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Somehow I lost it.

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  • Somehow I lost it.

    Several years ago (they seem to be coming faster, those years), I bought my farm. The barn I was at was going down hill, the BM had gotten on drugs, was "forgetting" to do most chores (the boarders made sure horses were fed and watered, that sort of thing), and it culminated in me finding one of the BM's horses dead in the field. He couldn't understand why we were upset because he wasn't bothering to bury poor Black Bart. When I was boarding, I had my TB boy, rode regularly, and while I wasn't a spectacular rider, I was confident, balanced, and my horse was sound. That's all I wanted, really. Just to enjoy my horse.

    So I bought the farm. 14 acres and a 160 year old farm house. Put in the fencing, gelding had the old barn as a run in. Bought him a mini as a companion. But I stopped riding. I was afraid if I took a fall there'd be no one to know, or to help. I bought my Trak mare, who I occassionally ride. I rescued another starving mini. But still, somewhere I lost the joy, I lost the feeling of being comfortable on a horse.

    I know if I rode more, I'd regain it. Sort of like when I rolled my tractor on top of me and was afraid to drive it again. But eventually the fields had to be mowed, so I put on my big girl panties and did it. Now I'm not comfortable if the ground is unlevel, but I can do what needs to be done, and I'm not afraid. Much.

    I want to get to that point again with the horses. It would help if I had a riding buddy, but there's really no one in my immediate area who rides. I'm thinking about possibly boarding by TB gelding for a couple months, just to get back in the swing.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about refinding my bliss?

    StG

  • #2
    Do you have a trainer in the area who can travel to your barn for lessons?

    Maybe you can put up a sign in your local feed/tack store to start a social trail riding group. Have friendly meet ups every other weekend or something. You can even make it specific to older riders and older horses.

    Comment


    • #3
      How 'bout hiring someone to 'work' at the farm a few hours during your riding time? If your'e like me, you cherish your privacy but you want someone to scrape you off the ground if it goes bad suddenly.

      So you get a witness, and you get some farm work done. Might be less complicated than finding a like minded riding friend or starting up an organization.

      Comment


      • #4
        Lessons are good if you have the money and find the right place. You get the positive reinforcement you need in a safe setting, some social interaction, and could maybe hook up with a horseless rider for light riding.
        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
        Incredible Invisible

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm struggling with the same thing. Can't find anyone to ride with locally and worried about getting hurt and no one finding me. I do feel better the more I ride and I do haul to meet friends to ride with where I used to live. Small steps, but oh so important!

          Someone I sold a horse to about eight years ago recently got very hurt- crushed pelvis- when the horse flipped over on her (pain issue with the horse that she refused to address) and I even brought up getting out of horses to my husband. He told me we will not be getting rid of any horses (funny because he doesn't ride) and I need to realize that you can get hurt doing almost anything. I appreciate his support and know he is right, but it doesn't make it any easier.

          I have great horses who are as safe as a horse can get, very trail broke and steady, but have not found anyone locally to ride with. I have found people who are looking to run through a 4 hour trail ride like they were being chased by rabid wild animals but have had a tough time finding someone who wants to ride at a reasonable pace, come back in one piece and not injure their horse. I can ride hard- I just choose to do it in an arena with a cutting horse and not out on the trail.

          I also wonder if part of it is age- I'm in my mid forties now and realize I can get hurt. I don't think there are any easy solutions except for keeping at it.
          "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by cutter99 View Post
            I'm struggling with the same thing. Can't find anyone to ride with locally and worried about getting hurt and no one finding me. I do feel better the more I ride and I do haul to meet friends to ride with where I used to live. Small steps, but oh so important!

            Someone I sold a horse to about eight years ago recently got very hurt- crushed pelvis- when the horse flipped over on her (pain issue with the horse that she refused to address) and I even brought up getting out of horses to my husband. He told me we will not be getting rid of any horses (funny because he doesn't ride) and I need to realize that you can get hurt doing almost anything. I appreciate his support and know he is right, but it doesn't make it any easier.

            I have great horses who are as safe as a horse can get, very trail broke and steady, but have not found anyone locally to ride with. I have found people who are looking to run through a 4 hour trail ride like they were being chased by rabid wild animals but have had a tough time finding someone who wants to ride at a reasonable pace, come back in one piece and not injure their horse. I can ride hard- I just choose to do it in an arena with a cutting horse and not out on the trail.

