Over the years this blog has taken several turns; some methodically planned, others unexpected. This blog was started as a means of tracking my own riding journey. I didn't expect followers but rather, intended to treat it more like a journal of sorts. I thought perhaps if someone stumbled across it and they took solace in reading about my own struggles and victories, that was okay too.
I used to hand write all my training adventures down after each day, but it was time consuming and made my hand cramp over time, so I began leaving out pertinent information for sake of getting it over with. It clearly wasn't working, and I decided to type it all instead but became concerned that it would all be for nothing if my computer crashed and I lost it all. We have access to this wonderful thing called the Internet, so I decided to post it publicly, and subject myself to the trolls and their unsolicited opinions. I'm not your off-the-shelf equestrian, and I thought if 1 person saw me as their equal or a source of inspiration, I was winning. I never wanted to censor my journey because I was, after all, writing it for future me. I wanted to chronicle my journey so that in hardships I could look back and revel in the highs; and in the moments of perpetual bliss, I could be reminded that a downhill slide was inevitable - and I would survive.
I was inspired by a close friend Two and A Half Horses to dip my toes in the blogger pool and quickly found a remarkable and frankly, irreplaceable, pool of comradery and virtual friendships. I found many people just like myself who were simply logging their journey as they went. They were average people, with average riding abilities, dealing with every day problems and loving every minute of it for better or for worse, just like myself. I appreciated that I felt as though I could be vulnerable enough put my trials and tribulations online for the world to read, as I have a history of hiding my struggles behind closed doors. I quickly learned that I wasn't alone in my training and development struggles, and found comfort in the blogging community.
When I began blogging, my handle was "Spotted Dressage" for obvious reasons; I rode an Appaloosa (x Arab) and did Dressage. Mucho clever if I do say so myself. I wouldn't consider myself an Appy fan, but I loved Kidd. I logged my progress as I waded through the waters of taking my horse up the levels and therefore, motions, of becoming a solid citizen. I had started several horses under saddle, and developed green broke horses to more advanced levels, but my resume was missing that middly bit, and Kidd gave that to me. We had some outstanding adventures and some earth-shattering lows. He taught me so much about myself, and helped hone and develop my feel and empathy with his naturally sensitive ways. Many times I felt as though I was at a complete loss; stuck in a pitch black room with no windows or doors. I persevered and somehow I always found my way out and back to him. We pushed on, and as our relationship matured I felt I could handle two horses (but quickly realized I was wrong and I was forced to make a choice).
I had advertised Kidd off and on, and he went out on one trial but came back home. I had essentially made peace with keeping him at that point, and convinced myself for a second time I could handle two horses, and I bought Sierra. The universe has a funny way of putting things together, and a friend asked me if I would still be interested in selling Kidd as she had a friend/client who was interested and she felt it would be a well suited match. It was a love affair from the beginning, and I said goodbye to Kidd after owning him for nearly his entire life. Needless to say, I was no longer doing Dressage on a cute little spotty bum, so this blog made it's first real shift and I chose to change my name to Alberta Equest (E-Quest) because if you didn't already know, I'm clearly basic AF. I live in Alberta (Canada), and I am an Equestrian, on a Quest to better myself and my horses. It all sort of meshed together, and my blog shifted to recording my journey with Sierra.
As time passed, my breeding program began so I snuck in some posts about that from time to time, however my purpose of this blog has always remained the same - to keep track of my journey with my horses. For years now, this blog has primarily circled around my adventures with Sierra. Much like with Kidd, there has been many ups and downs and our story is nowhere near finished yet so I'm sure there will be many more to come. Sierra's been one of the most difficult yet rewarding horses I have had the pleasure of working with in my nearly 20 years of horsemanship, and somedays I wish more than anything I had a crystal ball so I knew I was making the right decisions, but I guess that's one of the many beauties of life, isn't it? Instead of making sound decisions and reaping immediate rewards with the confidence of all-knowledge-and-power, we get to blindly stumble through dark hallways full of demons and monsters, choosing door after door and just hoping you make it out alive.
The weekend after I bought her, I hosted a Dressage clinic at my house. Talk about jumping straight into it.
My blog is now making another strong shift as I transition into motherhood and balancing that with being the dedicated equestrian I used to be, and would like to eventually return to. Like everything in life, this blog is evolving; what this blog was once built upon is long gone and in greener pastures, and much like my relationship with Sierra, I have no idea what the future holds for me, my horses and my family. I appreciate those who have wandered into my dark hallways and find pleasure in watching me choose door after door and standing by to see what I find inside, and how I'll handle it when I do. Without a doubt, this blog has been an absolute rollercoaster and while I continue to careen through life with one hand on the wheel and one in the back seat handing out snacks, I genuinely appreciate those who are along for the ride with me.
If you follow me and you've read this absolute word vomit thus far, I hope you find comfort in my ups, downs and all-arounds. If nothing else, I hope I provide casual entertainment while you shake your head, chuckle at my (probable) stupidity and carry on with your day. I love taking the time to read the comments that people leave me, and I welcome the support I'm showered in while I continual to evolve through trial and error with a little blood, sweat n' tears along the way.