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Need to find the fun again

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  • Need to find the fun again

    Haven't been able to ride regularly for over a year because my horse is lame; there is a horse who I am able to get a lesson on from time to time, but she is just a bit more challenging than relaxing to ride. I feel like I've lost my nerve and much of my riding fitness, even though my lesson a couple of weeks ago went very nicely.

    I know I'll feel more motivated and engaged once the weather is less abominable and especially if / when we can figure out what's up with my mare. (was treating a suspensory for a year, now suspect there is also something else going on, like maybe Lyme?)

    I just want to yell that this horse mental illness is crazy expensive and hasn't been much fun for quite a long time. Then I look at my mare and feel evil and disloyal, because she is a sweetie.

    I want to go to horse camp and ride someplace warm, where it's not my problem to figure out horse health mysteries.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

  • #2
    I'm sorry you're feeling down. Know that we all get that way sometimes. I hope your mare gets better.

    In the meantime, your idea of going on a horsey vacation sounds great if you can afford it. If you can't, maybe you can find somewhere where you can take a lesson or a few lessons on a horse you feel more comfortable on. You shouldn't ride a horse you feel is a greater challenge than you want to handle. Riding is supposed to be fun. Part of the fun (for me) is the people at my barn. Maybe you can find a buddy to ride with or go window tack shopping with - something horsey without the horse.

    Good luck.


    • #3
      Oh Lori I don't blame you one bit for feeling this way. In fact I think you've been really stoic throughout this ordeal... I mean it has been over a year, hasn't it?

      There are times when I find the horse thing really hard. It was much easier when I was a kid. I just rode my horse. I didn't think about what-ifs, didn't deal with the vet or lamenesss issues (that's what parents were for, lol) and while I was expected to work at the barn and contribute to horsey expenses I was utterly clueless as to the real financial toll it can take.

      I can definitely relate.... I've gotten a lot of flack from friends and extended family lately, being pregnant and on bedrest now, with a toddler in tow... Why do you keep that old retired horse? Ok well who IS going to keep him if I don't?

      I'm not sure what the solution is to your situation.... I wish I had one for you! Horse camp is not a bad idea, lol! It is tough because Katy is so young and I'm sure the idea of having to retire her is scary. It would be to me.

      Anyway hugs all around, feel free to vent away, I think you've definitely earned that right, at the very least!
      We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


      • #4
        Jingles & Sunshine & Spring

        Jingles for you and your mare - Spring & Sunshine will help ! Hang in there ~ perhaps a lesson on a fun horse maybe even at a different barn - change the environment and get away and relax on a easy lesson horse away from your stressful barn environment. Another environment which helps me re-focus is volunteering at a handicapped riding program helping the children get to ride - just the smiles from the children will help heal your wounds and worries. IMHO ~ Good Luck ~ hope your are feeling better soon.
        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


        • Original Poster

          FG, that's exactly it -- I try not to EVER complain about it being a tough situation to my family (not my honey, he's very understanding), because I know they would just tell me to dump Katy and get on with other activities. Which is not going to happen, regardless of whether she's sound again or not.

          And yes, the thought of retiring a horse who is just turned 8 (!!!!) and hasn't exactly had a taxing work history is very depressing to contemplate.

          If she is looking at still more long downtime, I am seriously considering just buying a package of lessons at a nearby lesson barn so that I can do something horsey and fun for a change.

          I never thought I'd be waiting for a Lyme test to come back and hoping that it was positive!
          I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
          I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


          • #6
            Feel your pain, today I am going out to ride in an indoor which the snow has been sliding off the roof for the past 2 weeks. It feels like every time I swing my leg over the saddle, it's a game of chance.

            I agree w/ ZuZu, think Spring and Sunshine.
            "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach


            • #7
              I feel your pain

              Right now I have ZERO motivation to ride. Not even to jump on bareback and walk around. The weather has just been horrific this winter - constant rain so that everything is a slop and freezing cold. My horse is older (20) and it seems like lately every time I turn around *something* is wrong. He had allergy/COPD type issues last summer and was laid up from May-Sept with a bad cough and then when I got ready to ride this fall he had *something* going on with his hind end - hocks? So I'm dropping loads of $$ on Adequan injections and chiropractors to try to get him comfortable again so that we can at least pleasure ride. I can't afford a second, sounder/younger horse right now so I have to try to work with what I've got and it's beyond frustrating. It WAS so much easier when someone else paid the bills and you just hopped on your pony and rode

              It's tough when that 100lb weight of the I'm-done-with-this feeling kicks in. Hang in there. Good luck with your mare and hope you're back riding again soon
              "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

              Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!