            I also wonder if part of it is age- I'm in my mid forties now and realize I can get hurt. I don't think there are any easy solutions except for keeping at it.
            Age may be part of it. I've just turned 50, and I'm not unbreakable. But still, I've never been foolish enough to consider myself invincible - I just liked knowing that if I needed an ER, someone would find a way to get me to one.

            I don't have a trailer, or a vehicle suitable to haul with, although I've been thinking of buying a beater farm truck. The idea of a handyman/first responder isn't a bad one. I do miss the social aspect of horses, which surprises me. I don't think of myself as a very social person. It is nice to have friends with similar interests, though. There was an ad up locally at TSC for a sort of Pony Club For Adults group. I wonder if it's still there.

            StG

            Comment


            • #7
              Two things

              1) Find a traveling instructor who will come to you. They can serve as your 911 caller and hopefully can help you get your mojo back.

              2) Riding friends...that you can text when you get on and off and who are willing to drive to your horse and scrape you off the ground if you don't test back when you should be off again. Great practise.

              Also, a riding club is a great way to make new friends, learn new things and find peeps to ride with.
              Shoulders back, hands down, leg ON!

              https://clshrs3.wixsite.com/website

              Comment


              • #8
                No good advice StG, but know that you aren't the only one. I even brought home two been there done that reitred track ponies this year, first horses I have ever owned that are DEAD BROKE and I still am dealing with the fear factor. Thanks for starting this thread, may we all find ways to conquer our demons.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I had toyed with the idea of accepting a boarder, or even offering free pasture board, so that I'd have someone around and someone to ride with. I never did it, in part because of the desire for privacy (what if they want to be here when I'm not here??? It's not an unreasonable request.) and in part because of the horror stories here about liability and HB (Horrible Boarders). I'm about 15 minutes from Middle Tennessee State University, which has a strong horse program - maybe a kid who would want to keep her horse but can't afford in-town prices. I would prefer someone who's a little older, though. I thought I had someone to come out and ride, but she flaked out. After about 20 e-mails back and forth, I asked if she wanted to come out that weekend and never heard back. She was probably afraid I was an axe murderer.

                  StG

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Same here. I moved the pony home... and I don't ride him. The list of excuses is trivial; I know there are people who would kill to have this horse and have 20 acres of their own.

                    But it's not fun. The arena isn't finished (I need to get back up there with the subsoiler and rip out some more tree roots) and walking patterns among the trees gets old quick.

                    :::: I left a fabulous instructor in Arizona and haven't found anywhere I fit in yet, here.

                    At least the pony has more room here, and some grass to munch on in summer. *He* doesn't care if he gets ridden.
                    --
                    Wendy
                    ... and Patrick

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Our trainer is younger than most but I was impressed when she told me she calls a contact person at the beginning and end of a ride. Her parents own a large farm and are not always available to watch her so she has her own built in safety net. They are usually close by though.
                      Hope you find a solution so you can get back to riding.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think finding a grown up riding club is a great idea. Some areas here in eastern Pennsylvania have an "Old People's Riding Club". They are run on a pony club format and help you work on certifying to "levels". I have actually been a featured speaker at one and they seemed like a nice group- we just don't have any in my area.

                        I like the idea of texting or calling when you get on and off the horse- especially if you have someone who will come looking for you if they don't hear back from you.

                        If there is a strong equine program at the local university, I would contact them to see if you can post something on a school bulletin board about either boarding or finding a riding buddy, maybe a student with experience who can't afford their own horse presently. I have a strong relationship with the Equine Science department at Penn State, due to the fact my husband was an instructor there and we own a PSU quarter horse, and have met many lovely students through the program. Most of the kids are great- we've kept in contact with many we've met through the program over the years. That is something I would consider doing if we lived closer to the university!

