I haven’t been able to participate in Clover Ledge Farm‘s NaBloPoMo prompts so far this month because I already had so much other stuff scheduled, but I’m gonna try to swing in here at the end and do a couple. Better late and incomplete than never, right? Plus I’m working hard on putting that annual Black Friday sales list together for you guys so I can post it tomorrow. Hope you’re ready to set your wallets on fire.
Anyway, today’s NaBloPoMo is “The Importance of Riding in My Life”… and like many of you, riding is absolutely critical for me. My world has revolved around horses and riding for such a long time, I don’t think there’s any other way that I could (or would want to) live. I eat, sleep, breathe this stuff, and spend most of my time thinking about it or reading about it or writing about it. One track mind? Definitely. Obsessed? Yeah probably.
I’ve tried to take a break from riding a couple of times… it doesn’t go so well. Apparently I have a pretty obsessive personality in general, and I don’t do well when my mind isn’t super occupied with something. On the first “break” (which ended up being, like… a month a half…) I threw myself into cooking. Like a lot. All the time. I bought so many cookbooks and made so many trips to the grocery store. The second “break” was when I first leased Sadie to Michelle – the plan was to get all the horses off my bills for a year or so and pay off all my debt. That was a cute plan. With nothing else to do, I threw myself 110% into triathlons and crit racing. For real, I was working out 2x a day just to keep myself busy and my mind occupied, and even then I ended up borderline crazy in the head. I was skinny, I was fit, and I was busy, but I wasn’t happy. Luckily that horseless period only lasted six months before I bought Henry.
I am definitely not myself when I’m not riding all the time. I just seem lost, like I’m floating around without a purpose, and I have nothing “fun” to give me that little reprieve from the stresses of real life. My stress and anxiety level starts to go up, and I find myself feeling uncertain about pretty much everything. Riding is definitely more than a hobby for me. It’s fun, sure, but also it gives me something to strive toward, and it keeps me grounded.
I’m also one of those people that needs their own horse, rather than just riding a bunch of others. I really enjoy building a relationship with a particular horse, growing over time, and bringing them along. I get an incredible amount of satisfaction out of that. Horses are so fantastic in that they never want anything from you (except maybe cookies) yet they’re willing to give you everything in return. And the truly great thing is that no matter how long you ride, there is always more to learn. Horses keep us humble. They show us our strengths and weaknesses. They teach us how to win, and they show us how to lose. They teach us what it’s like to persevere, and what it really means to have courage. And yes, sometimes horses break our hearts, but they also know how to fill them up like nothing else really can.
Not to mention that I really do have so very little in common with non-horse people. All of my best friends are my horse friends, and they’re the only ones that truly get me. Non-horse people just never seem to quite understand what makes us tick, or why we do the (usually completely insane) things we do. Plus, like, for real I cannot sit there and hold a conversation about Pinterest or Stitch Fix or whatever celebrity-du-jour for more than 30 seconds. It’s just not important to me, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.
So really, riding is of the utmost importance in my life. Hobby, therapy, family, purpose, sport, interpersonal relationships… you name it and horses & riding are “it” for me. I can’t even imagine a reality in which I didn’t have horses and riding in my life… it sounds horrible.