It’s been a mild fall this year. Actually, it’s been great. Warm weather, not much rain, (until now,) the grass has been growing, the horses has been growing fat, from grazing and the awesome hay I got my hands on, not to mention how they have been growing up and all…
I really should be riding. There has been no reason why I shouldn’t be. I just haven’t. Usually, in October, I have the perfect excuse of the winter setting in, with rain and storm and frost, and the whole “welcome to Denmark, you will hate the weather here,” routine, but this year, I am fresh out of excuses so I had to ask myself, why?
Why am I not riding my horses at the moment? The answer is simple, really. Because I don’t want to. So why is that?
I have been wondering a bit about that. I keep telling myself that Apocalipse is only four, he shouldn’t be ridden anyway, anymore than he already has been. And it’s true. He shouldn’t. Fair enough, that was one down. What about Tardis then?
She is five, she is slightly overweight, in desperate need of some muscle building on her topline and her belly after she had Ablaze a year and a half ago. I totally should ride her. I really should. And then again, I can always use the growing up excuse. She is only five. She is not done growing and with having had a foal at such a young age, she might need more time to develop than an ordinary five year old. Truth is, unless she develops laminitis from being chubby, it is not hurting her not to be ridden at the moment… It may even do her good.
See how I explain everything away? Then there is Saleem of course. With the small swelling in his left hind hook, and my vet guessing it to be mild arthritis (at seven years old, due to the position of his legs, which my Ferrier has been battling for years,) I kind of, sort of lost the will to peruse dressage and jumping or any kind of “at home” training with Saleem. I don’t want to add to his problems, by wearing down his joints, by riding in circles, even if my pasture is big, the wear on his joints is greater at home, than on the road. So when I have been riding him, it has been in a cordeo at home, to learn the signals, or on the road… straight forward, into the wild.
Saleem loves going out. I should ride him more. He loves seeing the world. So why don’t I?
At the moment, the best excuse I can come up with, is that someone *cough, Apocalipse cough* keeps walking on Saleem’s back. Yeah, you read that right. These days, when I show up at my stable, Saleem has a new cut down his back every other day, from a hoof, right where I would put a saddle… and we can’t put a saddle on the top of a wound, and we can’t go on the road without our saddle, because we just got a new neighbour and they have a mare and a hyper active foal, who is bound to make Saleem remember that he is in fact a pure bred Arabian and well… tons of excuses to stay home at the moment. All of them sort of valid, but none of them I couldn’t work around, if I really wanted to.
So why don’t I?
I guess the truth of truth’s are just that I am a strange kind of person. I have my periods where I write on my books and work like crazy, and hate it when something tears me away from my computer screen and I have periods where I hardly open my draft books, and where I jump through hoops to go riding my horses, even if it rains. I am just not a stable kind of person when it comes to writing and riding.
I have asked myself if I am honestly losing interest in horses and the simple answer is, yes, I lost interest in horses years ago. I hate the equestrian world and everything about it. I hate how most horses are frustrated and misunderstood on a daily basis, even by people who mean well.
The thing is though, my five horses are my world. I haven’t lost interest in them. Not at all. But I do, once in a while, lose interest in riding. These days, I enjoy our time together, I love sitting on the pasture, watching them eat, I love hugging the foal, (who is hardly a foal anymore,) I love everything about my horses and once in a while I do take Tardis or Saleem for a ride and I know in my heart that come spring, I will put my books away again and ride my horses once more.
Right now though, I need a break and I need to not feel guilty about it. That is another thing about the equestrian world. I grew up learning that you must ride your horse every day, no matter the weather, no excuses, and if you couldn’t, someone else would have to ride it for you because the horse had to be kept busy at all times. How else was it going to win ribbons?
Having let go of the ribbon chasing part of the equestrian world, I have to admit, I find it harder to let go of the guilt when I don’t train my horses. I should do something. Grooming and feeding and hugging hardly counts.
But it does though. It is what I need to do right now. And it is not hurting them, in fact, since they are young, and Saleem may be developing arthritis, it may be a good thing to take some time off. While I try and save up enough money between my hay bills, my vet bills and my Ferrier bills to get Saleem started on Cortaflex. I am going to fight for his future with every weapon I have. He will be here for the next fifteen years and he will be fit and happy the entire time. I will make it happen.
And I will not feel guilty for not riding him more than three or four times a month, which to be honest, is what I have been doing lately. I will write my books, kiss my horses and try and let go of that rest piece of me that has been raised in the equestrian world.
At least I hope so. Proving that I was in fact raised in the equestrian world, I have to add, that my horses live on a pasture, in an open barn, so before anyone feels sorry for them, they walk and exercise and play with each other all day and night. They are never bored and never alone and never locked up. And I have to say that, because I know, everything I do is wrong, unless I explain it, that is how we roll, us equestrians. Judging each other and ourselves at all times.
I guess it is not only my horses who has some growing up to do.
So do I.