On a bright and sunny day in the summer - when my motivation is at its' peak - Colby checking things out at an off property schooling session.

Hands down, fall is my favourite season. Who doesn’t like chunky sweaters, apple cider, THANKSGIVING!!! (North of the border anyways), and the foliage. (I have been dying to use that word ‘foliage’ in a sentence.)

If there is one qualm I have about fall, it is the lack of motivation I feel for anything related to riding on days that do not start with the letter ‘S’.

As an official commuter, I rely on VIA (like AMTRAK in the US) to get to and from work. While I get to laugh at everyone stuck in gridlock as we rip by along Highway 401 at 130 kms/hour, it also means that I don’t get back to my home town until about 6:45 p.m. This time of year, 6:45 p.m = darkness.

Do you know how tempting it is to go home, put on slippers and crash on the couch? Rather, I find myself – heading to the barn regardless – to put in a half-assed attempt at schooling my horse. It’s always worst during the first couple weeks of October…that is when you really see the difference in the lack of light.

Normally, once I talk myself in to actually going to the barn, I feel a lot better. Once I get there though, this is what normally happens: Everyone has already ridden, are getting ready to leave and I will be left on my own, in the dark with nothing to motivate me to want to ride. This is especially true after a looong day in the office.

I have learned the hard way that unless your head is in it 100%, then you probably shouldn’t even bother. There is nothing worse than not being motivated and having a crappy ride. If that isn’t an excuse to skip the day, I don’t know what is. Been there, done that, more times than I care to admit – and I need more than one hand to count to number of times that has happened to me in the past 2 weeks.

Not that I have had crappy rides for the past two weeks – anything but that actually – but it is more along these lines of conversation:

Note – we have been working on getting crisp transitions…being only 3.5, the little filly is doing unthinkably well…so long as I ride her well.

Me: *asking for a trot to canter transition somewhat half-assed*

Colby: Fine, you’re going to ask half assed, I’ll give you half assed.

Colby proceeds to trot faster and faster and then falls into canter

Me: No No No, that’s not how we are supposed to do it, but I guess since you are cantering anyways, we might as well keep going

Colby: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee! Let’s see how long I can hang on Carrie’s hands for….

It is at that point in time, where I ask for one more transition – properly – I might add – and call it a night.  Oh well, there is always tomorrow right?  I guess the thing I ALWAYS try to remember when I am feeling completely unmotivated is to always always end the ride on a high note.

Not sure why, but when it is warm and bright out at 7:00 p.m. it is a lot easier to be motivated to ride! Don’t get me wrong, I love being at the barn and usually enjoy the quiet time alone with my horses…but these first couple weeks in October, really super suck.

So – when it gets darker earlier and you are lacking the motivation to ride, what do you do to get your butt into the saddle? (Unless of course I am the only crazy person that feels this way…)

Carrie