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sporthorsegirl 12-21-2012 04:42 AM

It's not about the destination... It's about the journey.

I had planned out what I wanted to say in my head, but I can't remember any of it now that I'm actually writing... Some of you may remember me from my previous journals a long time ago. But for those of you who don't "know" me, I'll tell you a little bit about myself. I'm 16, I'll be turning 17 in 2 months. You can call me Effy or sporthorsegirl.

I've struggled with a few things in my life so far. I fought (and still continue to fight) severe depression for years. Tried pills, pills, therapy, and more pills. I knew there had to be something else wrong with me because nothing was helping, but the tens and tens of blood tests came back negative for anything "serious".

It's sad to think about, but a lot of those weeks, days, years... Are a blur. My brain decided that there are parts of my memory that are too painful to remember. But what I remember most is horses always being there for me. Even when my parents were struggling and hurting seeing me, almost dying, horses liked me depressed or happy. Manic. Whatever I felt, it would get better when I was around horses, riding, just breathing them in made me feel more at peace.

Horses gave (give) me something to live for. I needed (need) them. It isn't a choice for me, to be around horses or not. They are my oxygen. They are my saving grace. Why? I can't tell you I've figured that out yet. I don't know if I ever will. But I know I'm here for a reason. And horses are a main piece of that puzzle.

I have since (about 5-6 months?) gotten much better. I'm no longer suicidal. And I can honestly say I'm happy to be alive, even with all the **** going on in the world right now. And I can also say happily that the reason I'm getting better is not because of a magic antipsychotic or antidepressant. After insisting and insisting, I found a good doctor (after going through 15-20) who was willing to listen to me and diagnosed me with hypothyroidism and PCOS that had caused me to gain 50 pounds for no reason.

She has given me the right medication (metformin for the pcos, BC, vitamin d, and a hyopthyroid medication) and I have finally started to lose weight. 20 lbs down, 30-40 more to go.

I also have a brain disorder called misophonia (look it up on google). I have had it my whole life and it causes a lot of anger. It's really hard because I can't control how I hear things. Some days are better than others.

I still struggle. I won't lie about that. It is a lifelong war, and I fight battles everyday. But I've made it this far, I just have to keep fighting.

Whew, that was intense. Hmm... I'll talk a bit about my riding experience now. I won't tell you the WHOLE story because that would be almost seven years to cram into a couple paragraphs :wink:

So when I was ten I started out riding western. That lasted a few years, I rode english occasionally but I never had a horse for it. I was in 4-h and did the local fair show for a few years. I cleaned up every year :-) Eventually I got bored with western. Ever since I was really little I wanted to jump. I got out of 4-h (the girls were horrible and it wasn't any fun) and moved on.

Skip forward to age 15. I had a couple journals talking about this a long time ago. I moved barns and had a lovely 5 year old greenie named Luna (I miss her so much). I was training her for her owner (she was SUPER green, didnt even know how to canter undersaddle). I made a lot of progress with her in the couple months I had her. She's one of the few horses I've ever gotten attatched to. I cried when her owner came to take her back (she decided to take her back home and breed her, which never worked out, the stallion really injured her :-()

Then I started leasing the BO's andalusian stallion. He was a lot of fun, and he really bonded with me. The BO's didn't (and still don't) know how to handle a stallion but he was always respectful when I was around.

forward to august of this year. I had found an eventing barn an hour's drive away with an olympic trainer. I decided to make that my barn from then on. This is where I needed to be, I needed to advance my riding career and get more experience.

Fast forward to now. Woah. Writing it all down and thinking about how far I've come... Perspective.

Just a few weeks ago I started leasing a seven year old oldenburg gelding named Squirt. He is owned by one of my trainers (I am trained by one other trainer mainly and her). He's really good horse, pretty honest to the jumps and moves out so pretty.

I'm still getting to know him, last night I had my first fall off him, we were jumping a gymnastic line (pretty low fences, the highest I've jumped so far is a 3'3 oxer :) ) and I didn't use enough leg, he veered, I over corrected, and boom on the ground. But like my trainer said, it happens :-) He was good, didn't run around the arena like crazy, stayed right by my side when I fell off like an angel :) Got back on and did it right. I'm pretty proud of myself for not making a big deal out of it and not beating myself up about it.

We have big plans for 2013 :-P I'll go to a clinic or two, a schooling show or two, and then my first ever usea recognized event in june :)

Right now I'm having two lessons a week, and I'm planning on coming up and riding one more time a week by myself, more if I can afford gas money and my trainers allow it :)

Now you know. That's me. Come on this journey with me. It's not about the destination... it's about the journey.

And though the truth may vary
This ship will carry our bodies
Safe to shore.

gunslinger 12-21-2012 06:46 PM

I love good news.....sounds like the worm has turned for you....good deal!

sporthorsegirl 12-21-2012 07:27 PM


Originally Posted by gunslinger (Post 1809688)
I love good news.....sounds like the worm has turned for you....good deal!

