All By Myself

Some of you may have noticed a lack of riding photos lately. Or an overabundance of really fuzzy, kinda far-away ones. Or a ton of “between the ears” shots.

at least they’re cute little fuzzy ears

Yeah well… that’s because I always ride alone. Literally in the past 2 months I’ve ridden in the same space with someone else a grand total of twice. In a lot of ways, that’s a great perk. There’s never anyone in my way, no one ever comes in and changes all my jumps around or messes with what I’ve set, and I rarely have to share the crossties with anyone. The fields are pretty much mine to do with as I please, since the only other people that use them are trail riders. And of course, when I royally screw up, there are no witnesses to my idiocy. All of those things are awesome.


The downsides are that there is never another rider around to bounce ideas off of, or anyone to put a rail back up for me. And trust me, there is a limit to how many times I will get on and off to put rails back up or raise/lower jumps (usually that limit is 1, because lazy). Those things aren’t too bad, but they do make for a lack of media. The only pictures you get are from the times where I set my phone on a barrel (or bungee it to a tree branch with a hair tie, which did actually happen) and point it at a certain spot. SIDE NOTE: now accepting donations for a Pixio or Soloshot…

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that time I bungeed my phone to a tree with a hair tie

It also means that there is much less of a social aspect to my barn time, and it’s more about me and my horse. For the most part, I really love that. No distractions, just pure Henny time.  We’ve had many a one-sided conversations. But… sometimes a girl wants someone to hack and have a chat with, ya know? Granted, a busy barn is NOT my thing, so I’ll choose solitude any day over that.

I suppose I can’t have it both ways, and that’s the (admittedly small) price I get to pay for all of the other perks. It does get a teeny bit lonely out there sometimes though. Until I remember that people like Bobby exist, and then I’m like “meh…alone is probably better”.

53 thoughts on “All By Myself

  1. You know you miss Bobby daily! 🙂 I am surprised that barn is not busier it looks like a large one. I moved to a smaller barn in Dec and I do love it but do miss the hubbub at times. However, not to have to wait for cross ties is a win win 🙂 Or share the ring (We have a nice rubber footing ring with lights (Not that i have used the lights that much, brghh)…or put up with any kids or anything (it is an adult only barn). BUT I do know my bravery level and it is nill so i will ride by myself but not jump. Such as it is. I haul out for lessons for dressage and jumping at least once or twice a month so at least i do get some real riding in!! HA

    I think the place sounds great. But maybe Bobby should move there too! HA HA HA HA Seriously i am glad Henry has settled so well into a new place and you have too!! I love the media you do get such that it is 🙂 When is your event in January again??

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    1. If he would stop texting and messaging me for like five minutes maybe I would miss him. Probably not, but hey there’s always a chance. Almost everyone at the barn is a trail/pleasure rider, plus there are a lot of older and or retired horses, so they don’t come out nearly as often.

      Show is Jan 15. Aggghh…

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  2. More often than not, I ride alone as well. I’m one of the few adult ammies at my barn with a full-time day job, and like you, I mostly enjoy the alone time with Roger. Sometimes I miss riding at a big lesson barn that always had people in the ring, and those same people could help put rails back up or help me work through something, so whenever the chance arises I do try to ride with someone else. My trainer also doesn’t give a whole lot of group lessons (90% of her lessons are private), which I honestly prefer: I do really enjoy that one-on-one time with my trainer and I feel like private lessons are the best use of my money. But I’m very similar to you, with the lack of media and no real ‘eyes on the ground,’ so it’s a trade-off.

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  3. I would like both. Trail riding with a friend with the horse I keep at home. Then jumping or trails at the local barn where I keep my more energetic horse. Oh wait. I can’t afford that. Lol. So I board where I am the only non-teen rider. But I LOVE it. We go to shows and they cheer me on. And giggle when I make mistakes. They don’t judge. But you can’t have a deep meaningful chick conversation with them either. That’s why I love their parents. Livin’ the Dream. Also. Al my pics are between the ears. Great idea on the hair bungee tho!!!

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  4. I’ve always ridden alone. No one in this area is really “into” jumping or dressage or riding “fast” on trails (read: trotting and cantering). As I fall more in love with all of those things,I spend more and more time alone. I’m moving in the spring to a place that at least has a few dressage lovers, so maybe i’ll gain a few riding buddies and eyes on the ground. As you note, I miss those the most about being alone.Hard to develop a feel for something when you’re by yourself! And I’m, totally with you on the resetting of jumps! I have to sacrifice a significant amount of time to reset my little course, so I always try to set it in a very versatile manner so I can get the most from it without having to alter it often.

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  5. I ride alone 90% of the time too, and IMO the perks outweigh the benefits! Socializing is exhausting, and without someone else sharing the ring with me I can focus entirely on what I’m doing. But I agree – it IS nice to have a hack & yack once in a while, or have someone around to tell you if you’re riding like a drunk monkey. It’s hard to find a place with the right barn buddies that is a balance of both scenarios!

