Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tough Week

Sorry I've been so quiet over the past few days. It's been a tougher week than I'd like to admit in many ways, and I've been throwing all my energy into trying to remain positive and focused.

Obviously, the most frightening part of the last few days have surrounded Rachel's illness. Though she is now back at home she is still not out of the woods yet. Fortunately she has a great support team on her side and hopefully she will be back to her normal self in no time, but I've still been very worried.

Besides that, I've also been dealing with some very difficult decisions in my own life. After much grappling I think I've settled in my choices, and feel confident that they are the right ones for me, but that does not make them any easier.

Firstly, I've decided to graduate from Stanford at the end of this year. Originally I had planned to stay on an extra year to finish a second major, but after much weighing of positives and negatives it has not ultimately seemed worth it. I will still graduate in 4 years with a major, two minors and a good GPA (hopefully, if things continue as they have). Part of me would love to stay at Stanford for as long as I possibly could, not only because I love it so dearly but also because I think it would take that long to actually take advantage of all the things I've wanted to do while I was here, but I'm also feeling very ready to start the next adventure in my life.

Pursuant to that, I've also started thinking about jobs and have decided to move back to New England. This isn't so much news, as I've always planned on coming back to the homeland, but it now seems a lot closer and more real. I have a few leads on jobs but will wait to discuss those until they're a bit more finalized.

Lastly, and most important to this blog, I've decided to sell Kiki. This was by far the most difficult of the three decisions I had to make this week, and the most painful. I love Kiki very, very dearly and feel like she's not only a member of a family but that she's my own child. I've had more than one idle day dream of us growing up to be old biddies together, still enjoying each others' company 10, 20 years down the road. I don't think I've ever met a horse I get along with in terms of personality more; we're like peas and carrots.

(Kiki showing off her cracking good jumping form)

And yet if I'm perfectly honest with myself, I know that, as a riding match, we're not quite a perfect fit. Kiki is so talented and special that I want her to be with someone that is that perfect fit, because she deserves that. Also, as I move forward and see myself phasing more into dressage, I know that that is not a road that Kiki would enjoy going down: she has improved unrecognizably on the flat, and I believe has the potential to be quite competitive, but jumping is always where her true interests lie and I would always feel like I wasn't using her to the best of her abilities if I took her down that route.

(Getting a 22 at Millbrook, my best ever dressage score by a country mile!)

Of course, that decision has come with many more sub-decisions, and a fair amount of headache already. What should we sell her as? Eventer? Jumper? Foxhunter? I think she could excel in any of the three, and all have pros and cons and their own details to be worked out. How much should we ask for her? That I still don't know yet, so I'm bringing her down to Dayna's in the coming week for Shannon Lilley (her assistant trainer and recent Pan Am gold medalist!!) to ride, assess, and help me come up with a price. Where should we sell her? I could either leave her in California or bring her back east. Where should she stay in the meantime? I'd like to not have to pay for an empty stall at the Red Barn a day longer than I'd have to, so figuring out when/where she should go while she's being sold has been probably the most complicated dance so far, with no end in sight yet. It looks, though, like she will probably be going down to Dayna's as early as the 1st, which feels very soon.

(Kiki is one of the most solid-feeling cross country horses I've ever ridden. It feels absurdly natural and easy to her)

I'm so thankful to have had this amazing horse in my life. It will be hard, but I know that it will feel good to have her make someone else as happy as she's made me.

So anyway, if you know someone who is interested and would like to try her, let me know at I will put her complete ad up when we finalize the details, but she will be reasonably priced.


Heidi said...

Wow! That is not what I expected to read when I clicked on your blog. What a tough decision. But I admire how you are putting Kiki's interests first. She is such a cute jumper! I am sure you will find someone who will love her to pieces.

Also, congrats on deciding to graduate! I loved college, but life got even better once I graduated and got a real job. From one adventure to the next! Good luck :-)

BeBe said...

I wish I could afford another horse!

Always a tough decision to sell a horse. Ultimately the horses happiness is what matters and if she happier out eventing then she should go that route.

Good luck.

Austen said...

Ms Erickson, I have to say that I was also very surprised by your blog today! I know you have rarely (if ever?) heard from me, but I am a long time reader. I wish you the best of luck!

As an art major, who hopes to return to school for an art history Ph.D., I'm interested in your job opportunities! I know you'll do great. Keep us informed!

Deered said...

Tough decision to make on selling a lovely horse like her, however you have given her such a brilliant start and education that she will go on to make someone enormously happy, and as you see her go on you will always know that you were the person that first recognised her talent and set her on the road to sucess.
It's also part of the perils of buying young horses - you know they have talent, but are they going to have the desire to use that talent in the same area as you want to ride in. By making this decision you are showing you true character and maturity as a horsewoman, you're putting your horses interests first, and although it's tough, you should be incredibly proud of yourself for being able to do this, and for the job you have done in bringing her on to be such a lovely horse. If I was in the US, and had the time to ride, I'd be beating down your door for a horse like her!

Deered said...

Please excuse the run on sentances - I'm doped out of my tree due to finding out I have kidney stones... but I can't feel them any more :) There are probably lots of typo's spelling mistakes too.

Beckz said...

Very brave decision

STB Eventer said...

Oh no! Not what I expected to read, but I admire you for making such difficult decisions. Everything will come together for you, I am sure.

And I really wish I could afford another horse, but three is my limit. I adore Kiki!!!

Suzanne said...

Kate, let me know when you've come to a decision on price. I have a good friend looking now but she's here in MA.

Ruffles said...

That must have been a really hard decsion to make.
I remember selling my first horse and that was really hard.
I actually admire you for this even though it must be killing you right now.

Katherine Erickson said...

thanks everyone; like I said it has been a really tough decision (there has been more than a fair share of crying this week!), but I think the right one. Now I just feel that I owe it to her to to find her the perfect home and job!

Alessandra said...

Wow!!!It's an incredible post....I agree with every single comment! You made a very tough decision but you showed a strong horsewoman maturity! I also wish you all the best things you deserve, both for jobs and in equestrian career!
You think to continue in eventing??
In any case, I'll stay tuned whith the blog for any news.

jenj said...

It's always a hard decision to sell a horse, since they end up being more like family members. But, I know you'll find her a fabulous home with someone who will love her to pieces and take her as far as she can go. :)

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