Counting Days

Their excitement is palpable. It flashes in their eyes. It is heard in their voices. It is in their smiles.

prepping for finals: Deborah studying to the end

With graduation days away, my daughters have been asked what they plan to do next. More school? More riding? We, the parents, have been asked too about their future plans. Our response has been whatever the girls want to do, we’ll be comfortable with their choice. The girls, too, have replied with little specificity.

They do have career ideas away from the show ring. One of the side lessons from Trish and Mark is to have those plans ready, have the education to support those plans, and have the determination to carry them through. “If there is a career-ending, riding injury to either you or your horse, you need that plan. If your talent has plateaued, you need that plan. Most of all, do what you love.” It is not much different from riding.

the meditative Elizabeth: unwinding after a Grand Prix win in SoCal (Jun 2016)

They do have plans in which they will continue with their horses. They have made the forever commitment, and will honor their word to the fullest. They are horsewomen in every sense.

The degrees they have earned – Deborah and Tara in Biology, Elizabeth in Chemistry – will take them far, whether into their chosen fields or into allied disciplines. Or, maybe something completely different.

in the laboratory: Tara, performing an enzyme experiment, for her biochem lab course (Feb 2017)

Deborah, Elizabeth and Tara, they will be whatever they want to be in every sense too.


The Dark Hallway

“It’s not the life I imagined or wanted,” she said, leaning forward, in a hushed tone. “I never saw, or dreamt, myself being in this kind of situation.” The despair and desperation in her voice was clearly evident, describing a pattern of missed opportunities and ill-conceived plans that led to dead ends. It was either taking unnecessary risks, or playing it too safe. It was like being in a long, dark hallway. Ahead, an elusive sliver of light. Behind, more dark than before. Sleep had become her escape.

She was lost in an unending maze, in search of an exit. A friendly ear to listen. A friendly voice to give her direction.