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Why is it so hard to take a break from horses?

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  • Why is it so hard to take a break from horses?

    Why is it so hard to take time off, even when taking time off is the right thing to so.

    I just picked up my stuff from the barn where I had been leasing a horse, and I'm going to be taking a few months off. I'm sure that it's the right thing to do -- I put a lot of thought into my decision -- but I am having a complete emotional breakdown about it.

    My husband doesn't understand why it's so difficult.

    Someone please say something to make me feel less crappy.

  • #2
    You're a horseperson!

    You will find your way back to it, guaranteed. If you have given it some serious thought, then it probably is the right thing to do. Sometimes the right thing to do doesn't always feel like the right thing to do when you're actually doing it.

    Some space and time might give you the perspective that you need to know that you made the right choice.

    Good luck and don't beat yourself up over it!
    "The Prince" aka Front Row
    Cavalier Manor


    • #3
      Like LoveJubal said, you're a horse person! Horseback riding is so, so, so much more than just a sport. It's not like when tennis players take a break or when swimmers stop racing. Granted, those athletes love their sports equally and I'm sure they miss it, but horseback riding involves so much more than just riding.

      It's the horses. Horses are teammates, partners, and our very best friends. My non-horsey friends often find it hard to understand why I miss my horse when I don't see him for a week- Lucy used to dance, she doesn't miss dancing if she just goes a week without it. It's not the riding, but the horses.

      Like you said, you've thought rationally about your decision and you're sure it's the right one. Keep that in mind when you're feeling blue. And the horses will always be there to go back to. The fact that you are upset now about your impending break is fine and totally understandable. I would simply interpret it as a sign that you'll find your way back to horses in due time, and appreciate them that much more when you do go back.

      In the mean time, do something fun and rewarding for yourself that doesn't involve horses- whether its a vacation or even a manicure that will now last much longer! Use your break to truly get the most out of why you took a break, but remember, horses aren't going anywhere. Enjoy your time off, and good luck with everything!


      • #4
        Just think about the money you'll save and all the free time you'll have! OK, trying to be positive here
        A few months isn't that bad though if that's all it is. I took last winter off because I was pregnant, delivered in January 2012, and I fully plan on taking December-February off again this year simply because I don't like the cold and would rather spend more time at home with the family around the holidays.
        I also took about 4 years off from horses previously between marriages and moves, etc., even sold my truck & trailer! So my suggestions if you need to keep horses on hold long term are:
        A) call Dover & cancel all catalog mailings immediately.
        B) only briefly (or skip altogether) peruse any horse publications that come to your home before quickly tossing them (around here it's the free lifetime subscripton to Horse of Delaware Valley I'm referring to)
        C) do not fall into the trap of thinking "oh, it's a nice day and so & so horseshow is going on, I should go watch and see if any of my old friends are there"
        D) same as above but aplied to tack shop sales, grand openings, and/or any tack shops you see while travelling

        These things were my downfall and eventually sucked me back in to the sport. It's in our blood, we can't help it. Non-horsey friends & coworkers don't get it and are amazed at how much time & money we all drop into this curious sport! Breaking the habit is hard work.


        • #5
          Just because it's right doesn't mean it's easy! I agree with RatherBeRiding's advice, try to stay away from shows, lessons, and online horse shopping it will just bring you down. Everyone needs a break now and then, don't beat yourself up about it. Try to keep yourself busy and find a new stand in hobby that you will find relaxing and fill up your time. Try biking, running, or learn a new craft


          • #6
            It's such a hard thing to do! Sad thing is, there's a time for everyone where you really want to, but you just can't do it anymore. Whether it's money, time, or you just need space it's a hard thing to do. You should think about how much more time you'll have to spend with your friends and family! Go on a date with your husband, stay late at work to get extra work done, call your mom and set up a day to go see her. Go see the world! There's so much you could be doing that you now have time for and you aren't being held back into doing! That laundry pile that's getting bigger and bigger, walking the dog, learning to knit. There's so much! Go relax and have fun! Don't think of it as a bad thing, think of it as an adventure!
            Save The Date 08-15-2011


            • #7
              Originally posted by harkington View Post
              It's not the riding, but the horses.


              Cyber hugs to you. (((( ))))

              The horses will always be there.

              I'm not sure I agree about cutting off the catalogs, magazines, etc. I was going to suggest that you could use this time off to focus on improving your knowledge. There are so many great resources in videos, books, etc. Maybe it would be a comfort to know that you'd be coming back to the sport with even more knowledge than when you took a break?
              ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


              • #8
                When you figure it out can you let me know?

                I am really sorry you have to take a break! But on the bright side, you have really thought things through and are making the right decision for you and your SO (even though it may not feel like it right now). My SO does not get it either, he compares horses to an addiction, something you want to do when you are up, when you are down, when you are sideways... I have no comeback; SO kind of has a point...... When you are able to get back into horses, you will appreciate it that much more!

                I have to take a break in a month too as that is what SO and I agreed on with me being pregnant. I am not looking forward to it at all. I like you realize it is temporary, but <whine> that does not make it better </whine>!!!

                Take the extra time to try new things! Get caught up on projects! Pet the hair off your dog or cat if you have one! Try fancy dinner recipes that take forever to prepare! I am going start on fixing our ugly backyard and getting rid of the junk in the house....


