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*UPDATE* WWYD?...Seem to have lost it...Motivation, Passion, Interest

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  • *UPDATE* WWYD?...Seem to have lost it...Motivation, Passion, Interest

    As a rarely-post-but-always-lurk member of COTH, I'm always impressed by the amount of good & honest advise and help that is given freely by the members of COTH. Because of this, I was hoping y'all could possibly help me out with my situation.

    I've read a few posts about people who feel they have lost or are losing their interest in horses, etc. However, it seems each person's situation is different, as I feel mine is.

    To give you a rough history:
    The past year has been extremely rough - a lot of personal stuff, some big life changes/situations. I've barely ridden in the last year and have seen my horse(s) as much. I've gone from owning 6 horses to one. There was a huge situation with the BO/trainer and two of my horses that was eventually worked out but with some hard feelings for both parties.

    My depression, which is usually controlled well with medication has gotten worse over the past two or so years as I have ridden less, seen the horses less. I have several physically ailments to add to the mix, as well. The horses help the depression but cause the flare up of a couple of the physically ailments.

    Currently, I have no motivation or interest. The passion I had for horses seems to be gone. I've come to realize that some of my past choices have probably lead to this but not all of it.

    I also realize that I'm reluctant to go see my gelding, Danny, as I'm embarrassed by how my situation as deteriorated/changed since the BO/trainer and I first met. I'm also very uncomfortable, as they have installed cameras everywhere (being watched all the time...just kind of creeps me out) and can be very judgemental. And since I bought Danny from them, I feel that I can make no mistakes, that everything has to be done the way they would do it, etc. Since everything I know I've learned on my own with some instruction thrown in here and there, the pressure can be intense for me. I want to please but it obviously is not a good thing.

    I've thought about taking a hiatus from the horse scene for a while to see if I can find the motivation, interest, etc. But, how much more of a hiatus can I take, as I rarely see my horse as it is and I'm not remotely involved in the horse scene (don't show, no riding discipline, no trainer, etc.)?

    The more I think on it the more I come to the thought of selling my gelding and giving up the whole horse thing completely. The only problem with that, is I'm really attached to my horse. Danny's the first horse I've owned that has great athletic ability, an awesome personality, the ability to be a wonderful all around horse. I enjoy riding and working with him. He's probably more horse than I should have/ride, but we work well's like we have a connection (sounds corny but that's the only way I can decribe it). He doesn't care if I ride him or not, but he does best with human interaction.

    Family members are against the selling of my horse as they feel I have given up so much already in the past year and that I may come to regret selling him. They would like for me to give it more time.

    I still have a minute amount of that dressage has always interested me and I've thought about taking lessons. But there's not enough to get me to actually follow through. I love my horse and selling him is a last resort but...what does one do when there's nothing there?

    The enjoyment is gone...too much pressure on myself to do things perfect, trying too hard, too much emotional stuff going on, etc. That's what I miss the most and what I would like to find again if I can. That I believe is the key that will help bring most everything back.

    If you read through all of that, thank you, thank you, thank you!

    What would you do?
    Last edited by Kynesha; Jan. 19, 2010, 02:30 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kynesha View Post
    I also realize that I'm reluctant to go see my gelding, Danny, as I'm embarrassed by how my situation as deteriorated/changed since the BO/trainer and I first met. I'm also very uncomfortable, as they have installed cameras everywhere (being watched all the time...just kind of creeps me out) and can be very judgemental. And since I bought Danny from them, I feel that I can make no mistakes, that everything has to be done the way they would do it, etc.

    One: Danny won't give a 'tinkers' what 'situation' you have found yourself in - he'd probably be just glad to see you, especially if you have treats/attention. Thankfully, horses are incredibly non judgmental when it comes to their people.

    Two: To be honest, that would creep ME out too! My horse, my business (with the cavet of abuse/neglect - that's Everyone's business)

    So the question is, can you field board him, or even change barns? Even for a little while? Just to get 'out' of that situation, even temporarily? Just think of it as a 'vacation' for the two of you - I agree that if you don't NEED to give him up for financial reasons, then DON'T. I've had 'pasture puffs' and very rideable horses that I just hung out with when int he throws of depression, and would NOT have done 'well' without... *polite cough*

    Hang in there!
    Eternal Earth-Bound Pets Independent Contractor.

    All I want is to know WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHICKEN???


    • #3
      I agree with Threebars' advice to consider moving to another barn.
      If you are uncomfortable when you do go to see Danny you're sabotaging your ability to relax and enjoy the visit.

      If your family is supportive that's a big Plus right away. Maybe one of them can go with you for a short visit to Danny and then out somewhere to relax?

      And try to keep some perspective. Sometimes your mind enlarges a situation & makes it more stressful than it needs to be.