                        Another thing you might try is contacting a local riding club to see if there is anyone who might have the ability to haul to your place to ride with you- maybe to give their horse a change of scenery. You never know!
                        "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          And I thought it was only me....
                          Work full time, DH has health issues, we are still a mess from the April tornado, and I really, really don't want to hop on one of my horses and take off across the field. AARP+ age does that to you. :-o I want to get back in the saddle, so to speak, in a ring where I can see what I can still do. But we have trees/logs where I wanted the ring. Barn is gone via tornado and we want to put one up on our property down the road. Oh, as soon as one of many people call us back about a fencing job maybe things will get rolling. I thought the economy was bad and people needed work????
                          Ad infinitum. (sp?)
                          Funny, too, I'm not really afraid of getting hurt falling off, I am afraid of the long recovery....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Get an instructor to come give you a few lessons to give you some confidence. Carry a cell phone. As someone mentioned, call someone at the beginning of your ride. Have them call you back in ***** minutes if you don't call them at the end of your ride.

                            Some home security systems have a little plastic case on a lanyard you can press if you are in a panic. Don't know how far from home these will activate.

                            Hope you can make plans so you can enjoy riding.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And you know...ground work is a fabulous thing. With my knee in a hinged brace I couldn't ride for several months, and thanks to the help of my fabulous trainer we focused on improving my long reining skills...with the net results that my horse is fit and improving, and my abilities in the saddle improved even though I wasn't riding. Is there someone in your area who could help you with this?
                              www.specialhorses.org
                              a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                This is one of the reasons I board one of mine for most of the year.

                                I have two retirees at home all year round, but they are pasture ornaments. My riding horse comes home for two or three months in the summer/fall when I trailer out for lessons and shows and do a bunch of trail riding (which largely involves dirt roads in sight of houses.) Or I ride in my tiny ring which is right next to the road and has a fence around it, so someone will find me if things go wrong.)

                                And I never go out without my cell phone attached securely to my person. I never thought I'd be thankful to one of my neighbors for allowing a hideously ugly cell tower on her property, but it does mean I get reception everywhere on the mountain except in the deepest canyon.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Oh, boy, StG, do I wish you were closer... I just put up a post on the Horseless Rider thread because I would LOVE to find someone in your situation here! I could totally be your riding buddy. I'm competent, caring and also middle aged so not wanting to go crazy at all. I'm really amazed that you can't find one because surely there are others around like me... Maybe you could try Craig's List, or like someone said, a flyer at the feed store? I keep checking the wall at ours!

                                  I wish you much luck and truly hope you find a way to feel happy and confident in the saddle again.
                                  "Horses lend us the wings we lack." ~ Pam Brown

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Ive been there, alot!! Sometimes I get too focused on a goal and it no longer becomes fun. If there is something you really enjoyed about riding (jumping, galloping, riding bareback, etc) start doing that. Or if a goal helps you, set a goal for yourself.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by StGermain View Post
                                      I had toyed with the idea of accepting a boarder, or even offering free pasture board, so that I'd have someone around and someone to ride with. I never did it, in part because of the desire for privacy (what if they want to be here when I'm not here??? It's not an unreasonable request.) and in part because of the horror stories here about liability and HB (Horrible Boarders). I'm about 15 minutes from Middle Tennessee State University, which has a strong horse program - maybe a kid who would want to keep her horse but can't afford in-town prices. I would prefer someone who's a little older, though. I thought I had someone to come out and ride, but she flaked out. After about 20 e-mails back and forth, I asked if she wanted to come out that weekend and never heard back. She was probably afraid I was an axe murderer.

                                      StG
                                      I think you may be pleasantly surprised at what you might find in a college student. Many with horses that they're paying for themselves are quite responsible. I did board my guy and worked off a significant portion of my board feeding, doing stalls and general maintenance stuff around the farm. I would have loved to find a place like yours to keep my horse.

                                      FWIW, my husband travels quite a bit and I do endurance. This means I do a whole lot of riding out by myself. I always text two friends, "If you don't hear back from me by X time, make sure I'm not dead". I don't necessarily like it, but if I want to do endurance rides I have to suck it up and go. We just sold one of my husband's horses to one of my best friends and we're boarding him here. I will say, I'm much happier now that I have someone to ride with!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        wow..........and here i thought i was the only one with this problem.............not that it makes finding a riding buddy any easier!....but, i am gonna look up the old people's riding club,since i am in SE pa.......

                                        i have advertised on CL......but get nothing other than folks with NO experience, or, just no response.....and, after having had a bad accident, it really takes the fun out of riding alone......

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