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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2011
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    Michigan
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    Default Lost the mojo

    Any of you that fell out of love with horses, or just loss the "mojo" how did you get it back?

    It's been a rough year so far. Lost my mare in January to colic complications. This is the first loss that I have experienced of an animal as an adult. It was rather traumatic is a lot of ways, one day she was healthy and I was putting into motion plans to breed her, then literally two days later she was gone. I still mourn her loss, I still cry any time I think of her. In fact, I think I am going to start crying as I write this.

    Since then things just haven't been the same for me in the horse world. I took on a gelding a few weeks after Skye passed and I sincerely wish I hadn't. It has been nothing but a drama fest between myself and various other people that were involved with him since. I have zero emotional attachment to him, I have zero desire to go to the barn, I can ride him, or I don't have to, I don't really care. This isn't really fair to him as he is a rather lovely horse when he wants to be. I put him up for sale which brought the vultures down on me. My phone has been blowing up for the past week, I rarely check into facebook any more as things got really hot on there too. All of this as well as missing Skye and feelings of no horse measuring up to what she was, has me throwing my hands up in the air and screaming "I'm done." I don't understand how horses can bring out the best in people, but also the very, very worst too.

    I don't really want to be done though. I DO plan to step back for a while, there are a lot of other things that have been filling up the time that I use to spend with horses. I got a gym membership, and have made a pact with my dog to take him on a 30 minute walk every day, rain or shine. He loves it. I have been offered the lease of a really nice draft cross gelding (was offered that from the get-go, wish I had taken it), and as much as I like riding him, and LOVE riding with his owner, even that doesn't interest me right now.

    Just curious how others dealt with their horse related depression...
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2007
    Location
    Iowa
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    741

    Default

    You need to take some time to grieve. You are probably very overwhelmed yet and taking on the gelding now (as you have recognized) has just added to the pile.I don't have answers for you, just cyber hugs. Take some time to step back. It's OK to back burner horses for a little while. Maybe your interest will come back. Maybe you'll find another hobby. It's OK either way.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 3, 2002
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    Sounds like you are still in the mourning phase of losing your mare. Take time to grieve and think about your loss and turn it around to thinking how lucky you were to experience such a great mare for as long as you did. Think about the good days.

    Grief counselors also recommend getting outside of yourself at times and do some good for others, even if it's for the new horse you took on. It's not fair to let him languish either. You don't have to ride. Just go hand graze him, give him good, long slow grooming sessions. Or take him for long, slow, trail walks or just walks around the farm. Whatever he likes. Do it just for him.

    More cyber hugs for you. It's never easy, but we must process all the thoughts and feelings of letting go so we can come out in a good place. Ready to love and attach again. Peace to you.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Mar. 31, 2012
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    Coastal NC
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    Default

    No answers; just hugs and a few suggestions.....First, If the gelding is not right for you, then those concerned friends/people can either take him on themselves or let you find an appropriate home for him. It is not fair to you or the horse if it is not working. Second, don't hesitate to take some time off and grieve. Third consider changing your horse environment. If your current barn is no longer a "safe haven," find another barn.

    Many of us have taken breaks for all kinds of reasons. Hang in there. Time does heal the pain some.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    Default

    I know for me it was a gradual process, losing that desire. I had no huge tramas, I just got nibbled to death and that was that. I kept my horse in a backyard barn with access to trails and first the trails started to dissappear via development, and that put pressure on the ones that were left - I remember when the kids up the way got dirt bikes and another family got into shooting rockets, that's when i started to get up real early and ride in the dawning. We had a gas crunch and most local shows got really hard for me to get to, my friends got out of horses, my trainer took a working vacation to Germany and didn't tell me she'd gotten back so I really felt "fired". And then of course I was going off to college too, it was easy to accept a rehoming offer from a friend.

    And after that although I rode at college and the few and far between friend's horse, I really couldn't afford it.

    OP it must be the difference between drifiting apart in a relationship and getting a divorce, and having a horrible accident in the middle of a happy relationship leaving one party a widow/er. You are going to grieve and it is going to take a while. The general populace doesn't get it about horses but you seriously ought to think about grief counseling, and where you should go from here. Probably you should have done that before you got involved with the gelding, if he is turning into an "on the rebound" purchase.

    I don't know how to deal with Fb. It's a difficult medium, encouraging short judgemental comments, when in your situation you needed good counsel and still do.

    Wishing the best for you and know that time will heal most of this, just work towards the future and remaining positive.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    Default

    When horses are your life, your passion and also your work, you just never go there, just keep on keeping on with them.

