I feel a stronger connection to this horse than I have any other animal. She has stuck by me when I know I haven’t been the best rider, and I’ve stuck with her during all her diva moments, which amount to a lot of time, trust me. It’s been a long, twisty road with lots of setbacks, time off and epic failures, but I feel that Elle and I are finally ready to take a shot at a world championship title that I’ve dreamed of.

Currently, Elle has moved back to my parent’s farm to enjoy a few weeks of turnout relaxation and recovery while I focus on graduation (Please God, let me graduate and I swear I won’t say another curse word the rest of my life). I have made the ultimate sacrifice for our world champion pursuit: I’ve agreed to move back home. So with diploma in hand (I’m trying to be positive and optimistic about this college thing), I plan to join Elle and start our training back home. I’ve put a career on hold, notched out a few years of my life, and told myself I will bite my tongue and not talk back to my parents in order to hold a big gold trophy in my hand while Elle hopefully doesn’t buck me off to the cheers of the crowd at the AQHA World Show in Oklahoma City.

I know it won’t all come together perfectly and that there will be major obstacles. I also realize that setting aside this time in my life doesn’t even mean or come close to meaning that I will succeed with my goal. But I am willing to embrace the journey for what it is. I want to learn and grow as a rider, and I want Elle to have the opportunity to be the horse I know she has the potential to be.

When all is said and done, I know I might not have a trophy or the soft leather jacket of a world champion. But I’ll know I’ve given it a darn good try and that I will have come very, very close. Plus, I believe that even trying to realize a dream is better than just dreaming that dream in the shy, un-judgmental corners of your imagination.

So until next time, I encourage everyone to say their dream out loud a few times. Make it a little more real. Stop just dreaming it and take even the smallest step towards achieving it. Liberate that dream from the confines of your imagination and hold yourself to the standards of your dreaming.

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