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Disappointed and Feeling Left Out

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  • IdahoRider
    started a topic Disappointed and Feeling Left Out

    Disappointed and Feeling Left Out

    I have had three months of unexpected vet bills for both my horses and I finally admitted that I needed to climb out from under the monthly expenses of keeping two horses in full board. There is no such thing as retirement board around here and my old guy has very specific needs that require full board for him.

    I purchased my mare 18 months ago with high hopes. She was/is the perfect para dressage horse and I had plans to really dig in and ride. But life has a way of intervening sometimes. Last summer ended up being a bust because my elderly uncle had a heart attack and I stayed with him most of the summer in California. I sat and watched the summer slip away. I am grateful that I was able to be there for him, but the summer was lost.

    I am a teacher and figured that I could ride three late afternoons a week and on weekends. There were transportation issues with my oldest son, so I gave him my ten year old car and bought a new car for myself so I was sure to be able to get to the barn.

    Of course work got crazy from the first day of the school year and the fancy barn I was boarding my mare at, the one with the indoor that would allow me to ride in the evenings, decided that they didn't want paddock boarders anymore. So I moved her to the barn where I board my elderly gelding. And there isn't even a lighted arena there.

    I just kept going, hoping that it would get better. The winter was mild, but wet. I was lucky to ride once a week. And by January I wasn't riding at all. By February my husband's car had broken and he couldn't afford to replace it. So we had to start sharing. Which meant he wasn't picking me up until 7 p.m.

    And he just told me that he has run up a lot of credit card debt, so instead of spending half of my income on the horses I need to start contributing to the household expenses more than I have been.

    So I leased my mare out. This all came together this week. I am so grateful that my mare has enough value to be attractive for a full lease. And only having one horse on the budget will help my family's financial situation. But I had plans! I was going to get classified for para dressage next month. This was going to be my time.

    This evening I went out to the barn to sign the lease papers and I watched the 13 year old ride my mare. She is such a good rider. She'll take two lessons a week and do pony club with her. Her Mom is overjoyed that daughter has a safe horse to ride and has offered to purchase my mare if I decide to sell. I couldn't help being totally jealous. I am not 13. I am 56 and my body is not working very well and I am working 12 hour days and my husband can't budget and I ran through my savings trying to do it all on a teacher's salary. Life sucks sometimes.

    This evening, at the barn, I was struck by how nobody needed me. My mare was being ridden by the girl. My gelding was being ridden in a lesson (he does a super beginner walk-trot lesson two times a week in exchange for a reduction in board and has for the past couple of years). Instead of feeling like I didn't have enough time to address both horses, I left feeling like a third wheel. And that made me sad. Work has been crazy and planning my barn time is the only thing that kept me sane the last couple of months. Now what?

    Venting feels good. Thank you for listening to me whine. I feel better.
    Sheilah




  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Natalie A View Post

    Yes, I spent about 5 years toying with it and so glad I did! I'll be there with my trainer to spectate, get my classification updated and check out the fancy show. We thought about trailering up for the regular show but they're only running non-CPEDI para classes one day and a 2-hr one way trailer ride for 5 min in the ring just didn't seem practical.
    Very cool! Maybe we can meet up!
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • Natalie A
    replied
    Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
    I am looking forward to learning more about the process as we go along. I have been toying with the idea of getting classified for 11 years and only last January applied for classification.

    My husband has decided to come with me to Rancho Murieta next month for my classification. I am so excited!
    Sheilah
    Yes, I spent about 5 years toying with it and so glad I did! I'll be there with my trainer to spectate, get my classification updated and check out the fancy show. We thought about trailering up for the regular show but they're only running non-CPEDI para classes one day and a 2-hr one way trailer ride for 5 min in the ring just didn't seem practical.

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Natalie A View Post
    A lot of people ride above their classification levels. Grade III riders I know of have shown 3rd level, yet show w/t in the para classes... so what you can do and what you classify as is... different. I was watching a grade 3 rider I follow online work on flying lead changes and feeling a bit pathetic in my "I can canter and hang on" self! (now part of it is the horse, some day my goal is to find a saint of a horse and make it to Training level!) - but that also made me realize what the tipping point is between 2 and 3 (my profile has an A that's one grade, B that's another dependent on your pelvis, in my case my ridiculous inability to control it tipped it to the lower grade).
    I am looking forward to learning more about the process as we go along. I have been toying with the idea of getting classified for 11 years and only last January applied for classification.

