When there is no next horse…

So I feel kinda blah right now about the whole horse thing. Everyone keeps asking me if I have another horse lined up, and when I answer no they always ask if I want a second horse or if I want to full lease something. I get a lot of “I have a friend” stuff. I know everyone thinks I will find something else, but I am feeling very discouraged at the moment. What I can afford (something untrained or coming back from injury) is not what I want. What I want, I simply cannot afford. I keep telling my hunter/jumper friends they need to work on having babies because I would love to kidnap one of their ponies…to have something that knows how to go, but needs a little fine tuning for dressage, to ride for a year while I figure out what I want to do. Sadly none of them are looking to get pregnant so I think that is not an option that going to pan out.

Riding and horses have been a huge part of my life for almost 20 years. It seems so odd to even be considering giving that up. Something that has brought me so much joy over the years. Something that seems as much a part of me as my eye color. And yet I am thinking about it. Having Gen is like keeping one foot in the water. I could jump back in or I could walk out. Everyone says that where there is a will there is a way, but I don’t have a whole lot of fight left in me when it comes to horses at the moment.

I don’t know whether I am finally facing the truth that I can’t do it, or if this is just a really big test and the perfect horse is right around the corner. I haven’t ridden, like really had a good hour working hard, since July. I have barely even gotten on a horse since September. I am still alive. I am not exactly thriving at the moment, but it goes to show that I can live without riding.

You know what is funny? I used to look at the people who gave it up like quitters. How could they? It seemed so impossible to comprehend when I would see their facebook status go from all horse to running, baking, hiking or whatever other hobby they chose to fill their time with instead of horses. Now I might be one of them.

Poor Gen has been dealing with my blah much better than I expected. Being at the barn so much this weekend was nice. I love spending time with Gen and I really do enjoy taking care of him. I know that we can all agree that being the first person to open up that barn door on a chilly fall morning is magical. The quiet nickers, steam of sweet horses breath coming through stall bars and excited stomps of impatient ponies wanting breakfast is enough to warm anyone’s heart. While I could tell Gen was getting annoyed at my neediness, he still let me get some good horsey cuddles in, running faithfully over to me every time I called. I already told him that he has to stay healthy and be good because I just don’t think I could handle him getting hurt right now.

It is funny because while it was hard saying good-bye to Lucky, I felt the most comfortable I have ever felt driving down a barn driveway with all my stuff in the back. I know her owner adores her and that she is in good hands. Plus I can stop in whenever I want and I know I will see her in the field since it faces a road I drive by on my way to the tack store. At the same time it was the hardest good-bye because I really feel like this might be it for my riding.

I thought I would feel much less frustrated ending the lease, but the truth is I still feel stuck and unsure of what to do.

6 thoughts on “When there is no next horse…

  1. I’m not sure I’ve followed this thread in its entirety because the issue as I understand it with your “giving up” is that Lucky isn’t sound. Neither is Gen. Gen, however, is YOUR horse; Lucky was a lease. Why are you thinking of this decision is “quitting riding” because you “can’t do it” when the REASON you “can’t do it” is soundness of horse, NOT inability or lack of ability in rider? I think you may need some time off–we all need a break from our struggles–and when you’re ready to reconsider, there will be a horse available. Doors close, doors open. Life’s like that. ;o)

  2. It’s not such a bad thing to take a break from riding occasionally. I’ve stopped a few times — once for seven years. Horses are there when you are ready to come back and ride again. If it’s not fun, or it becomes too stressful, it’s okay to take some downtime.

  3. Why not just take this time to save up for the horse you want but say can’t afford? Skipping a year of a lease fee on a free lease horse often equals out a year of a paid lease horse.

  4. I was a riding machine in my younger days. Then I had kids…no riding for about twelve years. Then I started again and got my kids into it too. So riding came back into my life for several years. Then life got in the way again…I have terrible knee problems now and am currently not riding, but we own several horses. Hubby still rides regularly. I fill my time with horse care…kinda like you with Gen. Good advice from Lauren…just spend time with Gen and save money for a few years til you can either lease or buy what you really want. It will all work out for you, I’m sure.

  5. The best thing to do when you are feeling stuck is to wait. Don’t do anything at all. And don’t do it on purpose. A self imposed WAIT. The answer on what to do next will find you.

  6. I’ve ended up taking a couple of interesting turns in my horsey life as well, and what I ended up doing is equine therapy. It means a very different view of my horses, and a really neat relationship with them. I just started blogging about it, so if you’re interested I’d love it if you would check it out 🙂

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