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How do you know when it's time to throw in the towel?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Smoke24 View Post
    I also wanted to add that I have been a recreational trail rider in the past with this idea that sometime in the future I would enjoy showing. Now that I am trying to live that dream I see how much sacrifice it takes, and I think maybe that shoe just doesn't fit this foot.


    You know, I've come to realize that while I like dressage, I cannot tolerate doing *only* dressage. In order to enjoy my horse, I need to get out on the trail once in a while, or else I feel completely fried. And then it starts to feel like a chore.

    So I think your plan to ease off on the training and lessons for a while, and go for some low-key pleasure rides as the mood hits you, is a great one.

    And as others have mentioned, if you do decide you'd rather run and spend time with the kiddos, that's okay too. Hobbies are supposed to be fun!
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland

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    • #22
      When my children were born, I felt I only had time for one passion and stopped riding for 17 yrs, until my youngest was in middle school. Just wanted to say that the horse passion is now back with a vengance--it never really went away but was sidelined for awhile. You can absolutely take a break, and come right back when it's over.
      Mon Ogon (Mo) and Those Wer the Days (Derby)

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      • #23
        You're very black and white, like me, in your assessment. It usually takes a friend pointing out the gray to me, so I'll get to do that for you - but don't mistake it as a natural tendency. I am just like you.

        You're just a bit tired of what you're doing at the moment. You might be a bit ring sour. Take a break from what you're learning and do something else. The weather is improving - hack out. Learn some competitive trail riding. Go to the barn and groom your horses, spend some time with them, and go home.

        No need to quit yet.

        Paula
        He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

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        • #24
          Honey, I threw in the towel over 20 years ago. I didn't have a trailer or a trainer, but rode my mare to the local showgrounds to show. Did it for a few years and had fun...mostly

          The kicker, tho, came the day I rode home from a show in the pouring rain. I asked myself a one-word question: "Purpose?"

          Twenty plus years later, I still have no answer to it. I gave away my tall boots, breeches, ratcatcher and show helmet. Traded it all for tights, Terrains and trails. I ride when I want (or not), wearing what I want and how I want. It makes me happy and I have had such a self-imposed burden removed from my shoulders.

          There is no giant Equitation Rule Book in the sky that says you HAVE to show or HAVE to ride dressage, etc. etc. Do what you want and if anyone ever dares to say a thing, just look at them sweetly and say "Well, bless your heart" as you trot off, head held high!
          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
            Listen to findeight, she is right.
            IMO, she always is! I agree with Flash. Sorry you're having a rough go of things.
            Originally posted by Martha Drum
            ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

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            • #26
              Off topic, but RTB, how the hell are you?!?
              We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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              • #27
                I'm great! Reese is doing wonderfully and all is well with the world (for now )

                How the hell are YOU?! It's been a long time!
                Originally posted by Martha Drum
                ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

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                • #28
                  I own a large facility and guess what? I QUIT! Leased out my barns and kept one small barn for my retirees and 2 friend's horses, one in exchange for 3 1/2 days of help. I took up motorcycles! WOW, what fun. Now, I am getting back into a little riding, but just for fun and mainly because it's too cold to go anywhere on the bike. Yup, took 4 yrs off and it felt great. I have really enjoyed my horse these past few weeks and she seems to enjoy it too. No pressures other than some people around here seem to think I should be doing more. They don't understand after 32 years of barn drama, it gets old. I think that is what made me quit in the first place. So I ignore. I still love my farm, though and willingly go out to do chores.

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                  • #29
                    I've considered taking lessons locally during the week to augment my weekend road trips to the barn. I've thought about riding again, and not just driving. The reason I haven't -I like the guys I work out with and really don't want to cut down on my gym time. And I have to admit, I enjoy a non-productive hour or two in front of the boob tube at night. Exhanging that for 2 hours on the road and 45-60 min at a barn isn't doing it for me right now. (DC proudly #1 for the worst traffic in the country!)

                    Instead of the thread about the supposed conflict between riders w/ and w/o kids, I think it should have been "Why the hostility between those whose horses ARE their life and those whose horses are a PART of their life."
                    Visit my Spoonflower shop

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                    • #30
                      Well, I am taking a break from it for the time being. I'm keeping my horse but just cleaned out the barn and got rid of practically everything. I'm hoping to really get back to it in a few years when the kids are older (but I'm pregnant with #2 and who knows if I'll have a third, so really I have no idea when that will be). It's hard to put 100% of myself into the horses and to be honest, when I told myself I was going to take a break it was a huge relief.
                      http://burpclothsandsaddlepads.blogspot.com/

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                      • #31
                        Your kids still fit in the jogging stroller, so they are young. Mine are too. I just recently bought a horse with the intention of getting back into showing, and things haven't exactly gone very smoothly.