      My example:
      I lost both my horses at the end of October. My Forever Horse of 20yrs and my TWH who I had rescued and had just begun to really "click" with me.
      For me it was a no-brainer, I wanted & needed to fill my barn, so I ended up with a new horse at the end of November.
      Just in time for the weather to get too cold to ride & pitch dark outside by the time I get home from work.
      So since 12/1, I have ridden him exactly 3 times.
      I was letting this upset me out of all proportion until I sat back & realized he's only been with me a month!
      So I tell myself Spring will come, I will get to ride and it makes it easier to just feed and groom a bit now when I do go to the barn.

      I hope I have helped some, getting past the rough spots is never easy.
      Sometimes an outsider's view is clearer than your own.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


      • #4
        A) I know a lot of people who specifically state that being with their horse (or horses in general) helps their mental/emotional state. I admit, I do not a problem with depression so it's entirely likely I'm making it sound like I'm making light of yours (though I am not trying to and not saying it's something easily fixed or made all better) but maybe you'd actually find it helpful to spend more time with yours.

        B) If, however, you get out from under these folks your horse is boarded with. The way you posted, it certainly sounds like a situation anyone would find stressful. I know I feel totally self-conscious when other people are watching me ride, even though I know they're not being judgemental about it. But knowing I'm on camera and even feeling a little bit like there might be someone behind judging me? Ugh. I wouldn't want to ride, either.

        C) I also know a lot of people who talk about a great horse they had that they sold/gave away/whatever that they regret now because they didn't really have to do so but thought they should and now they wish they could have the horse back.

        So my conclusion: don't give up on the horse just yet, but do see if you can get out of the barn you're at. Assuming you're up to date on your board bill, you don't owe them anything and you owe it to your horse and yourself to find a situation where you're happier. There are plenty of barns out there. Sure, they might not necessarily be much to look at, or have every single amenity under the sun, but I think it's more important to find one with a good atmosphere. I love my barn precisely because it's so laid-back and casual, even if it doesn't have a huge indoor ring or a nice outdoor or pretty wood fencing or something.
        The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
        Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


        • #5
          From your post, it seems as though a barn change would do you a world of difference. You admit there are bad feelings between you and the trainer. You always feel watched and judged, which some of that may be your depression talking, but having cameras on you can't make you feel any better, that's for sure.

          Maybe look for a more laid back trail riding barn and try and make friends to just go hack around with. Or find another barn to take dressage lessons, and just go take lessons on the school horses.


          • #6
            Jingles for you ~ be kind to yourself first and foremost - cut yourself some slack. I agree maybe moving Danny to a "comfortable for you" enivironment would help or at least enable you to visit him. I do not recommend selling Danny at this point ~ as he is part of your identity and happinness. Danny will help you but you have to get there and you don't like "there" anymore - have outgrown it ~ so a less intense barn would be beneficial. IMHO your enthusiasm ~ passion and interest will be re-generated but only in a comfortable & safe enivirnoment.
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


            • #7
              Like others have mentioned, I have to wonder how much of the problem is really dreading going to the BARN and not necessarily having lost an interest in your horse.

              I don't care if you LOVE horses and are GEEKED about seeing your horse/riding everyday--if the barn environment is uncomfortable, it can certainly make you dread the whole thing.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


              • #8
                You're in the perfect "feel bad" storm. Way too much going wrong at one time. Hugs to you.

                The first time you see any sunshine, get outside and roll your sleeves up. Get some sun on your skin. You could have a vitiamin D deficiency, which is common this time of year, and will make your depression worse.

                If you can start some exercise, like walking, do so. Lack of exercise in the winter months compounds a lot of depression issues.

                Move your horse to a new barn. Ask around, and try to find one with nice supportive people.

                If you think your meds are not working, ask your doctor to change them.

                If nothing is working, look into a neurofeedback program. It's considered experimental, takes a while, is expensive, and not covered by insurance, but it's up and coming, and has a lot of support. Research anything and everything carefully. Check references. Weed out quacks. I have a family memeber in one, and it seems to be helping.

                Get someone to drive you out to see your horse if you don't feel like driving. Over the years, it seems that horses are the best medicine of all.

                Good luck, and here's to a better 2010.
                It's 2020. Do you know where your old horse is?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                  Like others have mentioned, I have to wonder how much of the problem is really dreading going to the BARN and not necessarily having lost an interest in your horse.

                  I don't care if you LOVE horses and are GEEKED about seeing your horse/riding everyday--if the barn environment is uncomfortable, it can certainly make you dread the whole thing.
                  Agree completely! You may have bought the horse from the BO, but you OWN him, you are not obligated to stay there. I'd try to find a nice low key place where he can hang out, and you will feel comfortable, until you are ready to get back into the swing of things.

