It is the time of year when I hate looking at my Facebook News Feed:

 “Florida in T-17 days!”

“Aiken, here we come!”

“Heading down to train with so-and-so amazing event rider till April.”

The other day, Jessica Phoenix’s FB Page posted a picture of the transport truck she used to ship her crew down to Florida for the next several months.  It is not a News Flash, but the mass exodus from the Frozen Canadian Tundra and Northern US is well under way.

Great – thanks for sharing.  Not.  In the midst of all of these totally rad Facebook status updates, the Ontario Horse Trials Association just happened to release its tentative schedule for the 2013 season.  Something to look forward to right???  Well not so much – simply because in my messed up head, I know that there are a number of riders who will be competing at my level, who will be fresh off of four months of training and showing down South come my first planned event on May 4.

I am not as fortunate as those people who do have the incredible opportunity to ship down for any length of time to the winter horse meccas of either Wellington or Aiken. (But trust me, if I could, hands down, I absolutely would.)  And, I also know, that I will never be able to compete with that.  But you know what?  It is that simple fact that motivates me during the winter months and makes me want to try harder to be successful  when it counts during the Season.

So what if I don’t have an uber expensive horse that looks like it has springs in its hooves with movement to die for who consistently scores in the 30s.  Colby, can trot a 10. (While being free lunged in the indoor without a rider, but whatever, that is besides the point.)  Knowing that she can in fact produce that 10, gives me hope to know that I can produce that from her…I just have to figure out how.  Colby also knows how to act inappropriately during random moments in our dressage tests – which she will always do better than any uber expensive horse.

So what if I don’t get to be in the sun and warm weather during the most dreary months of the year.  Those people down South don’t get to experience cantering through a field of fresh snow while giggling uncontrollably because you – and your horse – are clearly having a good time.

So what if by the time the Ontario Eventing Season starts in May I will be sitting on a green Diva of a Red Head TB mare with separation/anxiety issues, while others with similar horses will have benefited from 4 months of show atmosphere.  My lower leg will be more secure than anyone elses…AND, I am willing to guarantee that I will have already fallen off numerous times between now and May, meaning, I will have used up my quota for the year already.  (yea yea, I know it doesn’t really happen that way.)

So what if the riders down South all have goals to move up a level by the time they return.  My goal is not to fall off in a ditch this year.  Ideally not ever again, but I will start small by saying definitely not in competition and hopefully not during schooling.

Point is, there is always going to be someone better off than you, someone with a fancier horse than you unless you own Mystery Whisper, someone who has an incredible opportunity that you could never dream of.  What is important to remember, is to make the best of what YOU’VE got and to be proud of it.  After all – when you are just as successful as those who have benefited from being down South, it will make it that much better…