Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Dream Deferred

**WARNING** Pity Party Below. Read at your own risk. ;-)

When I go to a horse show lately, I feel like I am in the wrong age group. The people I grew up riding with roughly fall into two categories: quit riding to lead a normal life, or, moved out East to go professional. At the local shows, there are two groups of people: kids, and adults who have returned to the sport later in life. There are a few my own age, surrounded by their students, who have gone pro AND opted to stay in the Midwest (god knows we need people like them!). And then there's me. Or at least that's what it feels like. The talented, hard-working rider who didn't have the sense to get out while she still could. Didn't get the memo that it was time to start over. Its too late to lead a normal life, its too late to go pro. But I'm not ready to give up either.

I've come this far. I'm a really good rider (not a great rider-- still lots of room for improvement!!), and I have two fantastically talented young horses. I still dream of galloping across the country at a four star, even though now I'll be well into my 30s before I'll get the chance. And even then, I may not. I can train my horses up to the best of my ability, but I can't get there without their help and a BIG healthy dose of Luck.

Also, we all know that at the end of the day, I do it all for the snuggles.
(c) ShortHorse Studios
I leave you with the classic poem, Harlem, by Langston Hughes. Lately, I find myself with this poem stuck in my head a lot.

What happens to a dream deferred?

      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.

      Or does it explode?

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