A happy thread: Celebrate what makes it work for you :)
There's much to bemoan these days, for many folks, it seems. But...let's celebrate instead! Who/what makes it work for you?
I'll start with my husband...my non-horsey husband. After three-and-a-half years of marriage with horses at home (he married into them...lol), the only things he's learned is how to feed treats, stack hay, dump the manure cart, and not do excessively spooky things while I'm riding. However, he never complains about the horses and the time and money that goes into them. He is genuinely happy to see me content doing "whatever it is I do" with them. I never have felt a moment of guilt or resentment from him regarding the lifestyle. When we occasionally go somewhere for a mini-vacation, he doesn't fuss that I have to work the schedule around the horsesitting availability. He's 100% supportive and considers the horses non-negotiable.
Then there's my horse. I've had him for 12 years. He was quite the project early on (a very nice animal, just full of himself), and for quite a while I thought he just wasn't what I wanted. But I've come to realize he's exactly what I need. He's dependable, predictable, and honest, but enough of a challenge to never make it easy. I've learned much from him because he's always made me work for every. little. thing. But he's a gem. I can take him anywhere. He loads, he waits, he's easily bought by food in any emergency...he's the horse of a lifetime.
Last but not least, I really appreciate my instructor. She does so many things to help me progress, even though I'm not too quick...lol. She's happy to accommodate my shedule and she doesn't begrudge necessary reschedulings. She knows when to say, "It's okay...do the best you can!" and when to say, "Suck it up...it's time to do or die!" When I feel frustrated, she reminds me of prior frustrations and how we have overcome them. She reminds me to just stay focused, keep working, and be patient. She makes lessons affordable and offers sound and thoughtful feedback about my goals and other "horsey" questions. She's interested in our well-being and doesn't make her goals our goals. In a nutshell, she's marvelous!
My husband - who is supportive enough that we got him his own horse, and he's taking lessons on a school master, and he has been encouraging me to look for another horse for ME since my mare is currently unrideable.
The little horse I just went to look at. Safe, sane, forward!
The instructor that the husband is taking lessons from! He now understands that HE gets to pick direction, gait, and speed, NOT the horse!
The saddle fitter who found the hubby's horse a saddle he likes (since he is QUITE the princess about such things!).
My DH, who is a self confessed "gear junkie" who sees my return to riding as a whole new set of "cool gear" to get into. He has no interest in riding himself (and I'm good with that) and has little or no "gear" he can shop for himself for anymore, since he's fully outfitted for his many sports/hobbies. He cannot be trusted to keep me on any kind of a budget.... (Christmas was pretty amazing this year -- I got truly spoiled!)
My trainer, who is willing and happy to have me work with her doing ground work with her horses, working on respect and manners (she is happy to have the extra hands and an extra pair of eyes as she's working with them as well).
My neighbour, who is as thrilled to have me riding his two underworked arabians as I am to have two beautiful horses 2 minutes from my house to work with/ride without any expectations from either side.
And last but not least, the freedom of empty next +near to retirement +12 hour shiftwork that give me lots of days off to enjoy all of the above.
Now if only this evil cold snap would break and I could actually get back to all of it.
My non-horsey SO, who tolerates my late nights at the barn and even tolerates the occasional show.
My absolutely awesome trainer who has found me great horses to ride and show, is one of the best teachers I've ever known, and has really improved my riding in the two years I've known her.
And of course, my absolutely awesome lease horse (and his generous owner). I still have to pinch myself that I'm riding and showing a horse as fancy as he is and can still afford to buy groceries. Thanks again to aforementioned trainer for also being an excellent matchmaker and keeping her eyes out months before I even thought I wanted to lease a horse again!