    My husband has decided to come with me to Rancho Murieta next month for my classification. I am so excited!
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • Natalie A
    replied
    Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
    One of the reasons I am looking forward to getting classified for para dressage is the fact that it will give me some guidelines as to where I should be riding. If it turns out I have the balance and strength for canter, it will give me an idea of what I could do. And if it turns out I have the balance and strength for just walk-trot? Well, I will know why canter has been so difficult! I thing strength plays a bigger role in classification than balance? I could be wrong. I will find out next month!
    Sheilah
    A lot of people ride above their classification levels. Grade III riders I know of have shown 3rd level, yet show w/t in the para classes... so what you can do and what you classify as is... different. I was watching a grade 3 rider I follow online work on flying lead changes and feeling a bit pathetic in my "I can canter and hang on" self! (now part of it is the horse, some day my goal is to find a saint of a horse and make it to Training level!) - but that also made me realize what the tipping point is between 2 and 3 (my profile has an A that's one grade, B that's another dependent on your pelvis, in my case my ridiculous inability to control it tipped it to the lower grade).

    Leave a comment:


  • Somantu
    replied
    I think you're a super star. The universe will reward you in kind.

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Magicboy View Post
    Isn’t it great to know coth readers are rooting for you? 😁
    It sure does feel good!
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • Magicboy
    replied
    Good luck with your para certification. I’m so impressed with your problem solving! I hope you keep us updated. Isn’t it great to know coth readers are rooting for you? 😁

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Lord Helpus View Post
    As a possibility: you have 2 special horses: a broke to death beginner horse and a horse who is suitable for para riding. (how you say that?) Is there a way that you could use the old guy in a (very gentile) para equine riding lesson program, teaching handicapped children (and adults) understand the fun they can have with horses?
    There is a local organization that provides therapeutic riding. They do such a great job in serving the population they focus on. There is no local para group, which has been frustrating at times because there are no instructors that have experience working with para riders. I had an instructor for three or four years who I really liked as a person, but she could not wrap her head around how my disability impacted my riding (I have a spinal cord injury and can't feel my legs). So when she would tell to "just try harder" I would get frustrated because I was trying harder and still not getting it.

    There is a local instructor who coached a grade IV para dressage rider. But the rider is international level competition good. Every time this instructor and I connect causally, we both decide to work on setting up a lesson. But I can never seem to get it together and do it. I either don't feel like mare and me are fit enough. Or we are fit, but I am broke. Or the instructor is out of town competing. It is always something.

    I am lucky to have these two horses in my life. Noodle has kept me safe for a lot of years. And Posie is such a quality horse, with such a tolerant and sane mind. They are both just exceptional.

    One of the reasons I am looking forward to getting classified for para dressage is the fact that it will give me some guidelines as to where I should be riding. If it turns out I have the balance and strength for canter, it will give me an idea of what I could do. And if it turns out I have the balance and strength for just walk-trot? Well, I will know why canter has been so difficult! I thing strength plays a bigger role in classification than balance? I could be wrong. I will find out next month!
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • Lord Helpus
    replied
    I hope you are feeling better now that you know you can ride both horses at least 1x/week You are certainly not alone in feeling the way you do.

    As a possibility: you have 2 special horses: a broke to death beginner horse and a horse who is suitable for para riding. (how you say that?) Is there a way that you could use the old guy in a (very gentile) para equine riding lesson program, teaching handicapped children (and adults) understand the fun they can have with horses?

    And, when the full lease is over, your mare could "earn her keep" by teaching para riders with horse skills to be even better riders. Of course, it would be under your discerning eyes because you would be the instructor!

    You have horses with special skills and you are a teacher! Perhaps you can find a way to combine the two.

    Leave a comment:


  • Equisis
    replied
    I disagree that “nobody” needs you... the girl and her mother needed you to help them find a safe, educational horse for you to ride. Your mare needed you to find her a doting kid while you regroup. The beginners riding your gelding need a safe, BTDT horse to learn on. You are certainly drawing the short end of the stick in terms of material and emotional benefit right now... but it sounds like your contributions are very much needed and appreciated.

    Leave a comment:


  • CVPeg
    replied
    What jumped out at me was your saying, "nobody needed me...".
    But, look! They don't need you because you laid out the best scenarios for everyone!
    Because of your determination and good decisions.
    So now, it's almost "me" time, and doesn't have to be filled with everything being another task to resolve, a problem to solve. It can just be about appreciating all you've accomplished.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wanderosa
    replied
    I'm sorry to hear that things didn't turn out quite as planned. And I'm really sorry your husband is being a big doody head. But you salvaged the situation! And that's fantastic. I truly believe that there is a rhyme and reason to everything that happens. And sometimes, even good things must change to lift us up out of a stagnant rut.

    When I read your initial post last winter, I worried that the mare wouldn't get enough work to keep her safe for your needs. This lease is a win win in that regard. The girl has a safe horse for the summer, you have positive cash flow and someone paying to keep the horse in work, and a happy horse for all the extra attention.

