SorrelHorse - If I got that opportunity I so take it!!! You can always visit home, I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to take a break and go home for a bit, If I were you, I'd make it work!! That's a offer and a half! enjoy making a decision! (:
QuietHeartHorses - that's quite normal, jumping is the only sport which requires the horse to take all four hooves off the ground, apart from broncs. So it's not a natural thing, and I'm glad you enjoy supporting your friends and sport! Competing isn't for everyone, but who says you have to be a good rider or compete to love and ride horses!