    Now, working with dogs is a hobby and yes, after training for many years and working with our local performance club, training and putting on shows and training for herding trials and a rattler killing my border collie, I was without a dog for four years, before feeling like getting another one.
    I still was helping with the club's general, obedience and agility classes and shows, but a dog of my own, that took several years and courage to give it a try again.

    Understanding that, I would say, give yourself some time, horses will be there for you always when you want to participate.
    Take your time sorting thru this, maybe get that one horse that is not working sold, accept any rides you feel like, but quit putting pressure on yourself to keep doing what you are having so much anxiety over.
    Horses as a hobby are supposed to be a pleasure, not something you have to make work at any cost.

    Perspective is your friend in situations like yours.
    I would say, you didn't lose your passion, you are still mourning your loss and sorting your feelings from how life keeps going on and that takes time, as long as it takes.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2007
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    270

    Default

    I lost my "heart" horse, Night, feb 09, 2012. He wasn't my first horse loss, but I certainly took it hard. As an addendum, I know I deal with some depression issues, so I have to work hard the not allow myself to have a downward spiral... I didn't ride or do much with my other horses besides feeding and clean for a solid month (my horses are home and my husband tried to be supportive, but they had to be taken care of). And then I realized that I had to make a decision whether to stay in horses or not. I chose to stay. That didn't mean that I was less likely to break into sobs while worki with the horses or being in the barn, but it was a physical decision that I loved Night enough that I could honor his memory by loving another horse. I pulled my brood mare out of retirement much to her shock and horror, and started riding her. I had to make solid goals, or else my melancholy would give me a reason not to ride. I set up rides I had to attend, took lessons with an understanding trainer that gave me hardish goals and even attended clinics I didn't expect we were ready for. After about 2 months of being miserable I realized how much I enjoyed the work again. My mare was taking care of me in ways Night never would have, and over the last year I have come to appreciate her for the horse she is and who she is becoming. It was a hard year, but I came farther as a horsewoman this year because I had to make myself ride and just do it.

    Maybe the paint geldin isn't who you want right now. My Arab mare wasn't who I wanted, I wanted my big red gelding. But she took care of me when I needed her and I will be eternally grateful.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Mar. 10, 2007
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    Montana
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    Default

    I think you're still mourning-give yourself time. And try not to let your sadness and loss trip triggers with the other situation, maybe get out of that as best you can or at least withdraw from the drama. It's only taking your energy away from mourning and healing... right now nothing about horses seems to be good or peaceful or positive in your life. Try to get some of that back and let yourself feel better and take it from there.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2007
    Location
    Virginia
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    Default

    It's okay to just do what is right by Cody, either finding him a great new home or realizing you are going to have to at least take care of his physical needs while you re-re-re-re-evaluate your goals in regard to horses -- while you just take a break. Just take a break and allow yourself to just relax about your horse goals for a bit. Just breathe.

    Think of all you've put yourself through in the past year -- last year was: should I, shouldn't I, should I, shouldn't I with Skye (keep her? lease her out? lease something else? try hunter/jumpers [or was it dressage?] more seriously? try western pleasure show circuit? keep Skye on lease? bring her home? Leased her out -- lessor loves her, but should I bring her home again anyway? Now she's home again -- ride her on trails? get her suitable for something else? keep her at home? board her next door? board her there? board her still other place? breed her or trail ride? etc. etc. etc. -- I'm sure I don't have the details exactly right here, I'm just trying to make a point about how unsettled things have been for you.)

    You've just been on such a roller coaster. It's great to sample different things while deciding what to do with horses, but I wonder if you've given any one course of action enough of a trial before changing directions.

    Everyone grieves differently but it did seem rather soon to be getting another horse right after Skye died, especially after you'd been through such a lot in the last year just wondering whether or not to keep Skye. Then when you finally did decide to keep her, you lost her, and that is so tough. So, so difficult.

    But you did take on Cody, so now you do need to see to his needs (and I know you will, just sayin'), but like I said, beyond that, maybe just take a break. After some time to breathe, then decide what you want to try next, but after you start something, give it at least a year or so before you think about changing course again.

    Meanwhile don't you still have nursing school? Maybe taking care of Cody without pressuring yourself to have some sort of riding "discipline" or "goal" can just be a great stress release from other work/life pressures. Let him just be a horse and if you want to go amble around on him, great. If not, just groom him or hand graze him, like others said, and enjoy him.

    Think really hard before taking on a different/yet another horse, though. What's that old saying -- be sure you "know your own mind" before you make any more big decisions, especially where another living being is concerned.