                  Don't let go of the horse, not yet, it sounds like you do in fact enjoy him, so it is not a case of "wrong horse" though it may be "wrong time." If you can ride it out another 3-6 months, maybe your feelings will have changed. He sounds like the type you may regret selling...

                  Hang in there, everyone goes through peaks and valleys with the horse thing. Totally normal.
                  We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                  • #10
                    I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. {{Hugs!}} Being videotaped would creep me out as well. I would look into moving Danny to a different barn. A fresh start would do you good.

                    If that is not possible, do you think you would feel better going "out there" to see Danny if you had a buddy along with you? Take someone along who will make you feel safe and can serve as a "buffer" in the hostile environment. The more time and distance you put between you and Danny, the harder it will be to pick yourself up and go out there. Don't let them steal your joy! Try going out there, even just once and see how you feel about it. I hope you can enjoy Danny's company. Just pick up a brush and let yourself bond with him. I'm sure he would love to see you!
                    __________________________________________________ __________

                    A wise man once said, Whether you think you can or you cant, youre right.


                    • #11
                      Everything Pony4Me said, with this one addition: If you are living in the dark winter north, get one of those full spectrum lights to help ease the depression symptoms until the sun therapy kicks in.

                      Another idea would be to change to a barn where you have to be there at least once a day, perhaps a partial self-care situation. That would get you outside, give you some exercise (muck a stall, dump a few buckets, walk after your horse) and put you out in the sunlight each and every day whether you really felt like going or not. My horses on complete self care, and without those daily enforced trips to the barn, I would be hibernating in my home and sinking deeper and deeper into depression every day until May arrived. For me, it's an exercise-sunlight-fresh air kind of cure that works magic.

                      Hugs and best wishes to you!
                      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                      • #12
                        FYI...the blue lights are made by Phillips.

                        But if you go to it will reroute you to the right place. The things really do make a difference IMHO.
                        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                        Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                        • Original Poster

                          Thank you everyone for your advice and support! It is greatly appreciated.

                          Thressbars - you are correct...Danny loves his peppermint treats, kisses and scratches. And his person - he'd rather hang out with me than his horse buds. He's a real trooper in this whole situation. The cameras creep me out because I know the BO is watching and judging; I've been there when they've done it. Danny's currently on field board. And I agree with you...some of my past depressive moments, the horses have been the best help.

                          2Dogs - Your situation was horrendous, and I'm so glad you found Sam. The outsider's viewpoint is exactly what I'm looking for in the hopes that you guys see something I don't/can't or can give advice to help me go in a new direction. And, yes, I can worry things out of proportion.

                          Analise - I understand what you're saying. For those who don't have it, it can be difficult to understand. And it's frustrating for all involved. As the sayig goes, "it's easier said than done". But going to see Danny more often is something I'm working on. Moving Danny has come up before, but I owed back board. Now that everything is current, it's now a real possibility. And I have sold a horse that I regret to this day having sold. And I really don't want to do it again unless absolutely necessary.

                          crewgirl34 - now that it's been mentioned, I believe moving Danny would be the best thing for both of us. There are very few barns around here, and this one is the most laid back and least expensive. But there are options.

                          Zu Zu - thank you! That's how I should look at it - I have "outgrown" the current place. And I believe you are right - I need somewhere where I don't feel like I'm constantly being judged - a safe place as you said.

                          BuddyRoo - after typing that super long post and reading you're response, it (and you) helped me to see that I DO dread going to the barn. I love seeing my horse but I do get anxiety attacks when getting closer to the barn and I try to go when I'm sure no one is there and avoid everyone if I can. Thank you for that.

                          pony4me - thank you! I love being outside but with all the snow, rain and freezing rain, sun is at a premium. I have made a note to get a vitamin D supplement. Egads! I really dislike exercise but I do feel a lot better after walking my dogs. Moving Danny has been moved to the top of my list of things that need to get done, as I now believe, as everyone has suggested, that moving him elsewhere would be best for both of us. I'm already planning on making an appointment with my doc as I feel the medicine isn't working as well as it could. Thank you for the information on the neurofeedback. I will be looking into that.

                          Thanks again guys for the advice and support. I knew you guys would help me "see" that the interest may still be there, it's just hidden beneath other stuff.


                          • #14
                            Move your horse to someplace that isn't run like a cellblock, then see where you're at. I'll bet he'll love to see you, regardless of what you do. A scritch and a cookie is what many of them thrive on, not always the work. Don't stress yourself or over analyze, but do get out from under the trainer / prison guard, ASAP.

                            This is supposed to be FUN.
                            I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                            I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                            • #15
                              Just one more thought...

