Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Committing to riding. For real.

My first saddle, my Blackburn, was not an expensive saddle. At the time, I didn’t own a horse, I didn’t foresee myself owning a horse anytime soon, and I was a broke student with loans, no job or job prospects, and unfinished education and living at home with my parents. I had debated buying a Wintec 500 AP, but the price-point was beyond my reach. The Blackburn was a nice looking semi-synthetic saddle, which came with all of the dressings for a very reasonable price brand new. It also offered the changeable gullet system, which I needed since I didn’t own a horse.

Even today, I don’t regret buying the Blackburn. I couldn’t have afforded the Wintec, and I likely wouldn’t have had any saddle otherwise. That saddle has been on multiple horses over the years, and has given me a lot of good hours. It holds fond memories of the closest thing I ever thought I’d get to having my own horse. And even after all of that, it doesn’t show a ton of wear and is a pretty comfortable saddle.

Unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately, we have outgrown it. Not in physical sizing, but in where we’re going.

I haven’t been saving for a new saddle. I’m embarrassed to admit that unlike my usual way of waiting and saving for the things I want, my spending has been rather ad-hoc when it comes to Moon. Granted, I’ve never touched my savings account until now.

I’m justifying it by the fact that I’m A. Not buying a very expensive saddle, and B. Moon and I both need a saddle that fits properly if we have any hope of making forward progress in dressage this winter.

Yes, I could wait. But that would mean that my winter spent at W’s would be ‘wasted’, or at least not used to its fullest potential. I can save AFTER to rebuild my savings that were depleted. I mean, it’s not like it’s $2k. But I still feel guilty.

It seems to me that horses consume money. I’ve always sort of chuckled when people make that claim, but was certain that realistically, people just spent money.

…Now I can honestly say, Moon consumes money. Because it’s my passion and my dream, and to work towards a goal requires certain sacrifices, in this case, to spend a bit of my savings on a much needed saddle.

Anyone who knows my riding past, knows that I’ve never really committed to it. Mainly, because other financial draws have always taken precedence. I’ve been the on-again-off-again rider. Take lessons, stop. Lease a horse, stop. Work with horses, stop. That’s not the way to get good at a sport. Dedication is required. Concentration. Persistence.

I’m tired of being the uncommitted rider. Tired of it. Tired of making excuses, of making other priorities. I’m tired of dreaming and but not actually pushing myself to get there. THIS is the area in my life that I’ve never gotten serious about. That I’ve never committed to or pushed myself in. That stops TODAY. A new saddle will be my commitment. My promise.

To what? To get serious in my dressage training. In my riding. To commit to MoonSox.

Today I dedicate myself to 1 lesson a week with Coach W.
Today I dedicate myself to practice at LEAST 3 other days a week.
Today I dedicate myself to no longer buying low-quality equipment. It’s time to start a horse-gear fund.
Today I dedicate myself to competition. We WILL compete next year.
Today I dedicate myself to being an athlete. No longer “just a rider”, I’m dedicated to where I’m going.
Today I dedicate myself to Dressage.
Today I dedicate myself to success.
Today, more then anything, I dedicate myself to my “Manitoba MoonSox”.

One time fees:
Dressage Winnipeg Membership : $25
Manitoba Horse Council Membership : $50
Equine Canada Membership : $10
Equine Canada Bronze Sport Licence: $20 ($25 subsidy from MHC)
TOTAL = $105

Average Show Fees:
Per Test Fee : $25
Stabling Fee : $45/day or $65/weekend
Admin Fee : $25
Drug Testing Fee : $3.50
Dressage Canada Levy : $7
MHC Levy : $3
TOTAL (assuming 3 classes) = $178.50


Average Schooling Show Fees:
Per Walk/Trot Test Fee : $15
Per Training+ Test Fee : $18
Stabling Fee : $45/day or $65/weekend
Admin Fee : $25
Drug Testing Fee : $3.50
Dressage Canada Levy : $7
MHC Levy : $3
TOTAL (assuming 3 classes) = $154.50


Fun Show Fees:
Dressage Test Fee : $10
Fun Class Fee : $5
Haul-In Fee : $10
Admin Fee : $15
MHC Levy : $3
TOTAL (assuming 3 classes) = $58


Required Gear:
Short shirt and collar
Dressage show jacket
Show gloves

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