great thread!!! Sometimes - like lately - due to stress and injuries, i've been frustrated and lacking motivation, and then i'll go and get on and make myself ride and even when it's not the greatest ride on my horses, just being back in the saddle and the bond we share makes it better. More than even the riding, or the motivation of showing, what I love is how when I get off, they follow me to the barn without being led, how I can untack them and they will follow me around, we can just spend time together, and how when I was able to ride again after my most recent injury still in a cast with one hand I was able to ride my jumper and he totally took care of me (he's a bucker and a bolter by nature - he thinks it's fun) but he just knew I couldn't do that right then. Or how when I was able to ride again after my knee injury I got on my eventer and was able to jump bareback in my big huge knee brace in a halter and lead and drop the lead and just hug him and know he'd take care of me.
When I forget why I ride, or I procrastinate b/c stress, or it's cold, or rainy or whatever, I just need to think of that stuff and it makes me smile and get back in the saddle again ;)