Yup. I’m 30, I work full time (and overtime), I am newly engaged, just moved into a new apartment, and have an overly needy cat to care for…..and of course my horse who is currently sitting in the field becoming a giant flabby potato.
I currently have a large expensive dog.
I don’t have much time right now. Life got in the way. Adulting got in the way. Weddings, family events, baby showers, bridal showers….every weekend. (When you turn 30 this is apparently the time that you have to drop everything to attend every one else’s monumental occasions. (It’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but I’m really a recluse at heart….I just want to hang in the barn.) People are constantly asking me when I’m having my engagement party, when I’m planning my wedding (to which I don’t have an answer)……it comes down to the fact that being a grown up is overwhelming. Especially when your past was essentially consumed by planning your life around horse events and work.
So what have I been doing with my horse while I just can’t seem to make it to the farm as much as I should? (or at all…)….Well for one I am the luckiest person in the world to have my horse at a farm owned by someone who is not only the owner and trainer, but has become one of my closest friends. So I know he’s in good hands even when I’m not around. Also, we have a large assortment of pre teen and teenage girls at the farm who are more than happy to give my poor yellow potato beast some attention while I’m on hiatus. These girls are some seriously talented riders (far more than I am), so it’s nice to have them play with him, brush him and bathe him and give him something to do while I’m not around. (Although I’m not totally convinced that he doesn’t 100% love thinking he’s retired at 8 years old.) So while I don’t have much time, I have a pretty solid group of people who are amazing enough to give him something to do while I’m lost in life having to act like a normal, functional human being.
I frequently hear people in my position say that their horse deserves “better”. Deserves a better rider, a rider with more time, a more professional rider, one who’s better at what they do….but where did we come up with that notion? I feel like your horse is probably pretty content just hanging out in his or her field eating itself stupid and waiting for you to show up and brush it. Given, I have a draft cross pony who destroys blankets so he can lay directly in the snow and shows VISIBLE ANGER when I remove the mud he has so carefully caked onto himself….but I’m pretty sure your beasties also enjoy having a break to get fat and out of shape. Much like humans. (I kid, I kid….sort of.)
That’s the thing, even though I feel horribly guilty that I’ve fallen off the face of the equestrian world, I also know that my horse is being cared for. I stop to see him and brush him as often as I can, his feet are getting done when they’re supposed to, he’s being fed and given his supplements, he’s got everything he needs, and he’s at a farm where there’s people around all day every day to give him cookies (that he doesn’t need), plenty of love, and to let me know if something is wrong. Would I rather be there every day like I should be? Yes! Of course I would, but that’s not feasible right now. So even though real life got in the way and adulting is the worst thing ever…..and even though I would rather live in my fantasy land of being able to spend all day every day for my whole life at the barn….I know that this is a thing right now, and I have to take it as it comes. But at no point in time will I consider thinking that my boy should have a different home. He doesn’t care how often I’m there to ride. He just wants his food, his Mustang BFF, and to nap in the sun all day long. And frankly, I think he’s got it pretty good right now.
I might actually feel bad when I make him go back to work. But on the other side of that, I miss riding WAY too much to feel guilty about that for too long.