יום חמישי, 30 בדצמבר 2010

Some inside Digging...

Some inside digging…

I'm here all day, I ride my own horse, which is great, but I know it could be much more effective to have another horse. Damn it! I'm so close to the ideal way, and I feel stuck!
If I put my horse in another place, then I'll have to pay for training, transportation, etc., and that will already cost me more than it is now!
How can I do that?
How do I get to train more?
Yep, of course I can work, but than I'll be cleaning boxes…and that kills my back…
I can offer people to train their horse, but for now- who's heard of me here? Why should anybody let me ride their horse when they don't even know how I ride?
Well, I know I could buy a horse, and keep him here, but, I don't have enough money to buy a good horse, let alone keep it at the moment…
But how do I get to these people with those horses. These people have money, they keep horses as a hobby and want to pay someone to keep the horses working and improving?
I know that Wendy know this guy who is exactly like that. Also, Tomer is working for people like that in England…Caroline is riding customer's horses, also Uri, but those are customers he knew before, and also- he deals with horses…
Ok- that would also be a possibility-
Maybe I can buy a horse with Caroline and Vibe- and split the cost of him, and ride him myself?
What else?
I could work for a dealer, and then I'd have to ride so many horses a day, that I will for sure get either very good or very very good…but stay without any energy in the end of the day…
I can also help selling horses and get a commission, but that's a business in which I'd have to know the people who sell the horses and also the people who look for these horses…
Another idea is to open my web site, the one I thought about when I was in Israel…maybe it'll work?
For now, it looks like the web site option is ideal, since I have so much time to invest in it, and also- maybe it'll be a big success.
I know that in the past every time I had more than one horse, I regretted it. It was too much responsibility and I hated the fact that I had to ride them, it simply wasn't a hobby anymore… one horse kept me for sure in the hobby side of the deal.
Is that what I want- to stay in the not to committed side of the deal?
I am in Europe!!!
I want to learn and do the maximum I can. One horse simply won't do!!!

I'm running after my tail…aren't I…?

Ok, I think I'm OK now, after seeing Harry Potter, and after being invited to a very nice dinner, and after riding three horses yesterday, and after jumping with Igrene while with control, after discussing option of having another horse, and maybe buying one half myself and half another person.
Well, now I feel like things are moving. I'm learning, I hope to succeed with my own horse and raise both our levels above what both of us have ever done…so there's still a lot to come!!!

If you'd tell me now: "yes, tomorrow you'll wake up and have 7 grand prix horses to train every day"- I don't want that!
I do want two or three horses to train and compete. Not more than that.

I feel so confused since I'm almost 33, and I still don't know what to choose!
I don't want to commit to anything, I don't want to say hey, this is me…I am this and this and this…and dam it, I don't want to say this is me- because I don't want to create any limits for me.
When you don't say what you are- and you don't commit- the good thing to come out of it is that you don't disappoint yourself. The bad thing is that you leave without edification!

In a perfect world-
I would like to have four horses and a groom and a personal trainer, and a shiny truck with everything inside that’s needed to travel and compete internationally!
Where do I live? With who? Is it children? What else do I do?
I ride two to three of my horses a day, to keep in shape, and I have a rider at my stable to keep these horses in shape as well.
I live free of commitments, I'm not sure that I have a partner in this dream. Wait, let me concentrate…well, I have someone who is younger than me, and not in marriage. It could be something serious, but I don't see children in it, at this moment. As long as I travel- no room for kids right now...
I want to have a nice home in nature, with ten stables, manage, indoor, and all it takes to keep horses well trained and happy, maybe a swimming pool- for the horses…

I remember that few years ago I was lost; I had no idea what I wanted to do. Then I asked myself the same question and the answer was having two horses, in the garden of the house, and help people help themselves…
I still like this dream as well.

I love having targets, and I'm just not sure that I can achieve the first one, that's why it's not that realistic now…but I know that I can shape reality for myself, otherwise- how could I be here, in Europe, in  a training stable with my horse…(!!!)

In the Harry Potter movie he says- you have to believe in yourself, that’s the most important thing. This is really my weakest point…this is why I am here!!!

All my life I have been struggling with the question- am I good enough? I usually think that I'm not- and then, my goal is to prove to myself that I am.
During School- I wasn't popular, and I was really shitty at studying- I ended up having good social connections and being one of the top students in the whole school…
As a rider I had Housty, my first horse, and together we won every competition possible and reach every level possible at that time…
Now I find that it's hard to say what I want and really believe in!
Because one day it's true and the next day- I already want something else…

I think that if I'd find a partner, and live near a stable with both of us training horses and competing- I feel happy with that thought.
I don't feel happy with cleaning stalls every day, though feeding the horses has its charm…
Still, if it's every day- I'd prefer to keep my one horse in other's stables.

