As we approach our first outing of the year I have started to lose my nerve a bit. My confidence was a bit shaken after stadium at Feather Creek. Annie’s tendency to turn into a dragon when she doesn’t get her way over fences lately hasn’t really helped and after last nights jump school I decided to drop down to BN for the schooling show coming up – fingers crossed the show secretary can drop me down a division.This is where a bit of Should vs Could comes in. I know that Annie can handle the height and questions of novice. I know that I can also handle it. We “could” do it. But should we as our first event out in 2017? Annie has her entire career ahead of her. In the grand scheme of things me doing BN instead of N at a schooling show in February makes literally no difference in what we will accomplish this year. I feel relatively certain that even if she is schooling training I won’t be piloting her around a training course come the end of the year. What it will mean is that instead of having a pit in my stomach about the show I now know that regardless of how much of a dragon Annie wants to be I could legitimately make her trot every single fence if I have to. How often do we face these should vs could intersections? Last night I certainly hit one and I have been over analyzing the decisions I made that got me to the point where I really just wanted to get off and wave a white flag. She dragon deer jumped one too many times and then we ended up popping over a teeny cross rail and doing some lateral work until the gerbils got back on the wheels of her brain. She was so belligerent about moving off my left leg that I had to stop and question could she think its time to come in season? Maybe she’s being a wretch because of the weather changes? Then I debated just getting off because honestly it was one of those rides where I wondered why I even got on in the first place. I try to focus on the positives of riding a green horse but the fact is that it is hard. I wouldn’t give Annie up for anything but I do sometimes wonder where I would be at with my riding if I had a made horse. Wouldn’t it be nice to get on a horse that had actually done more than I had before? I haven’t had that feeling in a long time – never on my own horse – and certainly never while eventing. What must it feel like to move up a level and think “horse has got this – he/she knows the job”. Annie takes care of me don’t get me wrong but its a big case of the blind leading the blind and I always beat myself up when things don’t go as well as they could have. In the end I know that while we could do it we shouldn’t. Have any of you guys been having the should vs could internal debate lately? If so what about?