Without the horse, I could clean closets and have time to knit socks for my golf clubs...

It’s Monday. Here we go, doing it all over again.

Like so many, I became a horse junkie at a very early age and have been lucky to have had at least one horse in my life most of my life. There were a few years in college and when I was starting my career where I personally did not own a horse, but I always had the ability to ride, be it a friend’s horse or a lease.

I’ve been pretty much riding for the better part of 45 years. I’ve really been going strong over the past 15 years. I ride five to six times a week and have been aggressively seeking a second “more upper level” dressage partner.

I run 13 hour days between work and the barn, as well as two full tanks of gas in my car each week. That is just a regular week without shows, clinics or “special” trips to the vet’s.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the other things I could do if I did not go to the barn and ride every night and how much money I’d be saving.

Take it easy for a while…

Gosh! A round of golf on a Tuesday after work with the girls would be nice, maybe take a yoga class or try knitting. I wonder if I even have friends I could do non-horse stuff with? I don’t think so.

It’s Tuesday; I really do not want to go to the barn tonight…

Our first show is only in a few weeks and I forgot to mail the paperwork in. I think it was a subconscious act. Do I really want to go? NO!! I could plant flowers and start the garden or try that new Saturday morning water exercise class.

Oh, how nice it would be to just come home after work and sit on the deck with a glass of wine and do nothing.

It’s Wednesday or Thursday or maybe even Friday. No please! I don’t want to ride tonight

I can hear my parents’ voice ring in my head, “A horse is not like a bike, you can’t just put it in the garage after you lose interest.”

Recently, I had to take a few weeks off from the barn and riding to recover from surgery.

The first few days were a blur due to medical assistance, and then reality entered, I missed my horse and I missed the barn. I tried to remind myself that I had been going to the barn every night for so long that it was like an addiction. I needed to go cold turkey and I’d get use to the wonderful free time. Isn’t this what I wanted?

A few more days went by and I tried to tell myself how great this could be. More time with the family, dogs and just being around the house. I was determined that I would love life without a horse. I dusted off my sewing machine. I opened a shoe box full of photos to sort and put in a photo album. It took about ten minutes to realize I was bored, I don’t like sitting around the house.

Six days after surgery I was crabby!!! My husband went to the barn and brought home some of my tack to clean. He informed me that the few times in our marriage I was without a horse… I was “hard to live with.”

What was supposed to be 6 weeks of recovery lasted 8 days. I cracked. There’s no place like the barn. Just sitting at the barn for a few hours a day kept me from being “hard to live with.”

I don’t think I’ll be giving up my horse or riding anytime soon but I will try to mix it up some, maybe golf once in a while or knit my horse some ear mittens.  Nay…

Cheryl