Sunday 4 August 2013

Somebody's Got Some 'Splainin To Do

"Why on earth is she not jumping at the chance to move home and buy a farm?" I know you're thinking it!

I've been waffling back and forth on so many things in my life lately. I keep thinking I'll blog once I have decisions made, once everything is in place and less confusing. After reading the Poor Woman Showing blog ( ) this afternoon, I'm reminded once again that I don't really need all the answers perfectly in place to write this blog. This is as good a place as any to muddle through my thoughts.

Here's a recap of 2013 so far. As many of you that have been reading this blog have probably guessed, this past winter was a bit of a disaster horse wise. Don't get me wrong, we had a lot of fun, and a lot of good moments, but overall, it was a pretty bad experience. There are bad boarding situtations, then there are bad boarding situations that are the only show in town. And you're invited. For a decent fee of course :)  I can rest easy knowing that I gave Ginger great care and made sure she had fresh water and 3 square meals, but the stress was out of this world.  I managed to ignore poor Ginger's "not quite rightness" and got myself in a wreck not once, but twice. I still can't sit comfortably at my desk for the entire day, but the migraines are finally gone :) Then, it came time to return to Alberta, where we had so much fun the previous summer. But, despite all my best efforts, Ginger was stressed and thin and vaguely sore around her back and facing a long trailer ride to an 'in training only' type barn. Hmm. I decided to send her on a shorter trip to the lovely lady that I had bought her from, who has tons of pasture and lots of beautiful, well cared for cobs. Best decision ever. I got back to Alberta to the news that the leasers of my second horse were opting to buy. Again, welcome news as they are a wonderful home. But part of me was a little heartbroken, because with Lainey went all that hard work and the chance of eventing this year.

So. Where does that leave me? Muddling through a lot of things. Here's what I know:

- Horses were not fun this past year. I love Ginger to death, but if I'm honest, the stress far outweighed the benefits.

- I felt like a big fat failure. My horse got sore and thin and stressed on my watch and despite all my best efforts.

- Horse people kind of suck sometimes, and I'm not as good at ignoring it as I should be.

- With Ginger, at least, if I want to do things seriously (other than trail riding), I need a coach at my disposal. Ginger is a tough ride, and if I'm honest, she's a bit above my current riding ability - we can meet in the middle 99% of the time, but that 1% really really hurts. We need a regular check in with a coach or clinician to keep that 1% shrinking.

- I needed a break.

- I need a job/ bank account. I would not be okay with G paying for everything, particularly the horses.

- I want to be with G for the rest of my life.

- I really want horses to be fun again. I'm mentally at a place again where I think they will be.

And now, the muddled thoughts:

- Considering a second horse. Preferably a sec C or  D, but really anything sane and quiet and able to event. Something to have fun on, learn on. Basically replaces Lainey.

-Considering aiming Ginger at dressage. She can be a hot, spooky mess, and I am not uber confident over fences. Maybe for now eventing is not going to be our thing. Trainer Girl tried to gently push us down the dressage path, maybe I need to listen :)

-Considering breeding Ginger. Again, if I'm honest, next to trail riding, this would be the job she'd be happiest at. Does the world need a mini Ginger? If I had my own farm with room for mini Ginger to live for life if need be, then yes, of course it does!

-The job. I love my current career. Do I want to give it up and go back to the wilderness and head on into horses full time after the beating the horse world gave me last winter?

-Yes, that's right, with the big farm would come the decision of whether I want to be managing a barn again. A decent barn, which the area desperately needs. I think if we do this, I owe it to G to stick around and stop taking jobs away from home, therefore I would need to find local employment in a very tough market. Managing a barn is something I've done before and enjoyed, and since we'd own a giant barn anyways....

-I'm tired of being away from G. Life is too short. I feel like a horrible selfish person some days for being here rather than there. I have no idea why I feel so driven to be completely independent and self sufficient, but after a certain point it's really not productive - and financial and career success means even less without someone to share it with.

Posting now before I change my mind!
Important things in life - G taking Ginger for a 'swim' this past spring.



  1. As someone who thought I were going to go into horses so thoroughly I majored in it in college, fell in love with a career (IT) that puts me behind a desk, and owns a sensitive Sec D that I couldn't get anything out of if it weren't for regular lessons...

    Honest opinion based only on what you've written and my own situation:

    It sounds like a good boarding situation with a good trainer would solve all of your problems. I've read other posts in which you talk about loving your desk job, and I feel the same way. I think about being the one to break ice in buckets at 1am in college and feeling overwhelmed by being dirty all the time, and I realize that I'm much happier being able to take vacations, wear ballet flats and exercise my brain rather than my body. The money you earn from an IT career isn't there in boarding, and judging by the hours my trainer and her assistant trainer put in, you'd probably see G even less than you do now with a full-time job and a horse hobby. I value my weekends with Nick, even when the weeks are crazy, and I wouldn't get that if I kept mine at home, which I've considered as he's job hunting.

    I can tell it's really weighing on you, and I hope you can at least get free of the decision itself soon!

  2. Thank you so much for the thoughtful reply. You're completely right about the boarding and training- if I could find a good situation I think how I'm evaluating things would be a lot different. I liked my barn manager job but got burnt out. My desk job? I still love it. I need to stop thinking it's an all or nothing- job vs G vs horses. If I can be patient and creative, I'm pretty sure this will all sort itself out in time. I do so love being organized and having a plan, so it feels completely foreign for me to admit I have no clue what my next step will be :)