    So I guess what I'm saying is, don't worry so much about mojo, whether you've got it, had it, lost it, whatever. Take care of the horse first but after that, just relax about the whole horse situation.
    "However complicated and remarkable the rest of his life was going to be, it was here now, come to claim him."- JoAnn Mapson


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2011
    Posts
    887

    Default

    Hugs to you -- it's never easy, is it? Everyone deals with grief differently, at different stages of life and even with different animals.

    When I lost my first filly I rushed out two weeks later and rescued a yearling Appaloosa gelding (Scrappy) out of the kill pens. Even though I loved him, something was just off and I ended up giving him to a family member. It was about six months before I found another horse. That was Deuce, rescued out of a very bad situation who turned out to be such a lovely, and loving, mare. (Ironically, I still have BOTH of them. So much for freaking family members.)

    Give yourself time. Do other things. Ship this gelding to a new home ASAP so you'll both be happier -- do a free lease, or tell one of these people on your case to come get him. It's okay to sit out for a while. When the time's right to get back into horses, you'll know it.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2002
    Location
    NJ, USA
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    Hugs to Skyedragon. I've been there. I believe it took me a total of 4 yrs grieving over my lost heart horse to get the spark back. Like you I tried to make another horse work, but it was just more frustration & pain than pleasure. Find your current horse a good home & give yourself a break.

    The good news is, I now have my horse passion back & I'm sure you will too! For me, I needed to 1) take a break, 2) work on solving personal problems (the stress from finance & work issues was causing me so much inner tension & worry, my horse just picked up on it) & 3) when I searched for my next mount, staying patient & determined to keep looking until it "clicked".

    At one point when I was still lost, I remember thinking "maybe I'm just done with horses?" Then I looked around my house at the thousands of equine books, videos & walls covered with photos & equine art, and realized, you can't just give up a life long passion like that.

    One last note, part of my getting over my mare was a special tattoo I have her TB JC # over my heart, and somehow that helped me move on. more (((hugs)))



  12. #12
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    Nov. 13, 2005
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    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    I would sell Cody, asap after he becomes sound. If you can afford to send him on "consignment" do that (make sure you set up a contract first!!!). You need to take care of yourself first, and I was very surprised to hear you had taken on Cody so soon after losing Skye.

    As for facebook, block everyone causing the drama. Seriously. Just grit your teeth and do it, you don't need that sh*t right now. You do need the support of your friends who care even if it is virtually, so it seems a shame to ignore facebook entirely as it can be a great medium to stay in touch and let them know how you're doing.

    Many hugs. Take a break after you sell Cody. I took one to go abroad, and it was exactly what I needed. I'm now back into horses full swing and loving it. You will find the mojo again but don't worry about it for now, just do what you have to do for Cody.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  13. #13
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    Aug. 13, 2011
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    Michigan
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Event4Life View Post
    I would sell Cody, asap after he becomes sound. If you can afford to send him on "consignment" do that (make sure you set up a contract first!!!). You need to take care of yourself first, and I was very surprised to hear you had taken on Cody so soon after losing Skye.

    As for facebook, block everyone causing the drama. Seriously. Just grit your teeth and do it, you don't need that sh*t right now. You do need the support of your friends who care even if it is virtually, so it seems a shame to ignore facebook entirely as it can be a great medium to stay in touch and let them know how you're doing.

    Many hugs. Take a break after you sell Cody. I took one to go abroad, and it was exactly what I needed. I'm now back into horses full swing and loving it. You will find the mojo again but don't worry about it for now, just do what you have to do for Cody.
    Thankfully he is sound again, and I have started advertising him a little more aggressively. I have gotten a lot of "I really like him but I have to sell my horse first" as well as some lovely trade offers. I was actually kind of intrigued by a TWH that was offered, but so far nothing has made me want to jump up off the couch. I have somebody coming out this evening that sounded really interested. Crossing my fingers and toes.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog



  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Event4Life View Post
    Take a break after you sell Cody. I took one to go abroad, and it was exactly what I needed. I'm now back into horses full swing and loving it. You will find the mojo again but don't worry about it for now, just do what you have to do for Cody.
    This is a great piece of advice. Time to take a break for a bit to mourn the loss of your girl and to let you be you for a while.

    I feel for you. I mean, my username is LostMyMojo. I went through something similar - lost my horse, barn drama, etc. It made riding not fun for me anymore, and I'm still working on overcoming bad feelings that I have about being in the saddle (being around the horses on the ground, I'm happy as a clam - but I swear I start having flashbacks to bad memories when I swing up into the saddle). It's been 4 years, and I'm just now starting to find my groove again and I feel like I WANT to ride - and it took some serious peer pressure for me to do it.