I had a dream of my own stable, coaching good riders with private horses…actually- I touched that dream already, and discovered that I want to become the best rider I can, and it has nothing to do with running my own school stable, except for the fact that I get salary out of it, which is good, but not that satisfying!
It's a dangerous business, and everyday you can be sued for a child falling from a horse!
But who am I kidding? I just want to concentrate on myself as a rider, and get as good as I can at this. I want to focus on that.
Now, I have an idea of buying horses with partners.
Well, the past experience says that I can, but I never sold a horse, except Yale, and him I sold at half price  because my main issue was to find him a good home to take care of him and love him as he deserve…I definitely couldn't run a business like that!

I look around me and see Caroline's trophies and medals. Would I be happier with these medals? The answer is of course not! But I'd be happy every time I felt that I succeeded in doing the thing that I thought I couldn’t do! Whether it's riding a horse that I thought would be too hard for me to ride, jumping a fence that I thought would be too high and scary, or winning the jump off against the best riders in the world!
Yes, I'd be happy every time I feel alive, every time I'd challenge myself and sometime succeed and sometimes not.

Doesn't it feel good to fulfill your potential?
And this is what my dream is all about- becoming the best I can. Maybe one day I'll decide that it isn't in the field of horse sports, but until then,
I want to be the best I can in what I do- and that is raising my level in show jumping, and I will see where I go from there!

And also- the buying horses half price, share half of the expenses, and sell for hopefully more- and also split the income in half- this is the normal model of buying a horse with a partner.
I think that when I'll feel more secure with my level of riding I will buy another horse.
Although I also want to do it right now!!!
But I restrain myself- I learn more, see who I can trust, and also learn more about the horses in the stable and beyond it. I learn about the prices I can offer for a horse, and well- I study the field. The costs, the way to train and keep a horse in shape, the different ways to get to the same last point of getting better and competing in the higher levels…if I feel that I have the courage to do it right…!!!

יום רביעי, 29 בדצמבר 2010

My new Home...

My new home…

Well we arrived at the stable of Caroline and Vibe, in Meijel.
I got place to put my horse, my stuff and myself, and of course, the cat.
I immediately put the cat with all his stuff in the room, so he could eat, drink and most important- shit or pee after 12 hours closed in his box.
After that I took care of Igrene, putting a cream on her wound, praying again, and putting her in her stall (hmmm…much smaller than the one she had in Israel). Then I took care of myself, without much energy, I arranged my stuff, and finally went to sleep. That was around 4-5 o'clock in the morning.

I woke up around , and heard some horse's sounds. I looked out from my room's window, and saw a woman, with blond hair, riding a young horse. I started wondering, is this Caroline? Or maybe this is one of the employees?
After a few minute, a girl with a helmet came by riding, and then I had my answer right there!
After making a small arrangement in my room, I went downstairs, and introduced myself to Caroline and to the other girl. This girl's name is Wendy, and she turned out to be a very nice person to have around.
"At we eat together," said Vibe, and I immediately felt good and at homey.
In the meantime, I had ridden just a little; Igrene felt good but a bit hot. (That is an expression for a horse that behaves like it has pepper in its behind and wants to run.)
We where also dealing with the arrangements for Igrene and I to compete in Holland. So Igrene now has a chip, and I need a letter from the Israeli federation that allows me to compete in the 130 c"m course with Igrene. We also need a Ferrier to fix the shoeing with studs for grass.
My first week…

It's Sunday, a good day to do everything I want to do but don't have time for during the week.
Laundry, clean my room, etc'.
Yes, I am very bored here.
I had a strange week. At first, jumping lessons in the indoor arena were amazingly good.
Second- jumping lessons outside were extremely bad, well, not that bad, it's only that my hand are slightly wounded and the horse has stiff muscles, both of us aren't happy, but besides that- she jumps well and she is the most wonderful creature here in the stable.
Now, it's hard to say it, but I'm starting to feel doubts about this place. The people are great; the place is good enough, not luxurious, but something I can afford.
The thing is that I'm not sure I like the chemistry with the trainer here. I mean, he's ok, but I need someone that will also see my soul. Yes, I know that I'm special in my own way, and I know that I'm sensitive, and that when I have a problem, and he just lets me sit there and bubble, that's not the way I want my trainer to behave!
I want, and expect a trainer like me, that will, if there's a problem, not stick to his current lesson plan but instead change the lesson's plan!!!!!!!!!!!
And now, I'm thinking to myself- that during the lesson I felt like I was taking a test. I don't feel secure; I feel as if I have to prove my worth all the time.
Fuck it. It's all inside me, and I'm not perfect, but yes, I want to be better.
Only when I don't ride well enough- I want help and understanding, not someone to beat down on me. And that is lacking here for me at the moment.