              • #8
                Understand exactly what you mean--I spent several cold wintery months having lessons on someone else's horse, who was wicked spooky and no fun, and didn't do anything for my confidence at all. I finally said no. I'm not riding this horse any more. I don't have to pay for the privilege of being scared. The reason I own a steady eddie is because that's what I want to ride.

                I'm so grateful to be back on my horse, though I approach every ride with my fingers crossed that it's a sound one.

                Spring is coming, even here in the mountains of the west.


                • #9
                  I so understand where you are at right now. I haven't been on my horse since September and haven't ridden anything since the middle of December. It's so frustrating when everything is going wrong. My issue has been the never ending rain combined with the very crappy self care facility that I am boarding at right now. There is no place to ride that isn't mucked up due to all the rain I hope your girl gets better. Hang in there Sending you a huge cyber }}}HUG{{{.


                  • #10
                    Oy just wrote a post and the computer ate it.

                    Anyway thank goodness for supportive SO's, even if the rest of the family/friends don't get it. My parents are always like Can't Win go live in a pasture or something? Yeah, sure.

                    Lessons sound like a good idea, maybe even try something different? Always good to shake things up when you get into a mental/emotional rut.

                    I sometimes wonder if I should switch to biking, or even better, running! Only equipment needed are some sneakers...

                    I guess at the end of the day, the small victories that come in the form of a single good ride or a horse that's happy to see you make it worth it... it just sucks when those moments are so few and far between.

                    Anyway hang in there lady and please keep me updated, I think of you guys often and keep hoping for a positive turn of events...
                    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                      I am seriously considering just buying a package of lessons at a nearby lesson barn so that I can do something horsey and fun for a change.
                      DO THIS!!!

                      Even if she comes back to normal sooner than you think, she will be out of shape/need a lot of training and you won't be at your top form. Think of it as conditioning for yourself, you deserve it!
                      Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


                      • #12
                        Have you checked the horseless riders/riderless horses
                        thread lately? Maybe theres someone nearby....always more
                        fun riding with someone.
                        IN GOD WE TRUST
                        OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.


                        • #13

                          Definitely check her out for Lyme (I mean, it can't hurt, right? Quite a few horses at the rescue I volunteer at had to be treated for it this past year and we're right up the road from you, so to speak).

                          And on that note,

                          You'd be welcome to come visit Gentle Giants, I imagine, and hang out with the drafties.
                          The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                          Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                          • #14
                            Hang in there! I know how you feel. I had a horse for a while and he and I didn't get along; made him not fun to ride, like the horse you have been riding. I finally gave him away because I just couldn't deal with him any more. I've taken a few lessons at a few places, blessedly with a different horse every time. It has been good for me.

                            The amazing thing is that I have really enjoyed every horse I've gotten to ride since parting ways with my tacky horse, which is kind of interesting that he gave me a real gift through that nastiness he had. Of course, it's pretty simple, none of them have actively tried to kill me, and I have been like, "Wow, this is such the cool horse! It hasn't actively tried to kill me! Amazing!" However- the last ride I got, the wrangler let me ride "his" horse. He knew from my descriptions of my good former horse (not the tacky one) that I could ride her. OMG it was sooooo wonderful!!!!

                            You need to get some rides on the right horse. A fun horse. Now, that fun horse is different for everybody. The horse I rode had a little sideways spook to her sometimes - never horrible, but you knew it was possible. But she also had a spark - the spark that my first horse had. For whatever reason, I could trust her and she trusted back. That "horse magic" was there between us in a way that I haven't felt in years. That sounds like what you are missing.

                            You need to find a horse to ride that carrys that spark for you. I thought that it was gone for me. But it's still there. Yours is still there for you- you just have to go find it.


                            • #15
                              I know how you feel and I'm sorry. I have ridden some very nice horses while my horse has been recovering from his suspensory injury, but it just isn't the same as riding him. It gets depressing. My mood improved dramatically as soon as I could start riding my horse again - even just at a walk. Of course, now I'm paranoid he will reinjure and I feel nauseous every time we trot just waiting for a bad step - but I digress. I also understand the fear of possibly having to retire a young horse. My horse is FOUR (coming five), and we are by no means out of the woods yet. Retirement of a young horse is a scary concept to consider.

