First and foremost, let me apologize for going MIA. I’ve been dealing with a bunch of personal issues—little of which had to do with ponies—so I needed to stay away to keep from being a total downer. 2016 has been a dark year for a lot of people. I realize we’re only in October, but I’ve heard a larger than normal amount of people say they are already done with 2016 and ready for 2017.
Dreams are a funny thing. My husband doesn’t remember his dreams. He says that he doesn’t dream at all, but I’m not sure that’s possible. I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum. I’m a full-on epic movie style dreamer. I wake up and often have to sketch down the plots for potential future pieces of fiction. “I sleep to dream,” was one of my favourite quotes in University. I certainly didn’t sleep to rest back then. But now, being both significantly older and (hopefully) a little bit wiser, I’m happy to sleep to rest too. The dreams, however, do make that rest more interesting.
Some people, when you ask them about their wildest hopes and dreams, will go to the extremes of human lifestyle. They want to own houses, villas, and castles all around the world. Money is no object, so they want the very best of clothing and beauty products. They want to employ a full staff of cooks, cleaners, stylists and lifestyle organizers. They want a garage full of cars, a yacht on the back dock, and a private jet to easily get around.
My wildest dreams are alarmingly tame in comparison.
I’d like house on land within an hour-and-a-half from downtown Toronto. I’d like enough room in the house for my family, with a bit of extra for the future and to allow our friends to visit and stay. I’d like a 4-stall barn with a climate controlled tack/feed room and wash stall. Enough grass pastures to rotate through spring/summer/fall, and a large sacrifice area for the winter. An indoor arena big enough to run around and jump in. I want to spend the time I’m not working, playing with my life. I don’t need much for that, to be honest.
Of course I have dream horses too. A blingy, palomino welsh pony for my daughter (or even for me, when I get in a pony kinda mood). A rein breed grullo quarter horse that I can play some western games with and throw less experienced riders on when they visit. Star, of course, but also her foal: a bay tobiano who’ll someday be my a/o jumper.
In 2017, I have the potential for some of my dreams to come true. My husband and I hope to have our house (and land) by the middle of next year. In April, Star will have been free of soundness issues for a full year. I even have a breeding to the Oldenburg tobiano stallion Pallido Blu. There’s a lot to look forward to, and I’m the first to admit I’m in a bit of a rush for it.
But that is one way life is exactly like working with horses: there is no rushing. Day by day we go, day by day we grow. I have to live this time, even if it is a bit dark, just the same way I have to have the riding mistakes and falls. Perfection, I think, is a bit too much for anyone. Perfection would be dull really; nothing changing or challenging you. So maybe striving for perfection is actually the best place for us all to be…even in our wildest dreams.
Christine Sharpe is a Canadian who grew up riding Hunter/Jumper in the Southern USA. Now living in Toronto, she is a thirty-something who is recently back to riding after four years off and having her first child. Christine is aiming her Thoroughbred mare, Star, toward the Jumper Circuit and Warmblood Breed Inspections. She struggles daily to juggle family, work, and her equine lifestyle, with occasional success.