I rarely click "share" when I see my Facebook memories. I enjoy that feature of Facebook, but most of the time I simply smile or elbow my husband as I say, "remember this?" But yesterday, I must have been feeling a bit nostalgic as I shared this memory.
I totally dug endurance riding; every race was an adventure. Endurance races weren't just about the miles though. It was setting up camp, the group conversation while vetting in, the Friday night rider meeting, the mass of horses at the start, and of course rehashing ever step of the trail during the awards dinner. We were immersed in the race from Friday morning all the way until we unloaded our horses at home on Sunday evening.
It wasn't all great though which is why I segued into something else, dressage as it so happens. I thought I would be a lifer, someone who never leaves the sport, but I wasn't. A great friend of mine has been competing for decades and has no plans on quitting. She's got my respect for sure.
While I have fond memories of trotting down the trail, I don't miss it. Dressage shows have filled the gap nicely. I still get to camp with my horse, and while it's not basecamp, the little niche we set up in front of our stalls - supplied with a cooler, chairs, and tables, creates an intimate space for visiting with friends. We still have great conversations, but instead of rehashing every mile of the trail, we dissect every movement and score earned.
I traded one detail-oriented sport for another. While dressage will leave you cleaner at the end of the day, it still takes a deep commitment, planning, and good old-fashioned grit. It was a good trade.