                • #9
                  Oh my, 2 months would probably kill me! I have to FORCE myself to stay home 2 days a week. I use those 2 days for things like appointments, laundry etc. The other five days I am gone from 8 am to 6 Pm either at the barn or out fox hunting. I can spend all day at the barn and feel totally content, happy and fulfilled. The days I am not at the barn I am thinking about what my horses are doing, eating, wearing etc etc etc. Horses are my grand obsession and have been my entire life. Like others have said it is not just the activity of riding, it's the relationship with the animals, the sound of horses munching on hay, the feel and smell of clean tack, the tactile pleasure of a well groomed horse, the pleasures go on and on....good luck to you...you are a stronger person than I will ever be!


                  • #10
                    Once the ponies are in your blood, they will always be there.
                    I've tried to get away and I have taken some successful breaks but these breaks never were "horseless" so-to-speak. Horses are forever in the back of my mind no matter what I'm doing, it's crazy how that goes!

                    I sympathize with you totally and hope that you can get back to your love soon. Find something good about taking the break that you need and just focus on that if possible!


                    • #11
                      So maybe it's not the right decision then. Maybe you or someone else talked you into saying it's the right decision, but usually your body will tell you somehow if it is or it isn't. You don't say why you are having a break, medical, relationship etc. All i know is that if I make an intellectual decision, carry through with it, and it feels all wrong, and I feel all wrong, then maybe it's not the right decision, even though you convinced yourself that it was. Lots of us sacrifice lots of things to be with our equine partners because it's who we are, and to deny who we are is just as unhealthy. Just my humble opinion.


                      • #12
                        I do agree that you need to decide on WHY you are walking away from all horse involvement. You can quit riding/leasing and still have horses in your life, like volunteer at a rescue or handicapped riding program. Feel good about your 'horsey' addiction.

                        'Cause that what it is, once it gets into your blood - an addication. My SO calls it my 'crack cocaine'. He even almost let me drive in the storm so mare could have her new high neck water proof turnout sheet for tomorrow am. Almost.
                        “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky


                        • #13
                          I think there is a fundamental difference between people who have horses and horse people.

                          It is a long standing joke in my family that being a horse person is like being gay...you're either born that way or you're not. And there's nothing you can do about it either way. I think people who have horses can take breaks...horse people will feel like they've left part of themselves behind.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chezzie View Post
                            I think there is a fundamental difference between people who have horses and horse people.

                            It is a long standing joke in my family that being a horse person is like being gay...you're either born that way or you're not. And there's nothing you can do about it either way. I think people who have horses can take breaks...horse people will feel like they've left part of themselves behind.

                            I have "given it up" about 5x in the last 12 years. I have finally accepted that it is part of who I am, and I need to stop TRYING to give it up and just roll with it!

                            One thing I have learned though is that you CAN take breaks, and pick it back up again.... the horses will always be there to come back to.
                            We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chezzie View Post
                              I think there is a fundamental difference between people who have horses and horse people.

                              It is a long standing joke in my family that being a horse person is like being gay...you're either born that way or you're not. And there's nothing you can do about it either way. I think people who have horses can take breaks...horse people will feel like they've left part of themselves behind.
                              Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post

                              I have "given it up" about 5x in the last 12 years. I have finally accepted that it is part of who I am, and I need to stop TRYING to give it up and just roll with it!

                              One thing I have learned though is that you CAN take breaks, and pick it back up again.... the horses will always be there to come back to.
                              Really, these two posts pretty much have it covered. Horses, not just riding, are a big part of you. The love that means you will miss it so much during your break is the same love that assures it will always be waiting for you when you are ready to come back.

                              I guess I would try to focus on something (sport, hobby, etc.) that I did not have time to do when I was dedicating so much time to the barn, so that I'd feel like my time away from horses is being well spent.
                              Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks for the comments, everyone! I'm knew that I could trust you guys to make me feel better -- or at least more understood!


                                • #17
                                  much of it depends on why you're taking a break - so depending on the reason behind your decision you might not have to take a clean break.. meaning there are still plenty of horse-related things you could do if you can't ride like become involved in a local horse organization, volunteer at horse rescue or therapeutic riding place etc. Doing something equine related might help you decide what is important to you further down the line if and when you do decide to take up riding again. I've had to take a break due to injury and have determined that horses will always be a part of my life in one form or another. So don't beat yourself up - look at it as a way to clear your head.. if horses are meant to be a part of your life they will in some way or another.


                                  • #18
                                    Of COURSE it's difficult! Heck - I have to miss my weekly lesson tonight because of car trouble and I'm practically in tears over that!

                                    The good side of that, though, is that you KNOW you'll get back into it again - there's no resisting the lure



                                    • #19
                                      I'm in the same boat...my brand new horse and I are laid up at the same time! Hers is minor and just needs the winter off (babies, what can you do?), but mine ended up being more of a major health problem that has now become a race to see if I can get back to being able to ride before super-mare comes back!

                                      It is so hard. I have no idea what to do with myself on the weekends...early in the morning before work...it is really hard.

                                      Sometimes it just works out that way, and we'll get back to it! For now I'm using the extra money (since the beast is in a pasture and not in training) to pay down debt
                                      "Look, I'm trying not to test the durability of the arena with my face!" (Because only GM can do that.)