    My daughter rides a pony owned by a mother and (now college-aged) daughter. The young lady outgrew the pony several years ago and had been doing competitive driving with her just to be able to use her somehow. The agreement was that we could use and show the pony but the driving trials would take priority in the event of a conflict. It turned out the owner stopped driving the pony soon after my daughter started riding her. The owner has two horses she's showing in rated shows, is running back and forth every weekend from school, etc. I think the driving was something she felt obligated to do. They often come watch my daughter and the pony showing. The pony loves shows and it tickles them to see the pony so happy. She loves getting dressed up and getting to jump a course without the trainer stopping and starting them to fix things. The first show last season, she got so excited when she realized it was showtime she trotted from the barn onto the trailer.

    Leave a comment:


  • hillary again
    replied
    Sheilah, what a great owner you are to commit yourself to your horses and find ways to take care of them. I am so impressed that you have found solutions for both horses, so that your expenses are reduced! Your goals might have a wait a little longer, but your horses are in good situations in the meantime. Just delayed - you are exactly right.

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Impractical Horsewoman View Post
    ...the fact your husband ran up so much debt without telling you, debt that you're now responsible for shouldering and have to cut back on your horse expenses as a result makes me very angry for you.
    I am feeling fairly put upon, believe me. I think one of the downsides to being pretty even and stable is that people get accustomed to me just adapting to the circumstances. They count on me doing the "right thing", regardless.

    I know it is petty, but I kind of got a kick out of telling him that I cancelled the lawn service yesterday. Gee, we just can't afford it anymore. I guess he'll just have to mow the lawn himself now. And when he came home this evening and immediately turned on the AC because it was (gasp!!) 80 degrees in the house, I turned it off and said we just can't afford high utility bills right now. Too bad, so sad. He might decide that being poor sucks when I am not the only one sacrificing and figure out how to climb out of this hole a lot quicker than he would otherwise.

    We'll get through this.
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • Impractical Horsewoman
    replied
    Your post made me very sad to read, not for your horses (who seems to have in you such a lovely and caring owner) but because you sound like someone who always puts herself second to the needs of others. You say that you don't feel needed, but it really sounds as if others rely upon you too much, like you are the rock that everyone leans on to help shoulder their own burden. I'm not surprised you are a teacher, given that's true of so many educators I know!

    I know that finances are what they are, but don't be afraid to fight to make yourself more of a priority. I think it's necessary to be a bit selfish to have horses in your life, especially for women with families. I don't know the full nature of the situation, of course, but the fact your husband ran up so much debt without telling you, debt that you're now responsible for shouldering and have to cut back on your horse expenses as a result makes me very angry for you.

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    I am going to ride my gelding tomorrow. We'll just meander down the road and back, but it always makes me feel better. My mare looks like a million bucks right now, due to having a horse crazy kid pampering her. And I got the go ahead to ride her once a week if I want.

    It will be okay. Maybe when school starts I can switch this to a half lease. We'll see. It made me feel better today when the Mom told me that they appreciate getting access to a really nice horse, but they are clear that she belongs to me. It just left me reassured that she is still mine.

    Dreams delayed are just that: delayed. Not abandoned. I am still hoping to make it to California next month for my para classification.

    All is well.
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • Tyrus' Mom
    replied
    You have really made the best of a bad situation. (And I so agree with the statement about making lemonade out of lemons!) The bright side is you continue to be able to own your horses and participate with them some. It was really wonderful of you to look after your elderly uncle. It was generous and kindhearted beyond what most would do. Also, it's commendable that you take care of your older horse. So many others move on and don't care what happens to a beloved animal if they can't ride them. You have a very good heart! It seems like everybody needs you, including your horses! You have really stepped up your game to handle everything. I bet you're an awesome teacher too.

    I have had times where I had to put dreams on hold to concentrate on the mundane aspects of life, making a living and getting by too. I'm cutting back right now even. Still, I'm happy to have a horse, happy to get out riding. Life was so mundane the years I didn't have a horse at all.

    There will eventually be a light at the end of the tunnel for you. Time will pass and you'll be able to get back on track again. Just focus on the positives and those will help you when the losses seem overwhelming. Good luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by cattywampus View Post
    Ah, that sucks. Where in Idaho are you? If you're in the Boise area, hit me up and I'll stand you to a cocktail or two--or a couple beers at my favorite dog-friendly brewery and we can talk about non-horsey husbands who just don't understand....though, to be fair, mine does keep the truck and trailer running.
    I am in Eagle! My BFF took me to Bardenay this afternoon and filled me up on tasty, tangy cocktails!
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • cattywampus
    replied
    Ah, that sucks. Where in Idaho are you? If you're in the Boise area, hit me up and I'll stand you to a cocktail or two--or a couple beers at my favorite dog-friendly brewery and we can talk about non-horsey husbands who just don't understand....though, to be fair, mine does keep the truck and trailer running.

    Leave a comment:

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