So, I was thinking about it, and I know what the problems are:
I sit out of the saddle- I need to relax my knees and sit deeper.
Also- I don't call the horse back after landing…and that is why there are the problems of running after the fence.
Now, what I want to do is, first of all, relax!!! Think only of my horse and me! All the rest can shit in their underwear!!!
Then, I want to sit and find a way to call her back so as to keep her from riding on, and not stand and pull and stop like I did in the last lesson!
I know that in the lesson I was stressed. Maybe it's only inside my head- but these are the thoughts that I have heard, that stressed me:" we, the Dutch people are the best, and you, the Israelis, Turkish and what ever don't know shit, so, it is only natural that you, Miss Orly Herbst from Israel, will not do well…"

This week, people from Turkey came to check some horses for a girl who is now going to switch from ponies to horses, and this will be her first horse.
They came, and the trainer, with jeans, no helmet, no nothing, mounted the horse and started riding it. She didn't sit well, and from the side it didn't really look professional. Now the people here where all very nice and kind, but you could see what they were thinking inside…and now, when I think about it- this is why I was  stressed on Friday- on my jumping lesson. I kept on thinking that I wasn't good enough, I was afraid to ride like this Turkish woman, and afraid to get laughed at!!!
I'm a little special, but I had a reasonable reason to think like that, and, well, I'm sure they think that I'm not so good right now. But the thing is that I came here to learn, not to be put down. Not that they put me down, only not really putting me up as well for the moment…
What else?
I want to be better- but I'm not sure how I see myself-
Am I an amateur rider who wants to be the best but as a hobby?
Or do I want to be a professional rider, who wants to become a professional in the international arena…? (And my wish is to become like one!!!)

For now- I am not sure where I belong.
At the moment I'm thinking- how can I get to ride more horses?
I can find a rich guy, marry him, and ride the whole livelong day. The only problem is that then I would have to give something- like love and sex, and if I marry for the money- then I'm not really in love with the person, and then- if I "give" sex- then I'm a high class prostitute…
Also- I could buy more horses. Let us say I begin with one, and then I ride two horses, and also compete on both…yep, sounds better, but I think three would be the best. Actually- four would be perfect. Then I would need a track and a trailer, and also a person to help me. (Not necessarily, I could also deal with three or four horses my self…can I?).
Another plan would be to ride for clients. But- how do I reach these clients?
This would be the best option- because then I'd even be paid for doing that, and also better my riding skills. The problem is- that I couldn't make too many mistakes, otherwise I'd loose the clients…..
So- the simplest way is to buy another horse, and find a way to keep it without spending more money.
Now,  I could also buy a horse, make it better and sell it, but then I'd be taking all the risk on myself, and also have to keep the horse until it's sold, and also get attached (this is where the hobby part in me comes out very strongly. I don't like selling horses! I want all of them for myself; I want to kiss them and take care of them and love them for all the good things they have helped me achieve in my life! And especially, the joy I have when I am around them).
I would like to try and sell horses for others on the internet. It's one possibility- I could take commissions. The other possibility is, and I could do it on regular basis, act as barter for horse pension and training.
I already told this to Vibe, and I'll see what he thinks of it. Maybe it'll work out great and maybe not.

My dream becomes reality...

