Simplify.

I have come to the conclusion that showing is stressing me out more than giving me pleasure, and because of this I have decided to no longer participate in it. I have really gotten into the “slow living” movement, where we take the focus off production and consumption and instead learn to enjoy the simple things in life. I’ve been slowing down, spending less, making more, and enjoying my life. I’m done with feeling stressed out, tired and pressured to do and be more. I actually started another blog about this. If you’re interested, it’s www.simplesouthern.wordpress.com

The horse show scene for me was feeding into the frenzy I’m trying to leave behind. I am naturally very high-energy and productive. I put undue pressure on myself to perform and get quantifiable results. I want to get back to the place of enjoying my horse for being a horse, regardless of whether I ride him or not, whether I learn any new skills or not. I want to ride bareback and go swim in the river with him in the summer. I want to brush him, feed him apples and remember the elation I felt when he was first mine.

This means I need him closer to me. My ideal barn is both affordable and close to me, but it is full at the moment. So I shall patiently wait for a spot to open up. Until then, no more beating myself up for not having the money to take lessons and show!

I miss my boy.

After posting my last post this morning, I was feeling in a funk. I went over to the Loving Cloud blog and saw this post. She talked about hand-grazing her horse while reading her Kindle. It reminded me how much I miss hanging out with Baron. I remember last winter when it was freezing cold, I used to get a hot thermos of coffee, bundle up in ratty sweatpants and Ugg boots and go sit in Baron’s stall with him. After reading that post it was crystal clear to me that I’m not ready to give up on owning Baron.

I’ve got to figure out a way to get him closer to me. Even if I have to give up on lessons and showing for a while, it’s worth it. I miss my boy!

Tell me I’m crazy.

I had a wild idea last night, an idea I never thought I would have, but it appeared in my brain unannounced, out of nowhere. I had the idea of giving Baron to my trainer. Her horse died last week at the age of 30. Her horse, Tess, was a champion hunter and together they enjoyed lots of success in the show ring. My trainer’s other horse is a large pony that she gives lessons on.

After the idea popped into my head, I gave it some thought. I have some problems with my current situation.

Problem # 1-  I love the barn I’m at, but I hardly ever get to see Baron. Having him at a fancy barn gives me access to awesome facilities, but it means I can’t see him as often.   Two or three times a week is not enough for me. I miss him! I miss the days when I saw him at least once a day.

Problem #2- I can’t afford his board, paying the farrier for shoes all the way around, and lessons and shows on top of that. With both my kids at a babysitter while I work 4 days a week, I can’t afford to be a horse show queen right now.

Assuming my trainer would want Baron (and I think she would, as he is the envy of the barn), I know she would give him a forever home and turn him into a champion. She would never overwork, overuse or abuse him in any way, like some trainers will do.

Not having the expense of horse ownership means that I could spend that money on lessons and shows. I could still work on being a better rider and enjoy the show scene that I love so much.

But I’m torn. I adore Baron. Sometimes I think I should move him closer to me and forget about showing. I could just enjoy having a horse again, instead of feeling stressed about the expense of trying to own and show. I also promised Baron I would take care of him FOREVER. Giving him away means I’m trusting someone else to fulfill that promise.

Please, give me any feedback you have.

Back in the saddle- oh, wait…

Baron was cleared for riding this weekend and I was so looking forward to saddling up for the first time in a month. A month!!! Oh how my thighs will ache after that first ride! Immediately after I received that good news, I got some bad news. My granny passed away on Saturday. She was the second biggest influence in my life, after my mother, and we were very close. It’s hard to see her go, but I am thankful for the way it happened. She had a stroke and went into a coma and she was dead within a few hours. I would have hated to see her wasting away in a nursing home or having to endure a long hospital stay. She had a full life and died peacefully. We can’t ask for much more. 

I will be out of town for a few days at the funeral, and when I get back, I’ll dedicate my first ride to my granny. She wasn’t a horse person, but she always encouraged me to go after my dreams and horse ownership was one of my most ambitious dreams!

The last picture I ever took of my granny, by her pool with my kids in Florida.