                              Is there any chance that you could get on Katy and just walk? Sounds like she is doing some walking anyway and is getting turned out. Perhaps ask your vet about a couple of under saddle walks each week as part of her rehab? I know I felt so much better when I could get on my horse and just walk. It was relaxing for both of us (well...eventually...the first few rides were more rodeo-like than relaxing, but it still felt great to get on him!).

                              I'm so so sorry you are feeling down. If getting on Katy and walking is not an option, I definitely think it would be a good idea to try your lesson package idea.


                              • #16
                                Lori...as others have said: Hang in there.
                                Losing momentum...the spark...whatever we tag it as, is a real situation.
                                For me, its been: my daughter went to college. I miss the shows, the sharing, the advancement of working our gelding together. And, I've let it shut me out, because I don't have the ambition to do it alone.
                                Winter is a BIG downer for me. I hate the cold, the dark and wintery days. Add them together, and I'm left wondering...'will I ever BE that equestrian again???'
                                Yours is different, its a long haul to out last a horse illness/ailment/injury. Just don't feel evil or disloyal! You're there for your horse. You're doing what needs done, it will (!!) pass.
                                And ZuZu...I have to say (not meaning to hijack) that each and every time I see a post from you, I know you're lifting someone up---you're so full of sharing POSITIVE energy on this board, and that isn't always easy, but you find a way. I look forward to your input, and it always leaves me humble of one who cares for others, and finds the best to share.
                                "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                --Jimmy Buffett


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks, all. My lack of enthusiasm has been put aside as a pressing issue by a visit to the hospital for colic (!!!!!!!!!) which seems to be resolving without surgery. Holy crap. I better never say anything like that again!

                                  The goofiest thing is that yesterday I went out to the barn with the intention of working with her in hand and having a nice non-spooky little session of ground work, which we did. I was feeling much better about horse time after a nice hour with Katy; then I started spotting colic signs, and it was off to the vet, the hospital, etc. (yikes)

                                  After the dust clears, I'm going to look into a new riding outlet, even temporarily. We are waiting on the results from a Lyme test taken before her colic episode, and once we have some idea what's going on regarding her soundness, it will be more clear what my time and $$ options are.

                                  I very much appreciate the support and encouragement on this thread. At my best I'm not a great rider, but I am safe and have fun inside the limits of my own fitness and sense of self-preservation. I could hack Katy alone on trails, do some local showing, and was thinking about trying a little hilltopping. Right now I'm so far from being able to even contemplate any of those things because my courage and sense of what felt safe is so invested in my sensible trustworthy mare, and being out of practice and shape makes it all quite daunting. The person who said that getting in shape before I get back on her is a good idea is spot on, and that's how I should think of it. Her being back in work after a year off and me being the same is not a good combination.

                                  I think we stand a decent chance of getting back out to ride together, but it's not quite clear today how soon, or in what capacity. That's the hard part.
                                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                                  • #18
                                    Jingles for you and your beloved Katy - Jingle Jingle Jingle & AO ~ AO ~ AO ~ Always Optimistic !! You'll get back together ~ hang in there ~ thinking of you two during this "impossible time period" things will look better soon.
                                    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                                    • #19
                                      If you find the happy, send some my way.

                                      Jingles for you and your girl. I know exactly how you feel. I sold my farm nearly a year ago, and closed my business six months prior to that. I'm so burned out that it's hard to find the energy and enthusiasm it takes to ride effectively. Then add in my injuries from the auto accident last year, and another injury to my bad knee last month, and I'm ready to chew my wrists open over not being able to even move without pain. {{{{hugs}}}} to you and Katy, and go take that lesson package you were talking about. I'm thinking about taking a friend up on her offer to come ride her ponies (all wonderful!), just to have a positive riding experience again.
                                      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                      A life lived by example, done too soon.


                                      • #20
                                        Thank you ~ ayrabz

                                        And ZuZu...I have to say (not meaning to hijack) that each and every time I see a post from you, I know you're lifting someone up---you're so full of sharing POSITIVE energy on this board, and that isn't always easy, but you find a way. I look forward to your input, and it always leaves me humble of one who cares for others, and finds the best to share.[/quote] ayrabz ~ Thank you for your kind words ~you made my day !Sending you Jingles for Spring & Sunshine ~ you will feel better soon and regain your energy. We all just need some GREEN & ORANGE !Take care of yourself physically and spiritually so you will be able to enjoy the summer of horse activities.
                                        Last edited by Zu Zu; Mar. 1, 2010, 11:57 PM. Reason: addition
                                        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "