My life at present is a chaotic mix of life as a science student, rider/trainer for one 8 y/o Holsteiner x TB mare and two 3 y/o Hanoverian x TB geldings, stable hand on the weekends, and a person who tries to be a good friend. I ride around 7-8 times a week, work at the barn from 8am-4pm on Sundays, attend clinics/shows roughly every other weekend, take a lesson once a week, spend approx 45 mins a week in physio (now reduced to 20 mins. Yeah!) spend at least 50% of my time getting distracted & doing things I shouldn't... (oops!) and fill every spare moment with sleep. I REALLY love my sleep :)
While I know I need to introduce the two babies I mentioned up above, what I really wanted to talk about today was something I started thinking about after reading OnTheBit's post, If I had a million dollars. One of the seemingly unavoidable parts of student life is being a little strapped for cash. I only work one day a week, and don't even make minimum wage (probably not the best use of my time, but it beats McDonalds any day) so my money is split between gas, groceries, and savings. The savings part is admittedly occasionally blown on a chocolate bar though.... ;) Especially with Christmas coming, there are occasionally times when I get a bit worried thinking about how I'll be able to afford Christmas presents for people, or panicking about whether or not I'll be able to participate in the barn's Secret Santa, but to be perfectly honest I've never felt sorry for myself because I couldn't afford something. For example, Cadence has a teeny tiny head, which fits neatly on the second last hole of a cob bridle. Because she also has two bits (technically three, we have a XC and a SJ bit, but the one's not exactly in use at the moment!) I re-purposed my old pony's bridle so that we have a jumping bridle as well. The issue is that the flash attachment on that bridle is so tiny, no normal flash fits through it & I lost the original, so I stole the flash & removable flash attachment off of my horse bridle and duct-taped them on to the pony bridle. Pretty? No. Functional? Yes. Can I afford to buy the figure-8 bridle I desperately want so that I don't have to ride in a duct-taped bridle? No, I literally don't have enough money in my bank account to buy it. But for some strange reason, this really doesn't concern me.
Another example- up until 2 weeks ago, I had one pair of non-show breeches that weren't riddled with holes so badly that you could either see my underwear, or I got a blood blister from where my thigh came in direct contact with the saddle via the fist-sized hole in my breeches. But this never really bothered me. I just bided my time until I could find a sale on a nice pair of good quality breeches that actually fit me. It took over a year, but I was rewarded with beautiful $130 full seats on sale for $55! Maybe the reason my lack of cash never really bothered me is because I know that if I were desperate, my family would swoop in and save me without a second thought... but I think it has more to do with the fact that in spite of having slightly less cash than would be ideal, I feel so incredibly lucky for what I do have that frequently feel as though I don't deserve it. I have an incredible horse whose talent I am only beginning to appreciate now, I have the privilege of riding two wonderful baby ponies basically whenever I feel like it, I have a supportive family, wonderful friends, an incredible coach, and parents who bend over backwards on a regular basis to try and help me achieve my goals. How is it possible I could deserve all of this? Yes I work hard for what I have, but really, who could blame me for feeling pretty damn lucky?