We ended the season at SquirrelWood Equine Sanctuary. It was their first event. I do not know how they came about having a gymkhana, but they did and it was good. We couldn’t have had a better day to run as it was a sunny 60 degree day. A 60 degree in November means it isn’t humid and there are no flies!
All the proceeds were to benefit their farm and their rescues. If there was any place I would like to go to be rescued, it would be here. Ninety-five beautiful acres as far as the eye could see. Their primary focus is on “rehabilitation of slaughter-bound polo ponies, sport horses and working horses, many of whom find fulfilling, happy and successful second-chance careers under our care and in adoptive homes.”
Competing at SquirrelWood reminded me of why I started in gymkhana: To get to know my horse and have fun with her. It has been a very long and hard journey, but one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Much like I would imagine it is when rescuing horses and other animals who have been retired, or worse.
Since all the proceeds went to the horses themselves, there was nothing to win other than the satisfaction of helping another. Sometimes we lose sight of that in our daily routine and the drama of winning outweighs why we are running.
The dichotomy of ending the season in a new place just getting started can’t be overlooked. Good luck to the riders next year, and we look forward to seeing Beth and her crew again when she finds gymkhana to be addicting and fun.