Leaving my country…

I'm finally in Holland, starting to live my dream of becoming the best rider I can, and maybe, just maybe, getting a chance to participate in the Olympics…
I have many good contacts, but I'll save a few for later in case I'll need them.
Our journey began in Ben Gurion airport. It was nice at first, but then it became very scary.
Six horses were to go on the plane and Franky and I were to keep eye on them while flying.
Israel, typically, doesn't give a shit about animals' needs, so, naturally it doesn't care for horses either. We all got together at , with the horses, Haim, Jerom, Kuba, Dror, Yinon and me. All names in the local horse business industry. Every one was smiling; every one was a little bit stressed. All with their egotistical "well being" expression…
So there I was, being nice, one of the guys…
All the time I kept on counting my bags. I was afraid to forget the smallest one- where I put my cat. (Yes, I took Farook, my cat, with me).
Then we had to put the horses in the boxes for the flight.
First came Kuba's stallion; the horse looked amazing. A golden coat with a long blond mane and tail, no shipping boots[1], no experience, nothing. Kuba took the horse, and went to the box without hesitating. The horse walked after him, and then, he stopped for a while, to see the exact path to walk on. All the workers in the Maman exporting station could not help them selves: they all took out their cellular cameras and started photographing this amazingly glorious little horse. (Well, little in comparison to the giant sport horses…).
After him came the two geldings. One is to compete in the world dressage championship for the handicapped, and the other is to go back to the dealer, since the client wasn't happy with him.
All the horses went in the box without any trouble, and all my stuff went on that box as well. Except the cat, which I wasn't sure I would remember to take…
Then it was the girl's time to get in.
I took Igrene with shaking hands. It all came back to me. On this same slippery surface, I once brought a mare from France, named Sara de la Board. She was panicking, and went loose, started running all over that surface…at the end nothing happened, but that was a very scary situation to be in, where you can do nothing but pray.
Anyway, I went slowly with Igrene, between Merlo and Kirra, the two other mares.
Every step of the way Igrene almost fell on the well polished concrete surface. All the machines were working, and suddenly one man pulled a big nylon cover, and Igrene became frightened, and I even more so. My dream could have ended at that point if something would have happened to her! And I kept on praying, please god, keep us safe, keep us from being hurt, please god, I hope my dream is the correct one, and I hope you think this is the right thing to do, please god, keep my mare safe, please………
We finally came near the box; I was so terrified, even more so than my horse…and the box wasn't open yet! We just stood there, between all the running tractors, on a slippery surface, praying for this to be over without any trouble.
And then finally, the box was open. Igrene started to go in. But then she sensed that I wasn't sure, and she didn't follow me. I didn't pull, because I didn't want her to step crookedly on the ramp that leads into the box. Franky saw that I wasn't confident. He took Igrene and just went into the box. She followed him without hesitation. Yep. First lesson for me- don't hesitate too much! This could lead to trouble. Be sure of yourself, and even if you aren't sure give your horse the confidence!
Now we got on the flight, and the boxes were on the plane, but one was placed in the wrong direction…they had to shift it, and there was a lot of bumping around, and that made the horses looked terrified. Of course it had to be the box that Igrene was in …
The flight began, and I was very happy, we sat in the upper part, it was just like first class, only less people.
After take off, we went down to check on the horses.
Igrene was looking strange, then, in the dark, I thought I saw blood. I lifted my eyes, and there it was, the separation between her and the other mare was loose, and Igrene was almost squeezing the other mare. And yes, Igrene had a wound in her left side pelvis.
Franky and I fixed the separation, I spoke again, to myself, asking god to help, hoping my plans are the same as his, but I do understand that what is supposed to be- will be.
After 4.5 hours we landed in Belgium, in Liege airport.
That was a different opera. The boxes came straight to the stables area in the air port. The surface was for made especially so horses wouldn't slip, and the people were quiet and helping.
We took the horses out of the boxes along with all the tack and also the cat…
Igrene was walking normally, so I became more relaxed in a way, hoping this wound was just a superficial one.
The vet came, saw the cat and started making trouble…for how long is this cat coming to Europe? Is it your cat? For how long are you staying here and why?
I was looking at Franky, answering all the questions, hoping to be on the good side of the answers.
Then the vet called her colleague, and he approved the cat. So far everything was ok.
Then we waited for 3 hour until they released the horses.
Remember the gathering in Israel? Well there was also a gathering in Liege.
I saw Vibe for the first time, and then I met Dan, and last came Vasili.
At first I was trying to be nice, though I only felt like sleeping, and after standing for almost another two hours, I decided to sit. On the floor, I didn't care about the environment any more…then I started feeling alone, and started to understand that one of the prices I was about to pay for my dream was being without the people that I love. People who gave me a lot of respect and confidence…people in Israel who missed me, and now, I had no one who really cared about me with me…and that's a hard thing to feel, but I'm OK with the price.  I chose to take this step for myself and I'll always be able to make the decision to return to Israel, which currently is my home, without a shred of doubt.

[1] Boots that protect a horses feet while traveling