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So it’s over… I can’t believe that this whole thing has finally come to an end. It seems like it was just yesterday that my mom and I were driving to pick up a wild mustang, saying to each other “What the heck are we doing!?”. This whole experience has proved to me that you never really know how things are going to play out. You just have to accept whatever happens and make the best of it.

You can probably see where this is going… no, Evergreen was not a perfect little angel at the show by any means. I’m not going to lie, he was pretty much a brat for the whole time: rearing at me, running through the trot, trying to run me over, kicking out, ignoring me. He was the complete opposite to how he acts at home. To an audience member, it may have looked like I hadn’t put any time into that horse. That’s what amazes me the most… I must have done a sure good job of bringing the life back into my mustang because he had more spirit than any other mustang there. Who would have thought that the poor little mustang everyone thought was sick would be one of the most difficult little firecrackers. Somehow it was like he threw everything out the door and acted like a complete idiot. Pretty embarrassing and disappointing for me if I’m going to be honest. I had worked my butt off for 90 days, doing everything I could to gentle him. But sometimes, it isn’t fair, and everything doesn’t go as perfectly as you had wanted it to. That’s what I had to deal with this weekend, somehow finding what I could be proud of in Evergreen despite the way he was acting. (Side note: One thing I am soooo proud of is that through all of this somehow we managed to pull out a tie for second in the Handling and Conditioning class! He did behave for that class and I am so happy about that!)

Yes, I sure wish that Evergreen would have shown how much we have accomplished to those watching throughout the whole competition. I am still trying to make sense of it all. Why it was meant to happen this way, why he couldn’t perform like I knew he could. I think the main point I was supposed to get out of it is that none of that matters. It doesn’t matter what other people think about your ability as a horseman or about how much time you put into your mustang or even about you as a person. The most important thing is that I know what I have accomplished with Evergreen and that I know what we can do together. Just because he doesn’t perform his best doesn’t mean that all of our work is discredited. It just means that he’ll showcase his better qualities at a better time, one where it actually matters.

Although I was concerned about how I looked to the audience when Evergreen was misbehaving, the biggest thing I was worried about was getting him adopted. It ate at me all weekend that if I did not do a good enough job showcasing this horse, he wouldn’t get a good home. That was all that had been asked of me, my only job… I would forever feel like I failed myself and him if I couldn’t get him a good home. Yet, by Sunday afternoon all those worries slipped away. The most amazing family was kind enough to see the good in Evergreen and adopt him. I felt so relieved when I found out he would be moving to Maine to be stall buddies with a fellow mustang, Fuego. I have already seen photos of Evergreen at his new home and I couldn’t be happier for him. Yes it is sad to see him go, but the situation played out perfectly, and I wouldn’t have wanted it to happen any other way. It was time for him to be out of my life so he could be in someone else’s, like Miranda (the new owner pictured above). So in the end, all of the struggles from the competition faded away, as I had succeeded in changing a lifeless, dull, and unhappy mustang into a spirited, healthy, and happy mustang who now has a new loving home.

Anyways, I had such a fun weekend with all of my friends and family! Thank you to everyone who came out to watch. Also thank you to everyone who has followed and supported me throughout this competition! You can check up on Evergreen at his new home here: Dream Catcher Farm. 

Your team is so proud of you Maeve! You did an awesome job! Perhaps the reason why it didn’t go so well initially at the finale was because he didn’t want to leave you and he knew he was inevitably going to get a new home. Funny how that works, huh? Get some R&R now. Cheers to a job well done!

remember that little girl that first sat on a pony? when everything was easy and nothing seemed impossible? in this world, its really easy to get caught up in it. all of a sudden, its more important what color the ribbon is, how fancy your horse is, and what shows you attend, then the riding itself. at this level, you’re not lessoning to learn, you’re training to win. its not for leisure anymore, its to outperform everyone else. you start to realize that there are people out there who will have 5 horses to your 1. people that will spend millions of dollars, for a ribbon you can get for 50 cents at a craft store. people that will show every weekend, just because they can. and once you start to realize this, its really easy to get discouraged, or wish you could change. the hardest part in this sport is wanting something so badly, so badly that you’d give ANYTHING to have it, and knowing you might never get it. at its highest level, this sport is as unfair and unequal as it gets, and its the hard truth. its the stuff we let ourselves get caught up in. we get caught up in who has the fancier horse, who goes to the most shows, and ultimately, who is the best. and there’s people out there who hate anyone that has more than they do. but is this why we started riding? to do whatever it takes to win? no. we started riding because we loved the sport. we loved the simple joy of cantering around, and the absolute thrill that going over a crossrail gave us. it was the best thing in the world when we got to ride once a week, and we loved a backyard school pony with all our heart. we knew nothing of competition, and everyone was our best friend. florida was for disney world, not wef. summers were for the beach, not showing to get more points for finals. we were young, and just loved our pony. it didnt matter if you made a mistake, because there was always another try at it. we knew nothing of grooms, and begged our moms to let us stay just FIVE more minutes with our pony. our one lesson a week meant the world to us, it was what we looked forward to. we rode, because we loved to, not because we felt we had to. now, years later, its time to remember why we started out in this sport, time to just enjoy the ride. focus on the journey, be happy that today you can ride, just like the little girl you once were was happy just to canter for the first time. she didn’t care if she won a big eq final one day, she got to canter! everyone always says that as you grow up, you dont lose friends, you just find out who your real ones are. remember when we were all best friends at the show ring, all those pictures of everyone with their arms wrapped around each other, cheering because one of us got a ribbon in short stirrup? we train day in and day out, thriving for absolute perfection, trying to be have invisible aids. the little girl didn’t care if her leg moved back an inch, or if her elbows poked out just a tad. the jumping picture of her over a crossrail, with her pony’s legs hanging, was what was framed over her bed. its time to get back to that. stop focusing on your destination, enjoy each step of the journey. stop wishing to be be someone else, or trying to outdo them, but do what you can with what you have, and stop trying to be perfect. nothing will ever be perfect, if it was, it wouldn’t be called life. its time to just be happy, and enjoy riding for the sake of riding, not for the sake of the ribbon. being happy doesnt mean that everything is perfect, it means youve decided to look beyond the imperfections.

Best thing I have read in a while.

(Source: clearingfences)

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