There are a number of lessons that I've cried after, for whatever reason. Usually, it was because I felt inadequate, and that feeling is a recurring theme in my posts. In those times that I did cry, the one thought that seemed to possess me the most was "I want to quit" which is obviously absurd. Riding is one of the most important things to me. It's what I want to do with my life (plus I'm 99% sure that everyone has that feeling at least once in their career). At some point, however, "I want to quit" turned into "I want to switch barns".
Of course, that thought came at a point where I was emotional, so I slept on it, and over the next couple of weeks, I kept thinking about it. I went back and forth on it, wondering if I really had a reason. Even after I had finally decided that I was going to move on, my last lesson made me hesitant.
Comparatively, it was a good ride, but I had to think about what I was comparing it to. The past year has been a lot of rushed courses, refusals, and just generally difficult jumping with Baby. While the flatwork has improved by miles, Dressage is not what I want to compete in. I want to be able to do it through the highest levels, but jumping is my focus, especially equitation, and it's difficult for me to equitate or ride effectively on a horse that simply isn't very experienced. After this past Friday, when I felt sick to my stomach about doing another course, I realized that it just wasn't going to work out anymore. Neither Baby nor Miss S can take me where I want to go, so I've found someone else.
I will admit that I have some unfinished business. I never really solved Baby's gaping issue, and I didn't get over my fear of Molly. I didn't get to have as much fun with Zoey as I wanted to (although that was just me being hella lazy), I never worked Chess over fences, never rode Bella, never taught Baby how to bow (but we were getting there, just wanna point that out). I am, however, extremely happy about what I did accomplish. After a particularly rough winter together, I'm so grateful to have had those few months of absolute perfection with Baby. Nothing can ever compare to the feeling of being completely in sync with an animal that would rather do otherwise. I will always be happy about that.
As they say, where one chapter ends, another begins. Here's to my next chapter.