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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I will put her complete ad up when we finalize the details, but she will be reasonably priced.