Monday 16 April 2018


Warning, this post kind of got out of hand length wise, so maybe save it for when you're *really* bored.

Mentally I've been feeling a lot of blahs.  Feeling like I want to rethink and redefine some things in life is a normal part of the process of being human, but let's face it, I like to have a plan to follow. I don't cope well with uncertainty and feeling like I am not moving forward.

As mentioned previously, I spent quite a bit of time thinking while I was out hiking on the trails the past couple of weeks, with and without a baby pony in tow. Bridget got out for a couple of trail rides too last week, but I skipped out of drill team practice and all other structured ride time and actually didn't do any riding at all last week.

Bridget doesn't mind having a quiet schedule and contemplating the grass growing. :)

So, without further adieu, here are my 2018 goals, redefined.

1. Look after myself.

And...actually, that's it.

For 3 years now, my life has been super hectic and busy. I've loved almost every minute of it. I've advanced both career and riding wise, met some serious long term goals and did some things I never thought I'd be able to do. On paper I've got a pretty good life. But, I've sacrificed so much time to work and horses that nothing has been left over. I've been missing out on time with friends, family, and my husband G. Not to mention enough time to look after myself properly.

I wouldn't change the decisions of the me of 3 years ago. I had wanted my current job forever, and knew there would be sacrifices. I had wanted to ride at a higher level forever, and happily the super wonderful EC has a farm 10 minutes from my work. So, the opportunity was there for the first time to take regular lessons and put as much of myself as I could into this horse thing. I would have regretted not taking advantage of that the best I could.

Moving forward, I was recently given the opportunity to work part time at my job on the South Coast, meaning I can be home 4 days a week. I thought hard on what that meant riding goal wise and decided to move Bridget to my home town and keep on keeping on the best I could independently. That meant mucking out and riding in the rain and dark all winter long, many 16 hour days, and of course trying to organize trailering, ferry schedules, clinics and lessons as well.

It was a bit of a struggle to make it all work, but there were good days in with the tough ones. However, a few weeks ago, it just stopped being fun at all. Consistently, my rides were hard and felt like work and I always had way too many chores at the barn to fit in the time I had. It was difficult to get out of bed in the mornings because I was so tired, and even my days at my real job started to feel overwhelming.

But, not to worry. As always, life is full of choices, and we have options.

Our lawn has dandelions! Yay spring :) Was going to caption about stopping to smell the flowers, but this particular one is full of wasps. Typical!:)

I pondered moving Bridget back to EC's where I have a bigger support system, but my schedule makes riding there more than a couple of times a week difficult. I pondered moving the horses home, where it's cheap and I can look after them how I like. I pondered leaving them where they are self boarded and paying someone to do some of the chores for me.

Of course, what I really needed to do was sit down and discuss things with G. "What exactly are you unhappy with?" was his question. My answers:

- I feel like I have no time.

- I am unhappy with my weight and fitness and want to be able to dedicate time to bettering that.

- I feel like I am spending too much time and money on horses (for not enough result/reward)

- I am sad because I feel like I can't count on Bridget to advance further (riding/competing goals wise) with me. Yes, we can always be better, and we've made great strides already, but I'm feeling more and more like I've reached her limit mentally, and physically she's very difficult to motivate/keep fit as the work gets harder.

So, here goes nothing. In the theme of looking after myself first, here's what I'm going to do.

I'm going to ride when I feel like it - not with any concentrated effort to meet goals or keep Bridget fit. I'm going to kindly decline further drill team practices or any other ongoing, inflexible riding commitments. I'm tabling showing this year, and saving the funds for an equestrian related getaway adventure I've wanted to do forever. I'm going to do my best to treat myself kindly - it's not 'giving up' or 'quitting', there is always next year or maybe other horses.

B makes her own fun if needed.
As does Sovie.

With the extra time I will have from scaling my riding back to a few days a week, I'm going to prioritize cooking healthy meals and hitting the gym (or resting if that's what I need)

Ms Sovannah is going to get out for a lot of adventures, but she's only just turning two and she's teeny tiny. I likely won't be riding her (even a little) until well into her 3 year old year, maybe even 4. I'm not going to pressure myself to keep her on a regular schedule. For the next year, she simply needs to have semi polite ground manners, be decent to handle for basic things, and get out and see the world a couple of times a week. We can maybe tackle long lining later this year and I'll get her out on the trails doing that instead of leading. Worst case, though, her outing can simply be getting dragged down to the ring and standing tied while I ride Bridget.



  1. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing! 2018 has been trying to drill that into my head (I've been very sick for about 3 weeks). I am definitely at a re-evaluating place right now too. Good for you for making positive changes <3

  2. I had always wondered how you managed to do everything - you have been such a busy person for so many years, it's time to let yourself relax and "let down" a little bit <3 I think that is awesome you re-evaluated your goals and are doing it for the betterment of yourself - no one else can do that for you!

  3. I always feel like you and I think through things like this in a similar way. I’m at an oddly similar place right now more by force than choice (weather etc preventing me from going to the barn) and for the first time in my life I’m actually feeling enough burnt out on horse stuff to enjoy it. Horses are my passion but a relationship is as or more important and puppy is pretty great too. I admire your decision to take some time and do things for you right now :)

  4. I think you're right for putting yourself first. In general horse people are driven, hardworking, and demanding of themselves. It can be hard to step back, but I think if you feel burnt out then it's definitely the right move. It sounds weird, but I had to have a doctor tell me "if you feel sick (from migraines) don't go to the barn, don't ride your horse". It was like I needed permission to break from my schedule.

  5. Good for you for prioritizing self-care. You're right that both ponies will be totally fine with a more relaxing schedule. Here's hoping that you have the time to re-find the simple joy in your life =)

  6. Good for you! I love this. I feel like life is so go-go-go of trying to do and manifest all of the things we love that we get so caught up in them, we don't take as good of care of ourselves as we should. That you realize you need to step back and do that is so huge. I'm a firm believer that if we aren't taking care of ourselves and scratches the itches that we need to scratch for ourselves, we can't show up for others - or our horses - 100%. I can't wait to hear about the fun, easy-going adventures you get into during this period of time, and I'm really excited to see what manifests afterwards. Soak it up <3

  7. Taking a step back can be SO refreshing. I hope it has that effect for you -- I know it has for me so far!

  8. I think this is fantastic! We're ammys--our lives don't have to revolve around every little detail about horses if we don't want them to. I hope this mental refresh is just what you need!

  9. Definitely can get behind and fully support you taking care of numero uno however that looks. *hug*