Feeling the guilt over our fall... and other things. Advice please...!
I was thinking of all this last night and feel like I really need some advice.
I dunno how to type this... things are really running through my head a mile a minute...
I’m feeling really guilty and upset now that the fact that we actually fell and my girl is hurt worse than she’s ever been has sunk in now. I feel like curling up and crying, I feel so bad about it. I know that it wasn’t my or her fault, but that doesn’t make me feel better. My mare put her trust in me and I got her hurt, end of story...
So many things are going through my head... My girl is 15... she’s not 10, 11, or 12 anymore. She doesn’t really seem to be in a ‘fast’ mood like she used to be when she was younger (I’m talking about how she acted before we fell today). She’s just not really that ‘young’ of a horse anymore, I guess. I mean, I know she’s still in her prime, but she is getting older, too.
So many questions... Is it fair for me to ask her to do things like ride over the mountains and stuff? Is it fair for me to ask her to ride all day long like we used to...? The last few times we rode, we really didn’t seem to click. I mean, we did... but we didn’t. I feel like it would be in her best interest to kinda... semi-retire my girl. It sounds stupid, and maybe it’s just the guilt talking, but I feel like she’s just not the horse she used to be, even though she’s still not old. I mean, we’d still ride, but maybe not as far and not as long, or if we did go for longer rides, not as much fast paced gaits... more walking and more longer breaks... The last few times we’ve ridden, something has felt off... not in her movement or anything, just a niggling at the back of my mind that something was off, but I ignored it, thinking that it was just because I wasn’t used to her anymore.
I don’t want to ever get rid of my girl, but if we aren’t clicking like we used to... well, I’m not going to get rid of her... I love her too much, but maybe it would be best to give her a small break after she gets better from her injuries... perhaps not even ‘semi-retired’... just... ‘quarter-retired’... She likes to ride and go places, but if... I dunno... I just feel so guilty! I wish my uncle were still alive to tell me that everything will work out... I feel like I should be blamed for her getting hurt!
Britt I know you feel bad, but it really wasn't your fault. If she has been over that mountain before then it's something that she is able to do. Maybe she just tripped or something or had her mind on something else, IDK. I personally think that a 15 yr old horse in good health should be able to take the trails just fine....even the all day ones. I think it's good for them...it keeps them healthy mentally and physically. In my opinion horses need a job to do. Maybe she does need a little time off...but she will probably get that while her wounds heal. I think 15 is to young for any kind of retirement. I know how hard it is not to feel guilty about your horse getting hurt, but sometimes, as much as us horse people hate it, accidents happen....to all of us. You are taking good care of your horses wounds and that is the important thing. Your horse is going to be fine.
I wouldn't consider changing the routine once she is all healed up. She's in good health? She's only 15? Bah -- she'll likely be ready to go before you are!
You feel bad and are trying to find a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. A horrible trait of humans is that we always want to find the reason why and place the blame, even on ourselves. Mostly, I think so we figure we can fix it / prevent it from happening again. Well, we can't do that all the time. Sometimes, things just happen. I put a reply on your other thread that everyone trips, even horses, and that may be all that happened. Haven't you ever walked into the counter or tripped on the stairs?
Don't feel bad. You're emotional is all. Go give your horse a hug with a smile, not a tear. Find the positive -- as small as it may be. Remember that in a bad situation, you had the bond with her to help you BOTH get up and walk away. Without that bond it likely would have been worse, then and now.
Thanks... I think I needed someone to tell me that.
I think I will slack down on her riding, though... not the length of our rides, but the paces we set... I'm going to start doing more walking and less cantering and galloping... with both of my horses... if that makes sense... I just feel that that is something I really should do.
Great post Northernmama. :D Britt, one of the bad things about humans is we always need to place blame somewhere for an accident where there really is no blame to be placed, we create some blame to explain what happened. Too many people blame the horse, but true horse lovers blame themselves. Many times there is no blame, it was just an accident. Not trying to copycat NM, but everybody DOES fall sometimes. I got mad at myself the other day because I asked Dobe to cross a creek in a place that he didn't want to and ended up getting him completely bogged down. I just stood there on the bank with his bridle rein in my hand and cried because he was looking to me for help but I couldn't help him. We finally got him out and the first thing he did was walk over to me and put his head against my chest. He didn't blame me even though I blame myself and I am sure that your girl doesn't blame you either. She is not an old horse by any means but sometimes they do have a day or a week when they just feel like being lazy or taking things easy or maybe when they just don't feel quite 100%. Don't retire her yet, the more years you ride her, the longer she will stay fit and healthy. Just listen to her, she will tell you when she needs to take it easy and when she is feeling like a youngster and is ready for a good run. If you feel like you should slow down your riding, then by all means, slow down your riding. But don't be afraid to use her like you used to because she can still handle it. She may have just been having an off day. ((hugs)) Just relax, take a deep breath, and give her a hug. Everything will be okay. :)
I am going to slow down with her once she's well. It's something that I just feel in my heart that I need to do... 'adjust to her', not try and get her to adjust to me. If that makes sense...
I saw your origional thread, and my heart just broke for both you and your beautiful mare. I am sorry that the both of you had to go through this traumatic experience.
I would be going through extreme guilt as well, which is completely humanly natural and I believe any one of us who had to endure that, would be feeling the same way - well, those who love animals and have heart *trust me, I've met people who have no business being around animals*
**** happens, we all know this. Unforseen circumstances befall us all - and we have to just learn to take one day at a time.
Give yourself time to heal inside, and love your horse every single day as much as you can. She's already let it go, now you need to. Easier said than done, I know!
Do what you need to do, to keep yourselves happy and comfortable. Take as long as you need, take as slow as you need.
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