Burnout??

Sorry for the silence. I have just been busy lately. Between riding 5-6 days a week, a vacation down to Disney and watching the Olympics I have not been very good about using my free time to blog. I have been to a Thursday Night Dressage and another Show that I want to write about. Lucky also had a week long boot camp and I want to get some pictures of my Gen up because he really is the star of this blog…and he is not feeling like the star anymore!

You see something happened over the past few weeks that I didn’t think was ever possible. I actually started to feel a little burned out from all of the showing. I find that if I do several shows in a row with a green horse and then give them a break from it I have a calm and reliable show horse. Lucky, being a bit more challenging than most horses, took 6 shows in the first few months of this year before she started to get the whole showing thing. The way things worked out, by the time she figured out the whole show thing we had shown a lot.

I may have mention this a time of two on my blog, but I love ribbons…LOVE them. So we ended up showing enough at the start of the year that we were close to being year end award eligible for some of the organizations I belong to. A normal, rational person wouldn’t worry about stuff like that, but I pushed myself to qualify. I kept doing Thursday Night shows even though it was hard to get there from work and getting home after 10pm on a work night exhausted, dehydrated, hungry and feeling sick was not ideal. I entered for the shows an hour away even though driving on the highway made me nervous. I was like a freight train. I just pushed forward.

Like all things though, it caught up with me. I had wanted to move up at the Local Show Grounds to Starting Horse Walk/Trot/Canter. In fact, I had it all planned out that I could get a year end award at that division as well if I did another 3 TND shows and the other show at the Local Show Grounds in the fall. I was full speed ahead, except that my heart wasn’t in it like normal. I knew something was up when I wasn’t looking forward to a TND show. I tried to ignore that fact, but when I couldn’t even muster up the energy to clean my bridle I knew I had a problem.

It took me another show to realize what was happening. I was getting burned out. And if I was getting burned out, poor Lucky was probably fried. About 10 days before the TND show at the start of this month, the one I had planned to bump my division up at, I realized that it wasn’t worth it. I LOVE to show, and loosing that joy was not worth it. So I scratched and gave my times to Dom instead. That meant I didn’t have to do any more TND shows if I didn’t want to. I also decided against going to two schooling shows while I had some time off from work. I realized that one schooling show was plenty in August, I didn’t need three and three TND shows. 6 shows in 5 weeks might work for some people, but it wasn’t going to work for me.

I feel much better now that I scratched and didn’t enter for everything I thought I should be doing. Don’t get me wrong, I am still going to show this year, but I am not going to go crazy and be so damn competitive about year ends. I did have a show last Saturday, but I won’t have another show until August 30th. That gives Lucky and I time to just work on our training and take a breather. I can’t promise that I will stop score chasing completely, but I do know that Lucky and I need a break right now to refocus and get ourselves together so that showing is fun again. Just because my show budget for entry fees is a certain amount this year doesn’t mean that I have to USE every penny. I love that some shows are only $25, but at the moment, it was giving me a bit too much bang for my buck. Waking up at 3:30 am for a show is never fun, but when you love to show it isn’t so hard to do.

Anyone else ever get burned out from showing?

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4 thoughts on “Burnout??

  1. Seeing how much you showed, I’m not surprised you’re burnt out. You’ve done a ton of showing! You do this for fun, so don’t feel guilty for doing what you want. You’ve proved Lucky is a good horse. You overcame some of your fears (trailering on the highway). You met a lot of your goals. Great job!

  2. Not only do I get burned out from showing, I get burned out from the entire HORSE scene from time to time. My current burnout is taking its time getting squared away because I’m out of shape and my horse is recovering from a lengthy treatment for lameness. He was a candidate for a product called Tildren that works on arthritis, osteoporosis and navicular issues and takes six weeks or longer to do its job because, as I understand the science, Tildren allows new bone growth while inhibiting bone destruction–all perfectly logical when you consider that as we age, everything slows down and if bones aren’t regenerating fast, they are not as strong.

    Add to that having to deal with snarky people (who have always been snarky but who were BEARABLE when I was riding before the lameness occurred, in January this year) AND with a very hot summer (the last couple of summers were very mild land pleasant in comparison), this is just not the year to do a lot of horse stuff.

    Hang in there ;o) This too shall pass, and you’ll find a comfort zone that will include time for everything.

  3. I hear that. I too, LOVE to show. I just love it. My husband doesn’t understand winning ribbons (he’s all about winning $$ at team ropings). But since becoming a mom, it’s harder to get my practice in, impossible to haul to lessons, and by the time I actually get to the show, I’m cranky. At the moment I’m trying to decide what to do. It’s hotter than blazes (114 today) and I have no motivation to practice. But shows are coming up. Plus I have all my gear now. Just no motivation other than the desire to do it. 3 horses to show, 2 to ride and one for halter and showmanship. Lots of potential, just no energy to actually do it 😦

  4. That’s been one of the hardest lessons of my life — to realize when enough is enough. I’m not active in the horse world right now, but I am a musician and I love to play music! This summer, I was part of a symphony orchestra that rehearsed two nights a week, plus I’ve been working on preparing some open mic’s with a friend of mine who sings and plays guitar. It’s all something I love to do, but with this summer’s heat and the difficulty of getting to some rehearsals, I burned out. It was hard for me to say no to the summer symphony, but I did it and I am very relieved. When something that is supposed to be fun isn’t fun any more and it feels like extra work, it’s time to revalue everything. Congratulations on taking care of yourself.

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