Monday 4 December 2017

Dark Doldrums

Where has the last month gone? I can't believe it is December already. Sorry for the lack of activity on here.

I have been fighting a losing battle with lack of motivation in the horse department. Work is the main culprit. My supervisor (who left more than 3 months ago) has still not been replaced, and a couple other people in my department have also left since then so I'm trying to fill even more roles than normal, while also being the prime person responsible for preparing for a big upcoming audit. There's also a lot of other crap at work that I will spare you the details of. Stress is high to say the least.

For a few months I was going all out trying to keep on top of things, but the stress was really getting the better of me. To try and avoid a complete mental and physical breakdown I have recently been working to prioritize my health. This means eating right and getting 8+ hours of sleep a night. Good sleep and food have been good for making me a more reasonable person who doesn't transfer my stress onto my friends, family and SO. Unfortunately more hours spent working, sleeping and food prepping means less hours for anything else.

As well as having less time for riding, I haven't been doing much of it because of head space. Kachina is not an easy horse, there is no such thing as even a relaxing grooming session with her because even just being brought into the barn causes tension in her. I can manage that tension but it requires me to be super focused, super present, and super patient. It takes time and targeted work to get her to relax. She also has some recent body soreness that is making things even tougher (as in she does not want me to lift her feet, tack her up, or even touch her, and yes I have been working with my whole physio/farrier/vet team). Compounding everything is typical winter blues for this time of year where the the early sunsets make everything seem dark (both literally and figuratively) My solution has mostly been to give Kachina time off. I go out to check on her and clean her feet in the pen, and then I go home. Sometimes I bring her into the indoor arena to do ground work or lunging, but only if I know I have the time and patience that day to make it a good session (not fair to either of us if I try and train when I'm stressed, worn out or in a rush). It's not ideal, but Kachina is happy in her outdoor herd environment and some time off isn't the worst thing.

Look, I even got a photo of horse! 

Yesterday I actually rode my horse and it was glorious. I decided to put down my to do list and spend the afternoon at the barn with a couple barn friends. Kachina still wasn't happy about having her (properly fitting) saddle and girth put on, but we did some preventative ground work and once I got on she was great. We did some loose rein ambling while I chatted with my friends and then I got some good trot work from her as well as a perfect canter transition in each direction!

Now it's Monday and all the work crap that I buried on Sunday is back. This period of stress and busyness isn't over and I'm not sure when my next ride will be, but it's something I look forward to whenever it happens.

Have any of you gone through similar times when riding has had to take a back seat?

(P.S. In case it wasn't obvious, I did not buy Project Horse, she is still for sale and I hope she finds a good home, but I just can't take on a second at this time)


  1. Riding frequently has to take a back seat in my life due to outside factors. It's always cyclical, so I just hang on to the knowledge that it isn't forever, and I'll be back in the saddle soon. I hope things calm down for you soon!

  2. Being an adult means life gets in the way of riding every so often. Sometimes its because of good things and sometimes bad, but either way it's okay. The horses, for the most part, I don't think really care!

  3. Ugh what a bummer about the work situation - hopefully they can fill in some of those positions soon!! I hate it when outside factors come between me and my pony time too.... It happens tho. I just always remind myself that the horse will be there when I'm ready! Awesome that you were able to sneak in a fun ride anyway tho!

  4. About 3 years ago, I worked a contract in Alberta for 6 months and just left Ginger back in BC and didn't ride. I'd brought her with me previously but I really struggled to find the time and figured we wouldn't make much progress anyway. I'm sorry your work is so difficult right now, and I'm glad you're making time to look after yourself.

  5. I have had times when riding has to take a back seat and I hate it every time. Now I try to figure out the time I will be off so that it doesn't seem like it will be endless. That helps me.