For the Love of the Sport 

For everyone who read this post title and thought “oh god, there she goes again waxing poetic about eventing” – you’re right, here I go again. Today we embark on our journey to Coconino, and while to most people it would probably seem like just another show (that you can’t wait for me to stop talking about), I can’t help but reflect on just how much this opportunity really means to someone like me.

HTrailer

I don’t have a fancy, expensive horse. I don’t have a new, pimped out truck. I don’t have a shiny, pretty trailer. I have a $900 horse that I bought on Facebook, a used and slightly dinged truck complete with old school crank windows, and I pull a very, uh, “vintage” trailer that cost even less than my horse. Heck, I sleep in a truck tent at shows. And I’m deeply grateful for all of it, every single day.

This is a sport that has room for everyone. Sure, sometimes we lose to the people on a 60k import with a 100k rig, but lots of times we don’t. When I see a fancy horse trotting around dressage warmup, I don’t feel instantly defeated. I admire them, drool a little over the pretty horsey, and then go about my business knowing that we all have 3 phases to get through. At the end of the day, those three very different phases are a pretty great equalizer. Some days you win, some days you find yourself rocketing face first into the water.

MCP10

The best part is, in the sport of eventing I am not unique — not by a long shot. Many competitors have stories similar to mine. There aren’t a lot of sports where the field of entries is pretty much always split between horses that cost $1500 or less or horses that cost 30k and up. They might range from 14 hands to 18 hands. They could be Arabs or Quarter Horses or Thoroughbreds or warmbloods. Their riders might be sitting in a $300 saddle or a $6000 saddle. The competitors roll into the show grounds in all sorts of rigs, big to small and fancy to total jalopy. There aren’t a lot of sports where just about anyone could win, regardless of how simple or how fancy.

Being able to show in other states, travel with my horse, spend multiple weeks on the road… those have always been far-off dreams. They seemed far-off because in my mind those are the things that wealthy people do, and I’m not a wealthy person. I was the working student left behind while the other kids went to winter circuit. I’m the adult shopping for a project horse on facebook with a 1k budget. I considered all those things to be pipe dreams, just about as far from my reality as you could possibly get.

bedoyaquote

Yet here we are, embarking on a another journey I never imagined I’d be able to make, with the kind of horse I never thought I’d be lucky enough to own. First Nationals last year, a dream come true in it’s own right, and now this. I will never stop being thankful for the relative affordability of the sport of eventing, for all the friends and family who continue to enable my addiction, and for all the opportunities that it has given me. Two weeks in the mountains of Arizona, a long format 3 Day, and my horse’s first recognized show at a level I didn’t even dare dream of just a year and half ago when we started… how freaking awesome is this?

39 thoughts on “For the Love of the Sport 

  1. I do like that about eventing too. 🙂 I wonder if I will ever work up the confidence to compete in eventing again, but in the meantime I like to live vicariously though blogs like yours!

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  2. THIS. All of this. Forever and ever.
    Serious feels, I has them.
    And I’m not even an eventer.

    SO excited for you and Henny! I’m sure you guys will kick butt in Coco, and if nothing else, it’ll be yet another item to cross off your bucket list. Can’t wait to follow along! 🙂

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  3. I love eventing and for a lot of the same reasons you just named ❤ Thank you for putting it so perfectly! Have a blast at Coconino and enjoy every second of the ride! Can't wait to hear all about it!

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  4. HAVE A BLAST I am so excited for you all. Kudos to you for getting this far and Kudos for Henry for being..well Henry! 🙂 CANT WAIT TO READ ALL ABOUT IT! Be safe, be careful and have fun!! (PS we never get tired of hearing/reading all about your life :))

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  5. No amount of cash can buy a work ethic. When you’ve worked for and earned your reward, rather than having it handed to you, isn’t it so much more sweet? Enjoy and savor every minute of this trip with your beautiful horse!

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  6. Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.

    I love it. Eventing does pull at me for those reasons. There is a certain approachableness and humbleness there I value and respect.

    Love the quote too.

    Kick ass, Henny!

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  7. Wishing you the best…I was going to say, “best of luck”, but I think you’ve found the best luck already! So all the positive vibes and best wishes are being sent your way as you tackle this next big feat.

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  8. Y’all have fun! I’m frequently amazed at how fortunate we are to get to work with these animals, to own them and to ride them. Just think – where will you be next year?!

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  9. So excited for you that you get to cross off so many bucket list items this year. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose, and many other times you’re just working hard. It’s great when you finally have things come together ❤

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  10. I know that feeling! I bought my horse for $1000, trained her myself, and just got back from a show where we were Champion and Reserve Champion in both our divisions out of a good number of people. Never thought I’d have that! I hope you have an awesome time in Coco!

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  11. So awesome and so much to be proud of. You’re always a great reminder I’ll get back out there someday, even when my paycheck seems like there’s no way that’ll ever happen.

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  12. Just another reason I love your blog (besides living vicariously lol!)

    You’re always so humble and worked hard for what you have. Never complain or act jealous or petty like some other blogs I’ve read (and quickly dismissed)

    Plus, who doesn’t love a Henny face?!

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  13. Having dabbled enough now in the hunter world, I really appreciate the other disciplines that are more open to all, like eventing, or endurance. You still scored one of the best FB deals ever.

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  14. I’m like you; I like to buy horses that need work and do the work myself. For me it’s more rewarding to do it myself than to pay big money for a finished horse. I don’t have big money though, so I guess that’s a good thing!

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