                              You're not alone. It probably doesn't make you feel BETTER per se...but you're not the first and you won't be the last to be unmotivated or need a break or a change of scenery.

                              Just come up with a goal--say moving the horse--and outline the steps you need to take to get there. Tackle one at a time. Knowing that you're DOING something about the situation can make it feel better even if it hasn't changed yet. One foot in front of the other and one day at a time.

                              It sounds like your horse is this isn't an emergent situation for HIM. That means you can focus some energy and time on finding a good fit elsewhere w/o any drama.

                              Good luck.
                              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                              • #16
                                You know, I have a good friend who seems to have gone/is going through the exact same thing as you. She could have written your post. She hasn't asked for my advice, so I'll give you it!

                                You really, really have to take care of you. You've got things going on and health issues that you need to deal with. Guilt from not seeing your horse and remorse about where you are with horses in general is not helping either your mental of physical health. Give yourself a break. It sounds like you really need one. If anyone has a reason for it, it's you.

                                Move your horse to a quiet, small barn where he has lots of turnout and good friends, and you won't have the pressure to ride or feel the stress of his current environment. He's your horse. Look for a BO or good leasor (free or paid), who will give him love and attention when you can't, as well as keep him riding. Then turn the time you can get out there as a treat, and not a chore. Get out there to see him, but make it a special, relaxing visit. That within itself will lift your spirits and change your attitude.

                                I think sometimes its so easy to make the thought of what we need to do more stressful than actually doing it. And our own expectations of ourselves (riding, competing, being involved in the horse world) can be daunting and exhausting. Don't let yourself get caught in that trap. Give yourself the break you need. Danny will be there for you when you're ready.
                                "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                                <>< I.I.


                                • #17
                                  I think the consensus is dead on. Move your horse to a friendly place where you feel comfortable just hanging out with Danny.

                                  You don't need to pressure yourself to ride or meet anyone else's expectations. He doesn't care if he's ridden or not, he just wants to hang out with his person. Groom him and feed him some treats and re-connect with him.

                                  When you're ready to ride again, if you still want to try dressage, look for a nice low-key dressage instructor who is good with kids and beginners.

                                  I also agree that just getting outside and hanging out with him may help with your depression. When I moved north from FL I suffered from serious winter SAD syndrome. It went away the year I signed up for lessons and became an adult re-rider. Its been about 17 years now and its never gotten that bad again.

                                  You'll find you'll feet better if the only expectation you have is to make sure he's well cared for, and you're enjoying each other's company.
                                  Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                                  Witherun Farm


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thanks again for the support and and advice.

                                    I apologize if I've made the barn situation sound worse than it truly is. It is a very laid back barn. They take care of the horses (feed, water, clean pens/stalls) but the boarder is responsible for hoof care, vet, shots, etc. The BO/Trainer has been in the industry for more years than I have been alive. Things were good in the beginning and this was the first real boarding barn I have been at. Previous places were just pasture board (someone's pasture).

                                    First time I'd been around a trainer willing to offer advice and help me, etc. Ended up doing what folks on here say never to do and that was become friends with the BO. The BO was partially retired starting late last year. The cameras went up sometime during the summer (not being recorded). Was taking lessons from the BO right after I bought Danny as he is green and, at the time, she was willing to help me train him (about 2 years ago).

                                    I've been there for five years and in the past 1.5 / 2 years things have changed. The rose colored glassed were offically losing their rosy-ness. I think a lot of the pressure comes from me wanting to please and not be judged by the BO. If things aren't done the way they would do it, they are not "pleased". Danny may be my horse but I feel like I have to do their way. I feel a lot like those people who rely on their trainer for everything. I used to be good at looking the situation and figuring things out. I used to know my horses and listen to my gut not what someone told me if it didn't feel right. And that's sad.

                                    Once again, I'm sorry about not explaining the barn situation better.


                                    • #19
                                      Things don't have to be terrible for it to not be a good fit.

                                      Even though you mostly hear the horror stories here, the fact remains that unless the boarder and the BO have similar ideas about things, even if the horse is FINE, there's often "line in the sand time" where you have to part ways to be happy.

                                      There's no need for major confrontation. Things change! Don't make it something it's not. (and for the record, I never got that you were worried about the care--just that for whatever reason, you feel somewhat uncomfortable there due to the expectations).
                                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                      • #20
                                        I could have written most of your post. I'm coming up on a full year of suck. The only reason my two horses have made it this far is that I field board with a lovely lady who "gets" it. It's a mile away and I often can't get there, or even out of bed. The horses don't mind. There are BO's who understand. And there are plenty of folks who have gone through rough times too. I wish you good luck. I keep telling myself I can be a horse person without being a rider (for now).
                                        Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.