    But I totally get it. PM me any time, maybe we can get through this together!



  15. #15
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    Aug. 13, 2011
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    Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostMyMojo View Post
    This is a great piece of advice. Time to take a break for a bit to mourn the loss of your girl and to let you be you for a while.

    I feel for you. I mean, my username is LostMyMojo. I went through something similar - lost my horse, barn drama, etc. It made riding not fun for me anymore, and I'm still working on overcoming bad feelings that I have about being in the saddle (being around the horses on the ground, I'm happy as a clam - but I swear I start having flashbacks to bad memories when I swing up into the saddle). It's been 4 years, and I'm just now starting to find my groove again and I feel like I WANT to ride - and it took some serious peer pressure for me to do it.

    But I totally get it. PM me any time, maybe we can get through this together!
    Last night I actually had some fun lunging him and hand grazing him while I waited for the family to come out and see him. I actually started to feel a little possessive!
    And less anybody thing that I am not caring for him. I am going to the barn four times a week still, just getting worn down very quickly. Feels more like a chore than it did for Skye. I use to get up early, go to bed late, skip class (bad me), call into work (not frequently, don't worry) all to go do horse stuff. Any more I am just dragging to get out there.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog



  16. #16
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    Jul. 3, 2005
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    BC, Canada - PNW
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    Default

    I put my older TB down 2.5 years ago -- he was my first horse and the love of my life, and got me through many tough years. After, I stayed out of horses for a bit. It was over a year before I tried riding again. I looked for a lease mount, realized I loved riding but that I just wasn't ready. No horse could compare to him, and I hated leasing instead of owning. I decided to wait. Another year later, I had the chance to go on a lovely ride on a friend's big beast, and took my boyfriend on a guided trail ride through the mountains (Serious ride over rocks and boulders, not just an easy flat loop!), and realized I wanted it. I looked for lease, knowing it would be short term. I figured I'd lease for 6 months, see if I was still hungry for it. I made it 2.5 before I bought.

    I still catch myself thinking my old horse's name instead of the new guy's. I do love the new horse, but it's taken a while to get to know him and I LOVE him and he's totally different than my old guy.

    For me, I needed the time to step back. My heart wasn't in it at first, because I wasn't in it for just horses, I was in it for THAT horse. It's been 2.5 years and I still get teary at the thought of him.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    Jan. 5, 2012
    Location
    South Carolina
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    Default

    This is one of multiple threads that OP has on coth.

    Please give away the lame gelding to someone who will take care of him.

    I'm sorry that you lost your mare, but you need to step of and take care of the gelding or give him away. Your boarding barn thread and your lameness thread show that you don't need to own a horse right now.

    ETA This is not a situation that all of us have been in where we lost a horse. Please read OP's other threads.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
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    Feb. 2, 2003
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    Iowa, USA
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    Ditto the advice above, but please do not consider taking in a trade. Swapping Cody out for a new horse will not fix things and will likely make them worse. I'd say you should take a real break. If you get itchy for horses, take some lessons, volunteer at a TR center or rescue, stuff like that.

    Sometimes we tie too much of our self-identity to being a "Horsewoman". We rely on what we do as a cheap short cut to defining who we are to the outside world. I'm willing to bet that most of us would talk about some facet of our horse involvement within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone new. But that makes it really hard to step away and try new activities and new people, because it feels like you'd no longer have any identity. If you're not a horseowner, then how would you describe yourself to that new person-- who are you?

    Your homework: Make a list of the top 5 qualities or characteristics that you associate with being a horsewoman. Not specific horse or riding skills, but more general stuff like "independent", or "able to build stuff" or "athletic".

    Pin that list on your mirror. THAT's who you are, and who you will be even if you don't ride for awhile.
    Try to break down crushing defeats into smaller, more manageable failures. It’s also helpful every now and then to stop, take stock of your situation, and really beat yourself up about it.The Onion



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
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    Missouri
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    [QUOTE=Skyedragon;6927593]Any of you that fell out of love with horses, or just loss the "mojo" how did you get it back? ( QUOTE)


    I feel incomplete without a horse, so I can't quite relate to your loss of " mojo". Some just need to get over the pain and loss of one horse before they can move on with another. You can't expect any horse to replace the one you lost because it will never happen, ever. Horses are as individual as we humans and need to be accepted as they are.

    For me it is always best to get a new dog to replace one that I have put down immediately. A horse is the same. You need to figure out what you want from a horse and find one without all the drama you seem to attract in the process. Owning a horse should be a joy, but from the 3 threads on here you have going I don't wonder you have lost your " mojo", just way too much trouble.

    I



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