We also cannot live in yesterday. All we have is now. This isn't to say that we should not plan and prepare for the future, of course I would never suggest that. All I want to say to myself, and to my audience, is, BE HERE NOW. Live, right now. Enjoy, right now. Cherish, right now. Pursue your passion, right now. You cannot know what tomorrow brings.
As I stood in the Indian Summer sun Tuesday afternoon dragging back the edges of the arena, a hot, laborious, but necessary job, I had to come to grips with the fact that I am about to ride in the first dressage show of my riding career without my mare. I remembered all our trials, and all our successes, both as friends and as a riding partnership.
My sadness is not only for the loss of my best friend for 12 years, but also, the loss of what I had hoped would be our future. It may sound crazy, with all we'd been through, for me to have even dreamed of a future show career. I did cherish every moment, but every dressage rider is a pursuer of hope. Dressage is all about selling hope, the future. We just cannot forget about today in pursuit of our tomorrows. Charisma is the first horse I've brought through the levels of dressage. We made our way to Third level on three separate occasions, knocked back once by the joy of a foal, a second time by colic surgery, and the third try at Third level was the charm. The 2010 show season was our best ever. This summer, we were nailing our four and three tempis, and schooling the pirouette canter. On my last ride before she died, it clicked, she got it, the rhythm of the tempis, and we even managed a one tempi. I dared to hope for Fourth level in the fall, I dared to dream of Prix St. Georges in the spring, I was already picturing myself in tails. Those dreams were gone in an instant. I am now "relegated" to showing at the basic levels again, with a variety of client horses. Should I hide under a rock and refuse to come out again until I can perform at the same level or higher? No, because you know what I've come to understand? I don't own tomorrow. I just don't. I can hope, dream and plan. But I must be humble. I'd better live today. I can go ride my clients' wonderful horses this weekend, these horses who have each come together to heal my broken heart , and I can cherish the gifts they each have to give me. I will ride my heart out, give each horse my every breath and thought, and try to perform the most compelling Training and First Level tests we can muster. We will ride for today, and let tomorrow come as it may. We will ride in Charisma's honor. I miss you so much Charisma. I will never forget you.