It really has, thank you :)
Posted via Mobile Device

sporthorsegirl 12-22-2012 03:20 AM


Well, today was pretty uneventful. Had a couple of nasty mood swings towards the end of the day (thanks misophonia) and I'm trying to figure out exactly what triggers them (I'm pretty sure it's the misophonia). Before I would just try to avoid thinking about it but now that I know what I want my mood to be like, I want to be in that "I'm okay, live in the moment, peaceful" mood. I can tell the difference now, and I sure as hell prefer the "I'm okay, I'm kind of happy" mood compared to the "I'm so anxious, I'm worrying, where is my mind" mood.
I was fine at the beginning of the day, I was happy my mom came home from work and brought some food for me (the food made me especially happy I think). Then I had to go to work, which made me unhappy because it got busy and I had to take charge and take care of the customers while my co-workers pretty much did what I asked of them. I don't think they liked that, but hey, I work with horses I'm going to take charge when I can. So anyway... Work just usually puts me in a crappy mood. So then I got home and my dad came home from work late (like he always does :-() and that makes me mad because he shouldn't be working so hard... *sigh*.

Oh, and I forgot. I'm pretty sure the "worser" mood started when my mom got home and showed me the invoice my trainer emailed her. It was something like $615 for the month :shock:. We are only getting half training and half lease/board and it should be less than $500 because I didn't get that many lessons this month.

So we have to talk to her about that tomorrow, hopefully she will say it's a mistake because we can't afford that. :-(

My mom said not to worry about it, that she will fix it and not to worry. She's really good about that, she knows how much I get anxious and worry. So I'm just trying to relax my brain and focus on my lesson tomorrow (which I'm always nervous and worrying about).

I just think too much. I would be a lot happier if I could just shut off that worrying side of my brain and just live. I'm working on it. It will get better. And now I'm going to watch some jumping videos on youtube, that always inspires me and reminds me of what to work towards and how far I've come :)

So wish me luck for my lesson tomorrow, I sure need it :)


sporthorsegirl 12-23-2012 02:34 AM


I had such an amazing lesson today!!!! Got there and tacked up Squirt. He wasn't in a good mood, the weather has been really bad lately so the horses don't get any pasture time. But we tacked up, got warmed up and the lesson began.

We started out by doing some flat serpentines on the long side of the arena. The goal of the exercise is to go the the cones (three sets of them) and get your horse to bend a different way each time. He put up a bit of a fight (for him) at the beginning, just sticking his head up in the air when I asked for more bend (particularly the left).

We kept going, and a few minutes in I realized I was using too much hand and not enough leg. After I figured that out, he settled into the bridle nicely :)

Then we moved onto jumping (a gymnastic line). We started with a simple trot in to a small cross-rail. He did it smoothly, and my release was good so I didn't catch him in the mouth. Then my trainer worked with one of the other riders for little while. Then I went once more over the cross rail and a small vertical was added one stride after. We did that smoothly as well :)

The other riders (two of them) went a couple more times over the line and then another small cross rail was added two strides after the vertical. I'm pretty sure that's the one we apprached too slow and he lagged in the one stride. But then we repeated it and we did it practically perfectly :)

My trainer changed it again, making a cavaletti bounce between the one stride and at the end of the line. She made the end jump an oxer. We went straight through that like we'd been together forever :) After I went through and turned to circle at the end of the arena, my trainer yelled "(my name), You're a star!"

Greatest. Feeling. Ever. The oxer got raised a few inches (I don't think it was bigger than 2'9 in the end) and we went through it one last time, again practically perfect :D

That feeling of amazing accomplishment, it feels so good, especially since I fell off in practically the same line two days ago! It makes that fall oh so worth it :D

You have to have the bad to get the good. And this was better than good, it was amazing. I think this was my 3rd best lesson of my life so far :-)

So thanks for the luck you guys wished me, and keep it coming please :wink: I'm going to go ride by myself on the flat on monday(no one at the barn is allowed to jump without a trainer). And then I have a flat lesson on wednesday :)

I loved today. Today was amazing <3 Best Christmas present ever :D


gunslinger 12-23-2012 11:28 AM

Sounds like you're having fun with it.....that's wonderful to hear. I'm proud of you....and your accomplishments....

Merry Christmas young lady....Looks like your going to have a good one this year.

sporthorsegirl 12-23-2012 03:59 PM

Thank you so much, I really do appreciate the support :) Merry Christmas to you too :)
Posted via Mobile Device

sporthorsegirl 01-02-2013 06:31 PM


Hello 2013! Just wanted to say I had an AMAZING dressage lesson on New Year's Eve. It was a private lesson so my trainer put me on the lunge line and I worked on my sitting trot without stirrups and my transitions. My position has changed forever. I've finally got my leg back, starting to turn my toe in and using my calf, not my heels as much. My trainer was beyond pleased with me, she's amazing :) Now in the next few months ill be working on not holding the grab strap on my saddle as much when I'm sitting the trot. I have a lesson on tomorrow, probably going to be jumping :) Wish me luck!

- Effy

sporthorsegirl 01-10-2013 06:05 PM


Update time! The last few rides I've had have been bit stressful. He started pulling and leaning on the bit constantly (just out of the blue) so that's been the main focus the past week or two and its been rough. But! Good news, I had an amazing lesson last night :) He pulled about 1/8th as much last night as he had been pulling before, I think mainly because I rode differently. I have to make sure I'm not pulling so he doesn't pull, tons of half halts and lots of outside rein and counterbending. We jumped and we got some really nice distances to the single fences after the gymnastic line. We were a bit long on the take offs, but it went really really well and I'm really happy that we're starting to work as a team :)


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