You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Adult amateur dressage rider Susan Price faced some tough decisions regarding “want” versus “need.”

Susan and her new horse Reuben. Photo courtesy of Susan Price.

Susan and her new horse Reuben. Photo courtesy of Susan Price.

“You can’t always get what you what, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need.” — The Rolling Stones

It is funny how you can make plans and then life will just give you the finger and completely change every single thing you had on your agenda.

I had huge plans for this year. It was going to MY YEAR!!! I was going to get started riding my fantastically gifted young horse, Sarah. I was going to use the grant money I was awarded from The Dressage Foundation’s Gifted Fund, which offers scholarships for adult amateur dressage riders, and go spend a week immersing myself in riding with Jim Koford. I was going to make my show debut with said fantastically gifted young horse and everything was going to be sunshine and roses. In short, I had planned on this being a spectacular year full of accomplishments in my riding.

Umm, yeah. None of those things happened.

As dressage riders, most of us dream of getting an amazing horse with breathtaking gaits. That’s what I wanted too.  And for a brief moment I got what wanted. Or at least what I  thought I wanted. What most people don’t realize until you have one of these gifted horses is that a talented horse requires an equally talented rider. I freely admit that I am not a talented rider. At best, on a good day, I am a passable rider who like most other AA riders still struggles with position, sitting trot, keeping quiet hands, etc.

I had what I wanted. And after months of finishing almost every ride in tears, constant angst over whether to sell her or keep tormenting myself, one broken elbow, a lot of reflection and soul searching on what was important to me and the support and advice from trainers and patient friends that had my best interest at heart I (reluctantly) came to the conclusion that although this is what I thought I wanted, it was not what I needed.

Yes, sometimes life will definitely give you the finger, but sometimes it will mercifully throw you a bone. Through pure serendipity, I found my next dressage partner and my beautiful, talented Sarah will go on to an owner with the talent she deserves and who is able to bring her to her full potential.

My new horse, Reuben is an adorable 16H, quiet 5 year old (with an old soul), dappled buckskin Friesian/Quarter Horse cross that is already solid at 2nd level and schooling 3rd. Notice I say he is at that level, it will take some time for me to rise to his level. But mostly, he is kind and willing and safe and fun. I have a big goofy smile on my face when I ride him. He makes what is supposed to be a fun hobby fun again. In short, I got what I need and I couldn’t be happier about it.

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