                        I agree wholheartedly with what find8 wrote. I took almost a 4 year break to have kids, and then missed riding so much that I jumped back in headfirst. I'm starting to realize that the plans I made don't mesh with my life right now, but that's fine. Horses are just like swimming or riding a bike. You can jump back in when it suits you...you may be a little rusty but it all comes back.

                        Taking a break isn't quitting. Cut yourself some slack.

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by meaty ogre View Post
                          Your kids still fit in the jogging stroller, so they are young. Mine are too. I just recently bought a horse with the intention of getting back into showing, and things haven't exactly gone very smoothly.

                          I agree wholheartedly with what find8 wrote. I took almost a 4 year break to have kids, and then missed riding so much that I jumped back in headfirst. I'm starting to realize that the plans I made don't mesh with my life right now, but that's fine. Horses are just like swimming or riding a bike. You can jump back in when it suits you...you may be a little rusty but it all comes back.

                          Taking a break isn't quitting. Cut yourself some slack.
                          Hey MO, just wanted to say.... I had planned on taking a break when my daughter arrived but after 6 months I was so desperate to ride I ran out and bought a project horse. A very unsuitable, PITA, stressful project horse!

                          I realized that in order to make it work, I needed the *right* horse. The kind that I could ride once a week, or four times a week, or once a month if my life dictated! The kind that was always predictable and level headed.

                          So don't get discouraged if things are not necessarily going smoothly... maybe the horse you bought is just not the right one for you lifestyle?
                          We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Yes, I definitely feel the need to have *me* time, whether it is with horses or just gardening or photography or whatever. I think that goes a long way towards any mom's sanity.

                            Flash, I *think* I have the right horse, but we have been plagued by some issues (saddle fitting snafu, and now some very wierd ear swelling/sensitivity issue). When she's good, she is really, really good, and when she's not, it's bad enough that I'm ready to give her away. This has certainly been the main contributor to my frustration. I'm giving her a couple more weeks to get sorted, and if we aren't getting along by then, she is finding a new owner and I'll be leasing a horse from a local barn (because like you, it doesn't take much of a break for me to be desperate to ride again!).

                            It is easy to get stretched very thin though, isn't it? So many of us mothers of small children hold down a full time job and juggle the marriage and hobbies and kids and bills and everything like it's perfectly normal and expected. The truth is nobody can do that long-term without consequences, and yet we feel defeated when we come to that realization. There's a reason for the million and one threads like this one.

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                            • #34
                              I fell in love with horses when I was 2 1/2. That's all I did for the next 39 years. Then, like you I realized my heart wasn't in it anymore. At that time I had a barn and facility that was bleeding me dry. I gave it up. Sold the farm, downsized to something I could afford. I was working in the horse industry (in upscale tack shop) but didn't have to touch or see a horse usually. And when I did, I was surprised to find I felt nothing. There were other things in my life by then that were more important. Now there's a new thing that's more important even than those things (a fiance').

                              Life's about changes. Nothing ever stays the same. Roll on with it. Or run with it

                              Go on the vacation ride. See how you feel. As someone else pointed out, you may be back in the pony business when your little ones want to get into the saddle.
                              ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                              Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                              "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by meaty ogre View Post

                                It is easy to get stretched very thin though, isn't it? So many of us mothers of small children hold down a full time job and juggle the marriage and hobbies and kids and bills and everything like it's perfectly normal and expected. The truth is nobody can do that long-term without consequences, and yet we feel defeated when we come to that realization. There's a reason for the million and one threads like this one.
                                Isn't that the truth?!?! Seems now more than ever, too, a lot of us are under this pressure.

                                We should start a support group!!

                                I will cross my fingers for you and your mare, I hope it works out for you guys!
                                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Smoke24 View Post
                                  I also wanted to add that I have been a recreational trail rider in the past with this idea that sometime in the future I would enjoy showing. Now that I am trying to live that dream I see how much sacrifice it takes, and I think maybe that shoe just doesn't fit this foot.

                                  I think I will keep the trail ride on the agenda for the summer as hubby and I need some time together, but I'm going to drop lessons for a while and just ride when I feel like it. No goals, and more family time. :-)
                                  This... you've already got your answer.

                                  I used to feel the way you do (goals, shows, etc). But now? I mostly just ride for fun. My horse is ridden by my Trainer once a week just to keep him on track. He's the type that does need that. I decided to do that instead of lessons as I didn't want the pressure on myself. And he's so much better to ride when she rides him once a week. I then ride maybe one day during the week and then weekends. And I just enjoy "putzing" around. No pressure on myself to "DO" something. Just ride around and enjoy!

                                  I think in the near future, I'll be looking into a lower key facility to board him at instead and just ride when I can and feel like it. So kinda put him in semi-retirement.

                                  I don't even have the excuse of "little ones" but I think I'm just a bit burned out with all the ups and downs w/ my guy.

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