In the midst of college finals and 100 miles from her horse, Maegan Gossett invites discussion on the setbacks we all encounter as horsepeople.
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Well, I’m no mathmitizer, but I guess that makes sense for a geometry class. But this is the real world, and for us equestrians, between those two points are a whole lot of pulled shoes, cellulitis, random lameness, rainy days, sore horses, budgets, shows, trainers, unscheduled dismounts, run outs, and everything else. I honestly don’t think it’s possible to have something resembling a straight line when it comes to horses.
And the more I think about my column and what to write about on a weekly basis (it’s been hard these past few weeks since I’ve been forced to pretend to be a college student for these things called “finals,” and I’m about 100 miles from my horse), the more I realize we have all taken the long road. Because if there was a short road/straight line/easy way in horses, then everyone would do it, and it wouldn’t suck so bad on those days when you’re fighting mother nature, too tight hunt jackets, and your horse’s own propensity to hurt herself.
Frustratingly enough, we all know how awesome things can be when everything comes together and the horse gods are smiling down on you. It all looks so easy then, effortless, like even the spectators are thinking, “Hey, I could do this.” Maybe it was all worth it if you could just pop a tent, roast some s’mores, and live under that moment for the rest of your riding career. But what about those times when it goes wrong? When all that work you put into preparing for a show comes down to a blown lead, missed diagonal, or knocked rail? Or maybe it was weeks of stall rest for another injury that left you twiddling your thumbs and tapping the toe of your boot?
So instead of me going on and on, why don’t we all take a moment and just share with each other: What has been the length of your road? What have you encountered along the way? Where did your detours take you?
And, in the end, what made it all worth it?