Jen V. (foreground) and Karen thinking about horses – either that or margaritas…

WARNING!!! Kleenex alert!! Sometimes the hardest thing to do is the best thing for you…as Jennifer Varnell explains to us below.

 Jennifer – thanks for contributing to HJU!

 From Jennifer:

It was my last day at the old barn the other day.  I tried really, really hard not to cry (deep down, I know I’m making the right decision to move).  But I couldn’t help it.

I got choked up when my trainer/friend hugged me to silently say she understood it was a tough day, my voice cracked when the other trainer sweetly joked about what’s-this-news-he-was-hearing when I should have been able to joke right back, and as soon as I got in the car after one of the best rides I’ve had in months, I lost it and cried pretty much the whole hour and ten minute drive home.

It’s not that I don’t absolutely adore my trainer (I do), or that I don’t have anything more to learn (it’s impossible not to learn something with horses around).  But driving an hour and ten minutes each way to ride and working a demanding job, that’s another forty-five minutes in the opposite direction, means it just doesn’t make sense to stay.  I’ve known for a while now that if I’m going to ride more than just once per week, it has to be closer to home.

So what’s the big deal?  Greener pastures, right?  Logistically speaking, absolutely!  But emotionally speaking, horsey-speaking… hello, tears.

It’s the history that makes it hard.  Moving from BC to California after falling in love, realizing I had my wonderful guy and his friends but none of my own close by, and finding Jen Kallam and Karen Park, my very own awesome girlfriends who have inspired, encouraged, listened and shared for the past three years.

Riding lessons turned therapy sessions, awesome rides, lousy rides, falling off, staying on, big jumps, little jumps, galloping around and around until the world slows down and there could be a hurricane going on next door and I wouldn’t notice because it’s just me and my horse conquering the world.  I couldn’t be more blessed to share all of it with such great friends.

And it’s not like I’m never going to see them again, either!  Of course we’ll be friends forever.  Reality just bites sometimes, and as much as it would be easier to continue living in the little dream world where, magically, I suddenly have a dream job that requires only ten hours per week in the office, a huge salary increase, and move in down the street, I know that deep down I need to buck up and make the adult decision that will get me closer to my goal of being a super-badass rider.  The best thing about great friends is that they want the best for you, too.

I’ll put on those big girl breeches in a minute, but for now I’m going to have one last little sappy moment, and say that Sundays just aren’t going to be the same.

 Jennifer