The Secret Life of McKenna: The difference a year makes

This week junior blogger McKenna Oxenden reflects on the crazy year that was, and looks forward to the future.

From McKenna:

The end of the season is a great time for some rest and relaxation, hard work, and reflecting. The end of the season is kind of like a long penance (pardon the catholic school girl in me… penance=a reflection of sins a.k.a. the bad)–you reflect upon the good of your season and the bad. You also get to take some of the pressure off by not competing every weekend and maybe be able to get away for vacation, hang out with friends, and take a deep breath!

This season for me is arguably the best season I have had to date. I’ve had a ton of successful moments and lots of changes. It’s hard to believe I went from novice to training to beginner novice and back to novice. It’s also equally hard to believe that I survived my first working student position.

I did my first training level event, having one of the best XC rounds of my life. Earned a ton of scores in the 30s, one even being with the wonder pony, Dorito, at training level. Made some improvements in my show jumping. Had definite improvements in XC. Almost won a recognized event and had an awesome event season ending event!

I’ve also faced the tough decisions of having to decide to put Dorito up for sale, I’ve changed barns and trainers, had some extreme disappointments, been on the Horses In The Morning radio show(when is that happening again Glen?!) and purchased a new horse. Not to mention that I am able to drive now! (Only permit so far!)

It’s hard to believe that all of this has happened since March. In fact, it seems like eons ago that all of this happened, when in reality it was just yesterday.

I started out the 2012 eventing season as a sophomore in high school and 15 years old. I finish it as a junior and 16. Another year older, another year wiser? Maybe, maybe not. One thing is for sure: I am a different person than when it all started.

I’m still your same funny, clumsy, horse crazy girl, but something has changed in me. Maybe I’m more rational? Experienced, hardworking, self reliant? Maybe. Maturity? Definitely.

I can’t seem to pinpoint it, but I’ve grown up. I’ve realized what it takes to make it in the real world, and in case I didn’t know if before, I learned even more so how hard you have to bust your butt. Learned what the meaning of family is, and learned what true friends are.

This year I’ve experienced an insane amount of growth. I’ve kicked my riding up in intensity level and I feel like every ride I continue to get better and better. I’m on the upward climb, and one thing is for sure that there will be some definite bumps in the road, but hopefully they’ll just be small speed bumps.

I’m excited for winter to pass, February to bring Aiken, March to kick off the area 2 event season up east, June to get out of school and to bring whatever my next adventure will be.

With me, there is never a dull moment and I’m excited to continue bringing you all along on my journey, to what will hopefully be an even awesomer 2013 event season!!

Up, up, and away!!!

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