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Disappointed and Feeling Left Out

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  • 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.

  • #2
    I’m so sorry Virtual hugs to you. Life feels way too challenging sometimes.
    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


    • #3
      I am sorry it has been such a rough patch. Try and focus on the fact that both horses are happy and healthy, your son was able to get to & from SAFELY and a girl has a great start with with a good horse and people and mare has a safety net....all because of YOU you sacrificed, made choices that kept those horses happy and healthy. As for husband, dope slap!! Ok seriously make him agree that you both go to meet with a financial planner or credit counselor together let the punishment fit the crime and actually teach him some skills that will benefit you both in the future.


      • #4
        Oh, Sheilah, I am so sorry that you've worked so hard and so long and not gotten to enjoy the benefits of all your planning and effort and persistence. I hope you can get your horse back from the lease as soon as possible -- maybe end of summer? -- and enjoy the horse yourself. You ARE needed -- heck, you made all these good things happen for the horses and the other people!

        You shouldn't have to derail your goals so thoroughly because of your husband's spending. Get whatever help you need to get him to resolve the issue and/or resolve the issue together as a couple -- his overspending is certainly not your fault of course but it may be useful to do like Haylter says and seek assistance together.
        If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great


        • #5
          Sounds to me like you negotiated those trouble spots pretty darn well! Kept your horses, kept son in transportation, and now can work with hubby on CC bills. It is just life, it will come back around.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks, guys. It really did help to lay it all out. And I knew that you all would understand.


            • #7
              I am so sorry that you are having to postpone your dreams. I am impressed that you got through all of that without killing anyone. I hope things turn around for you soon.



              • #8
                Yes, I too am personally impressed with how well you trouble solved and took care of everyone in your circle, including the horses. You have them both placed where they will be loved and used and appreciated, without having to make any hard decisions about selling or worse. You've sorted out your family, for now. I also agree that you need to follow up and get the husband on track.


                • #9
                  You're a champion, lady! You haven't committed *any* murders (glaring at you, Sheila's hubby), and you've put both of your horses and the lucky riders using them into great positions. Sorry that being a Champion doesn't always feel great. Hope you're able to get the finances sorted and take back your time before too long!


                  • #10
                    I am so impressed by your handling of all that, but so sorry that you had to. I hope your husband knows and appreciates how lucky he is to still HAVE a wife, and I hope he fully commits to correcting this issue and never letting it happen again.

                    I agree with the fact that you ARE needed, and hooray for you for helping make someone else happy while also making sure your horses are both okay.

                    Pulling for you, and hoping things start looking up very soon!


                    • #11
                      Sheilah, what others have said, you have done an incredible job of juggling the needs of so many others, including making sure your horses are happy and healthy. I don't have any good advice, just admiration for you.
                      One thing I thought of though was seeing if you can continue to ride your mare one day a week, just to stay connected, without putting too much stress on yourself.
                      A Fine Romance. April 1991 - June 2016. Loved forever.


                      • #12
                        So sorry to read what you have been through, but it looks as if you handled it all with admirable class. Like Fred I don't really have much good advice.. sometimes life likes to come swinging, and kick us while we're down for good measure.

                        Hoping that this summer doesn't just slip away too; or at the very least, you get some kind of break. It sounds like you are needed; your husband and son are very lucky to have you.
                        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                        • #13
                          It can be so hard when things don't end up the way we planned. Focus on the positives. You still own the mare and she is being ridden by a good rider regularly and her board is payed. If things change not only do you still have her, she will be fit and ready to go!

                          Sounds like your gelding is still ridable? You may not be doing your dressage riding, but can you still get out a few times a week to ride him and get your "me time"?

                          Might just be at the walk or slow trot, but there is something magical and healing when mounted and looking through the 2 ears on your horse


                          • Original Poster

                            I feel a lot better. The fact that is is Friday has helped. Three more weeks of school, 14 days and two Mondays left. I am so looking forward to a peaceful summer. I have a part-time summer job pet-sitting and dog walking, so that will bring in a little extra money, too.

                            I will still have Noodle and my barn time. And I will absolutely try to get on Posie weekly. She will be right there where I can keep an eye on her. It could have been worse.

                            I wish I weren't so broke that I couldn't have a dinner out with a couple of stiff cocktails though. Okay, I am only interested in the cocktail part. I will have to make due with a bean and yummy cheese burrito and a great book (that just got released on Tuesday, but I had put in a request for it two months ago, so it was waiting at the library for me...this is a HUGE positive)!

                            Thank you so much for the support. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.


                            • #15
                              This is IMO definitely a case of "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." It sounds like you have made some very sweet, refreshing lemonade for the 13yo and your mare, and your gelding and the riders who get to do lessons on him, and your son. I am just so sorry that you are sort of left without the lemon zest. And DH! Good grief! Enough to make one pucker -- and not for kisses!

                              I read your post at a time when I have just finished filling out an application for an apartment in a small town that has an active horsey group. Maybe all kids (they do barrel racing) but it was sort of the final attraction that tipped the scales to get me to move ahead with the app. I don't know if or how it will work out, and based on experience I could get there and feel like a third wheel all the time -- lucky to watch from the bleachers if at all. But your post made me feel better about the possibilities.

                              Rack on!


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
                                But your post made me feel better about the possibilities.
                                This makes me happy!


                                • #17
                                  Rack on!


                                  • #18
                                    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.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      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!


                                      • #20
                                        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.