Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Journey of a Thousand Dreams (and Mistakes)

I started this blog originally as a way of sharing the day to day events in my small training operation.
Over time, as life evolves along with everything else in it, I got away from blogging.

Time tends to crystallize things for us. Time tends to chisel our goals more sharply, or turns them around altogether.

My journey has been fairly concentrated within the Thoroughbred world. While I have left the track and racing on a few occasions and taken on jobs both in and out of the horse world, mainly to make ends meet and finance this horse affliction I was born with, one thing has been constant:
My love for horses and racing.

Over the last few years, after leaving Churchill Downs, taking a detour via Pennsylvania for a job that turned out to be nothing it was promised but that also gave me the privilege to make some new and life-long friends, including my friend Beth Ann Parise, who turned out to be the forever perfect home for my first winning horse as a trainer, Kite Falcon (whom his amazing owners, Ted and Donna Miller and myself followed after he was claimed away from us and subsequently returned a couple of years later), I have experienced many new, many old and many unusual events. I have also met some of the most incredible people I ever could have.

Wherever you go, there you are. As anyone else, I have problems in my life. I have learned over the years that those are generally rooted within myself and my way of handling certain situations, as well as the fact that we, as humans, tend to be more comfortable with situations we are more familiar with, whether or not those are bad for us.

A move over to the Kentucky Bluegrass Region, turned out to be a great success for the first couple of years after I got here. I leased a farm and boarded mares for clients who were sending them to be bred to some of the biggest, most successful Thoroughbred Stallions and farms in the world.
But as with any business, not all things work out. Two winters ago, in the midst of operating fairly large scale with over 27 boarded client mares, all but one of those clients stopped paying their monthly bills on time.
On top of that, I made the huge unintelligent mistake of taking in a "friend" and her spouse who had no place to go. It was all supposed to work out wonderfully with my friend working off her own board as the barn help I so desperately needed.

Fast forward 6 months and I lose the farm I was leasing, my "friend" and her spouse take over.
I can't and won't begin to mention the agonizing months of lies and deceit I experienced at the hand and mouth of someone I thought I had known for over 20 years.

I walked away. My remaining horses were stashed over 4 different locations because I was unable to find an ideal location.

There I was, having to start all over. Because I trusted the wrong person and stepped up to help her.

There are lessons in every experience in life. I'm constantly learning, every day.

One of the greater lessons I have learned, is this:
You can't blame everything that goes wrong on just the people that precipitate the drama.
Somewhere inside, we all make a choice to take a certain path or make a certain decision.
Everything that happens to us, in the end, was something we chose for ourselves.

Reevaluating once again what to do with my long term goals took a lot of soul searching.
The racetrack has always been the one place where I experienced the most happiness and success.
I was able to always make ends meet, even when I wasn't necessarily winning races but it was a labor of love that most certainly paid the bills.

The breeding industry requires money. Few of us small time breeders ever hit the big time.
It's all a dream.

And you gotta have dreams. So, I follow mine along, as best as I can. In the end, I have no one else to blame or hold responsible than myself.
And it all works out. It is what it is. Life goes on. It's an incredible journey, an adventure that takes us places that we may never have imagined.

If you're just stumbling across my blog for the first time, welcome! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for taking the time in reading and getting to know this blog.

I have a few posts planned over the next few days that will hopefully introduce you to my small operation and perhaps help you feel that you are somehow involved. If I can share something new about horse racing with any of you or instill some enthusiasm for horse racing in you, then I feel I have accomplished a great part of what's important in this world- understanding for each other and our differences and, surprisingly, commonalities.

This reminds me of one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies, Pretty Woman:

Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream?

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