As a working equestrian (one who has to work to afford my horsie habbits) it can be a real struggle for knowing when to take a break away from my horses.
I’m the kind of person who loves to see my horses every day. I love to hear their nickers and get the nuzzles looking/begging for treats from my pockets. I love that horsey smell embedded into my clothes. (and yes I proudly parade through stores after I’m done at the barn) If I could I would have them in my back yard and I’d take them to work with me. There is a reason I got the nickname “seabiscut” from all my non-horse friends at work.
But some days I have to sit back and realize I need a break. Either I’m just exhausted from work or I have other things on my list I need to accomplish and I shouldn’t even drive out to the barn no matter how much it calls to me.
It can be a struggle some times. But I know especially on those days when I’m just utterly exhausted it’s better that I don’t go. I’ll say i’m not going to ride and just brush the boys but before I know it i’m pulling out my saddle, bridle and helmet and getting on.
Why do I say that I shouldn’t? Every time we are around a horse, even just putting the halter on and leading them around, we are teaching the horses something. We can just as easily enable bad habbits or teach new skills depending on how we act. I know I’ve said it before but sometimes the hardist part of training horses is being consistant!
When I’m exhausted I’m not consistant. I get frustrated too easily and sometimes even angry. I want my training sessions to be possitive and that just really doesn’t happen when I’m tired. Not to mention that I just get lazy to! My aids get sloppy and my reaction time can be a bit to slow. It’s not fair to my horses or myself to ride like that.
Even when I have things that I should be doing I’d rather not ride. Why? I become rushed! When I rush I’m not consistant. I also expect perfection to soon and again end up getting frustrated too easily. It’s not easy to find that calm center when I feel like I’ve got a time hack to make. (ohh I sound all zen right there)
Can you see a common theme going here?
I always try to have a block of time where I’m not rushed. When I know I can take a breath and just enjoy the time I have with my boys. I know being a working equestrian it can be really hard to find it. Many of my friends only have had that time on the weekends. Luckily my work schedule allows me to be able to ride during the week as well! (at least right now)
Why can’t we just be independantly wealthy or inherit a fortune from some long lost realitive? If only it were so easy to spend countless hours with the beasties. *sigh* oh well. At least I’m lucky enough to have horses of my own. (My bank account doesn’t agree but my soul does)
~a slightly random side note/shout out below~
For those that lease a horse and/or ride a lesson horse to get that horse fix we need to function: KEEP IT UP! I know I talk about owning horses all the time but many of my friends do exactly what you do!