ACK ACK ACK
So, I was at my Jenny Craig appointment this afternoon and my phone started ringing. I went running for it, managed to get it in time and it was Rowena from the other barn I was riding at back in the Fall. Yikes! I told her that I would have to call her back and so I started to freak out about what I was going to say. In case you didn't read about it, or don't remember my posts, I had started with Rowena's barn when I first started riding again back in September. I rode with her for a couple of weeks and then decided to give another barn a try. For a while I rode at both places. Typically I would ride with Ro on Saturdays where, more often than not, we would do something fun like a trail ride and I rode with Alison on Fridays where we would do real dressage or jumping work. Then I decided to do the half lease on Lulu with the second barn, I started getting more serious about my riding goals and so I pretty much committed myself to Apple Tree (the second barn). In the meantime, I kind of fell off the face of the Earth for Ro. I never told her that I was riding at the other barn (I had told Alison about the first barn however) I just stopped coming by without saying anything, which was kind of crappy on my part really.
Anyway, so I really felt terrible about it, but chicken too. Ro and her husband Elliot were so wonderfully nice to me. I mean, Ro even let me ride a time or two without my having to pay her anything. She was very complementary about my supposed skills and felt that I was going to be very good for their barn. So I called her back once I was back on the road. She was so sweet, wanted to know how I was, if I was okay, did I still have my job (she had heard about the layoffs, I'm sure). She didn't ask if I was riding anywhere else or question me about why I had disappeared (which I was grateful for) but just went on to say that I should come by sometime, that I should come see the "girls" (her other adult riders who are a very friendly and social group). She also said that the next party they have, that I should think about coming. She is so freaking NICE!
I made the decision about where I was going to ride because I truly think that Apple Tree is going to make me a much better rider. They are immersed in the discipline of riding that I most want to follow and they have horses that are appropriate for my abilities and my goals. Ro's place was a blast. More casual, there is the opportunity for fun and for lots of trail riding, but I didn't feel in the end that I was going to be able to pursue my goals nearly as well there. I think if I wanted to have a horse and go out on a trail and just screw around on the weekends, it would be the perfect place. But I'm right now a little more ambitious than that, even if I never, ever end up competing. So I made my decision and I feel good about it, haven't regretted it for a second. Apple Tree has turned out to be everything I had hoped that it would be and then some, but I still do feel badly about blowing off Ro. I wish I had unlimited time and funds so that I could ride at both places, but that, of course, really isn't very realistic in real life (at least in my real life). Still, I am very glad that she reached out and called me. I feel a little better (although still guilty and a little shitty) about everything.