After that nice break of Gen’s total and complete adorableness it is back to my current situation with Lucky. I am going to head out after work today to try and ride her and see if she feels any better at all. I put her on a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement about a week and a half ago so I would hope that, if nothing else, her arthritis would at least feel better at this point. I mean, even if she does feel terrible I would want to give some notice to her owner so I would be with her through November regardless. Hopefully she is feeling better today and this post is all for nothing right?
I just want to explain myself a little bit better because I am not sure if I am being clear as to why I think it is time to stop riding. It isn’t about Lucky, at least not really. It is that Lucky is horse number 4 (or is it 5) that I have tried to half lease only to have it not work out in the long run. Some leases were my choice to end, others were made by the horse. It has been over 6 years since I retired Gen. In that time I should have only leased one, maybe two horses. That isn’t how it worked out for me though. I have leased several and that is without a handful of leases that never even worked out at the start.
During this same 6 year period I have watched friends, on their own horses, go through the levels. I have seen others completely change discipline from hunters to dressage, or western to eventing. I have even seen some friends unfortunately have a horse go lame, struggle with training issues or lose their equine companions, and yet they all bounce back and go on to be successful. I literally cannot think of a single friend, or even stranger, who has put as much in to it as I have, and yet has not progressed.
Before you all jump down my throat, I am not saying that I haven’t gotten better, I am simply saying that I have not progressed. I.e. there has been 0 LONG TERM progress made. When someone asks me what level I am at, I say Intro. Which actually means that I have gotten worse over the past 6 years because I used to be able to say training level. I know that riding isn’t always about making progress, but one would think that 0 progress in 6 years is a pretty clear indicator that maybe riding isn’t my thing.
One would think I would take a hint that maybe riding is not for me when my very first horse got hurt. I didn’t though. I just became determined to “make it work”. I once joked that I wanted to create a line of saddle pads with inspirational words or sayings on them for riders like me. I mean, I know that not everyone has the dream path laid out in front of them. Plenty of people have struggled with riding. I always used to say that I didn’t have to be good at riding as long as it was still fun.
The problem is…I don’t even know if riding is fun anymore because it has been so long since I have done it. Right now it feels like adding in a second horse to the mix has been one big mistake after another. With the number of times my heart feel to pieces because I had to say goodbye to a beloved horse I am surprised I even care at all. But I do. I am clearly not going to be one of those people who gets to ride off in to the sunset. I feel blessed every single day that Gen found me, but maybe the ending of my riding story is more like they walked next to each other in to the sunset…no riding involved. One heart break, one injury, one month where you are sweating to pay the bills, a person can recover from those. I just don’t know if I can get over 6 years that feels like it is filled with that.
I just don’t know how many times I can “keep getting back in the saddle” when the universe is telling me that my two feet are better off firmly planted in to the ground.