Sorry if this comes out as arant, but I wonder if others face similar challenges.
Riding is important, but so are my children, my family, my safety and my job. It is not ever as simple as throwing in a casserole, or layering up. I already do that whenever I can and still that only means a once a week (maybe) ride in the winter. For 5-6 months of the year it is dark before I get home from work. Winter cold isn't chilly, it's COLD, like -20 and windy. The ground isn't just snowy, it's icy and treacherous to walk on, never mind ride or drivea anywhere with a trailer in tow. My horse and I already took a spill together once this year.
I have to haul out on Tuesday for a saddle fitting and then again next weekend to the clinic I signed up for. Although I'm excited about both, I am worried I won't be able to get my trailer out of the 3'snowbank it has become buried in over the last few days. Today, all roads are terrible and there is a travel advisory on all of our roads. I hope they clear enough to haul by Tuesday, but the forecast isn't looking promising. If the roads are not better, it is not worth risking the safety of myself or my horses. I keep my horses at home, but haul in to events when I can, when the roads are safe enough to haul. In the winter, they often are not.
During the summer, I am expected to spend at least a few weeks to two months with my parents at my grandparents summer cottage which is 600 miles away from here. If I don't go then, I never see them as they live 2500 miles awayand are somewhat intolerant to our cold weather. If I don't go, they feel like I am preventing them from seeing my kidsand get very upset. Since my daughter rides too, she would rather stay home and ride and my son doesn't want to go without me. If I don't go, my family drifts apart with bad feelings. In the summer the decision to stay home and ride more means hurting my family.
I am trying to find ways to maximize the amount I ride when I can. This is why I started these programs. I hope they will help me to find indoor clinics and events on weekends, and organized trail rides in the winter, spring and fall. I also hope these programs will also help me to track my progressand see how much riding I actually do in a year.
So it is not simply a matter of making riding a priority. We all have to make choices and although going riding is my preference, it is not the best or most responsible choice to make. When I go riding, someone I care about has to go without my time and attention. These are tough choices to make. I envy those who have more freedom to ride when they want.