That being said, I still love it. But I've had it tabled until further notice because quite honestly, I had other financial obligations to take care of. (*cough* student loans *cough*). So at this point? It's been the better part of 3 years that I've been on a horse. I've missed it, but accepted it for what it was.
Several weeks back, though, I couldn't shake the thought of at least looking into how much training would cost. I knew it was DC. I knew it was going to be just as expensive as riding in CA, if not more. And as it turns out? I was right. I can't afford $300/mo for lessons right now. But this is where miracles start happening ... the owner of the small dressage barn asked if I had some extra time on weekends, as they would allow me to do barn chores (mucking stalls, feeding horses, cleaning tack, sweeping barn aisles etc) in exchange for lessons.
Hot dog, what?! Really? Well heck, I'm all over that like white on rice!
But the deal got even better as of this weekend .... turns out, the owner of one of the horses will be deploying to Afghanistan for a year or so, but she still wants her horse to be actively ridden. I gave him a test ride yesterday ... and even though I'm horribly out of shape as a rider, Noggin is a beautiful horse with a heck of a lot of potential.
So in other words, I was offered a total rarity: full time riding without vet bills, boarding, training fees, cost of grain/hay/sawdust ....
How is it possible that all my wildest dreams have come together? Full-time salaried position in Washington DC. And now I have an opportunity to ride horses full time? But here's the Debbie Downer: making it all work with my schedule is going to be the kicker. Drew is leaving for Jacksonville, NC in October for a few months ... and I still have a velcro dog at home. The barn owners' Bassett Hound isn't exactly friendly toward other canines, so I can't bring her along. I would love to ride 5x a week, but it's just ... it can't happen. I was perfectly happy with one lesson a week, but this turned out much better than I expected.
So I'll say it again: Thank God even crazy dreams come true. It's a dream I've always had ... to work full time and still be able to get out to the barn to ride. And honestly, if I could switch my work schedule around, I would. I don't mind going in late and staying late to make up for the fact that I spent part of my morning at the barn. But I do believe my boss would mind.
I'll have to take some pictures of Mr. Noggin ... the new man in my life. And you're asking me, Noggin? Really? That's his name?
He's got a bone spur right at the top of his head that gave him a bump. To me it looks like a unicorn horn trying to break through.