Might take a hiatus from riding, also I have my own horse, advice???
So here's my story. My 5 year old (soon to be 6) mare was recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis and her riding career has been put on hold at least for 3-6 months. After ultrasound-guided joint injections, including physical and technological examinations by an amazingly experienced vet, it's been confirmed at this point. Not sure if she'll be able to ride later on or not, and the vet has encouraged this long respite as things were pretty counterproductive trying to keep her on a more regimented program and just seeing her in pain instead. I see her 3-4 days a week, handwalking, grooming, loving her. She is my best friend, and I've decided at this point I love HER more than the sport of riding itself. Everyone is different. Some people love the sport more than the horse, some people love the horse more than the sport. One is not better than the other, but I personally find that my girl is more important to me than the sport itself. Which leads me to my next point.
I've been riding since I was little on and off. Different stables. My girl was what got me more serious about riding. With her I learned that I love dressage, even though I'm only a beginner dressage rider. The confidence I feel in the saddle is amazing. I get a small adrenaline rush in my heart thinking about showing my riding to people who have never seen it before, people who don't know what dressage is, people who I'm friends with who have never seen me with a horse. That gets me pumped up.
But after this whole tiring mess with trying to diagnose my mare and trying to balance my schedule seeing her along with my schedule of school and other activities that I'm involved in... I'm just not sure I want to ride right now too. Our expenses between vet bills, boarding, farrier costs, feed... it all adds up, and we can't afford to buy another horse right now, I honestly don't want to really because I don't want to affect my relationship with my girl now, and I could lease a horse but the expenses... too much. And then the whole 2-horse conflict confuses me too. My brain just isn't wired for all that.
I might lease a horse once a week (not really sure if that's a lease or just a fun thing) but I'm not sure about that yet. Again, it'd be another expense to add to the list. Not to mention that my girl is around 40 minutes away from me so sometimes I spend more time driving than actually seeing her!
I love riding and maybe I just forget how much I love it because I haven't been doing it as much.. But it honestly seems like it isn't worth it right now to try to juggle riding and owning/taking care of my horse when I might just tire myself out. I don't want grades to drop, I don't want to get too tired and not be able to focus on my mare.
I guess I just want some input, someone to give me their opinion about what they would do. It's a matter of me loving a horse, and loving a sport, and wondering, what to do?
I can't give you advice but I wanted to say it is nice to hear how much you love your girl, very sweet. We need more owners like you! Best wishes and good luck :)
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That really means a lot. Thank you so much.
Take a break, nothing bad will happen in that time, it's not like you are learning bad habits or anything, as you are not learning in that time.
No worries, no problems with just taking time off.
I agree with both of the above posters. :)
I'm in a really similar situation - my 28 year old mare partially tore a suspensory about 4-5 months ago and, in the interests of getting her totally healed, she's "off" until May when we'll reassess her condition. Hopefully she'll be able to go back into some light work, with me riding, but only time will tell.
Therefore, I haven't ridden in 4 months and it's making me a little nuts. I'm surviving, obviously, but I really miss it!
I can't wait for May to be here, hopefully Lacey will get cleared for some riding.
Plus side: I feel like the bond I have with Lacey is growing because I'm getting to focus on the little things that interest her, etc. I'm learning more about who she IS instead of just focusing on working in some time to ride before having x, y, and z obligations. Being able to go more slowly with her in all aspects of life has been really pretty nice!
I am absolutely dreading getting her back into work (it took us 2 years to get her to the fitness level she was at pre-injury) but you know. Worth it! :)
:hug: you can do it!
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