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  6. I feel ya on this! For the most part I love having my horses at home away from annoying people (unsolicited advice is just the worst), but sometimes miss the social aspects of barn life. Even when I was boarding over the past three years, there were only one or two other boarders at each place. I kept moving with a good friend I met boarding at the first place I had Emma when I bought her, but we definitely would get sick of each other at times! Nowadays (well once my preggo days are over) trailering out for a lesson, clinic, or ride at a friends’ place will be my way to keep socializing (and of course, shows!).

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  7. I’ve done both the social barn and the more solitary one. I have to agree having the whole barn/ring/fields to myself makes it such a place of solitude. Grooming and tacking up alone are a nice quiet time after a hectic day at work. Socializing is fun and I would love if I could do that regularly with other boarders, but I’d rather ride alone than be subject to barn drama that seems to accompany busy barns.

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  8. One of the perks about me moving to this new facility was the people. While like you, I loved having the quiet of being alone with Libby, I like having that small social aspect of riding. I like talking to friends about rides, conversing about the different products we use, and bouncing tack and ideas back and forth.

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  9. this is my current life too, and the media junkie in my is dyyyyying ugh. (*slight exaggeration). i may or may not have also set my phone up on the rail to catch video that may or may not be posted soon. and i tried to get all clever with angles for catching a couple cross rail efforts, but fumbled it so badly that not only is the picture totally out of focus, but it also ended up in slo mo. which. let’s be real. watching charlie halfheartedly flop himself through a cross rail while out of focus and in extremely slo motion is nobody’s idea of a good time. le sigh….

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    1. I dunno, a slow-mo flop sounds pretty great to me LOL. Seriously tho, its really hard to get media of one’s self. There are no trees or rails anywhere near my jump field so I just set it on the barrel (which I also jump over, so that’s nice) leaned up against a brick. Ghetto. So ghetto.

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  10. I rode alone for a couple years. It got old fast for me (but my trips to the barn were MUCH faster without all that socializing).

    I’m eagerly anticipating my Soloshot3. Husband is into autocross so we decided to spend some house fixing money on a toy for our sports… or at least that’s the justification we put out there to make the purchase!

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  11. I have the same issue, but I wouldn’t have it any other other way. I’ve been the lone rider at a barn for a very long time. 99% of the time it’s great, but like you say, it would be nice to have someone to chat with occasionally or to hold the camera. Not having to share anything makes up for it all though. (reading that last sentence makes me feel like a selfish bastard).

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  12. I get a nice balance right now because after work in the evenings I am usually the only person riding and I love having the arena to myself (although it starts to get a little creepy in the barn once I start packing up and turning off all the lights …). I also ride Saturday mornings when it’s busy, which is a nice reminder for my horse that he has to not be a moron around other horses & he is usually not (except he still struggles with not freaking out over a horse being longed). My preference is for riding alone most of the time.

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  13. My barn is also very quiet. I ride alone most of the time. I do have a couple friends (who ride just for fun) at the barn that I’ll sometimes arrange low key trail rides with so that allows for some social interaction, but my saddle is the only english one in the tack room and no-one else understands what exactly I do with my horse. I use blogs as my way to bounce ideas off people, find out about new products, and all the other things that my barn doesn’t give me.

    For me, the worst part about the quiet barn is that my horse is pretty sure she’s going to die every time I take her into the deserted barn/indoor arena where she can’t see or hear any other horses. She’s fine once I’m riding or actively working with her, but I’m pretty sure the isolation is the reason why she is still so anxious when tied inside (she ties just fine outside or at other venues).

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  14. I feel the same way. I thought I’d have a really tough time when I moved to my new barn which is REALLY quiet. I was worried it would be tough to be motivated to go to the barn as much when there wasn’t the social aspect but I’ve actually really loved it. However, I do miss horse conversations and being able to talk while I ride sometimes.

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  15. I ride alone 99.9% of the time which is an unfortunate (but often fortunate) side effect to having horses at home. I wedge my phone in the fence for most of my media too. Every once in awhile I’ll have a friend ship over to ride with me and that’s super duper fun and exciting!
    Now that I have Badger in training, when I ride him I ride with my trainer (as in, she is also in a horse). But that’s a lot of being told all the things I’m doing wrong. Which I guess is good too 😉

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  16. Growing up my horses were at my house most of the year so I rode alone, which I think is why I love riding with other people now. Sure, it’s nice and peaceful to be alone, but I love the social aspect of friends at the barn and someone to bounce ideas off of.

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  17. I’ve never really spent time with a smaller/quiet place. I have always been apart of a crazy/loud/busy/social facility and honestly as an adult sometimes I wonder how much easier it would be to have some time on my own. HOWEVER, then I never would get out and have no friends. So…..yeah compromise.

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    1. The barn help would come looking for me if I was gone for too long, and I always take my phone, but otherwise that’s pretty much all I can do. Riding solo is just how it is for me.

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