I've lost that loving feeling.
First of all, let me start off by saying I'm Emily(newbie), I'm not even sure that this is the right place to post this thread, it didn't seem to match anything I saw, unless I'm being my dyslexic self and didn't comprehend correctly. (not a joke, I'm actually diagnosed dyslexic)
So, I've been around horses since I was 8. Rode from 8 to 21, life got in the way and I took a small break to get my career started and a better financial status so I can buy my first horse. My first horse picked me out of a field and I fell in love with him. He's a grade (we think foundation quarter horse.) Anyway, he had a horrible time with owners and constantly was put up for sale and moved from barn to barn and owner to owner. He was not trained well at all and was kept in a tie down. So July of 2018, I was getting on for my lesson and he decided to walk off the mounting block and I lost my balance. (btw, while starting my career, I also gained a ton of weight, lost my muscle I had built up and over all look like a busted can of biscuits sitting on a horse.) When I lost my balance, I accidentally kicked him in his ribs and he threw a cow kick. I fell out of my stirrup and broke my back. 8 months of recovery I get back on him and we have a decent couple of rides until one day, there were feed bags left in the indoor arena and he kicked sand on a bag scared him self (at a walk) and blew up as if someone had stuck him with a hot poker. I tried to ride it out, but it was the last little spinny thing that he did that ended up throwing my balance off.(YAY! No broken bones but a severely bruised hip torn muscles and a hematoma) That was the middle of May and I've not been up since. On any horse for that matter. My trainer who had him in training while I was recovering from the first injury, she said that he wasn't awful with her and that he had been making a ton of progress. I was feeling hopeful that we were going to train together and become that ultimate pair. I had taken him to a local show where we come to find out from a spectator that she knew him from a previous owner and confirmed the abuse that this horse took. By this time, I already had the feeling that Dakota was not my actual partner and that he is probably better off at another home where someone can give him structure and a job 5 days a week. When he is being worked on a consistent basis he's wonderful, wanting to please and is a joy to ride. Unfortunately, I have to drive an hour away from the farm for work each way and there are days my jobs requires me to work late and on Saturdays and not to mention the countless trade shows I attend with my company. Granted, the money helps keep him in training but I'm not the one who is riding him. I've come to the conclusion, Dakota will be listed for sale come September. He's way too much horse for me and requires a ton of attention that I just can't give to him at this time.
On to the next, My second guy is a Hanoverian/Arabian 9 year old gelding who is currently in training after getting him three years ago. He had a tear in his suspension in his front leg and needed to be rehabbed. After he was cleared, I had scheduled him to go into training but life again happened and I got pregnant. I ended up having a miscarriage and went into the worst depression I've ever been through. Both horses got cared for but my heart wasn't in it and financially the doctors bills were horrific and took us over a year to pay off (with "good"insurance) Phoenix is currently in training and doing really well, but he was given to me as a free horse and I said sure why not. I knew what problems he had and figured I could do it myself. I was wrong, so very wrong. I have no flipping idea what to do and became scared of him. I know, the worst thing I could have done was let him know I was scared. For everyone else, he's wonderful. My farrier brags that he falls asleep on the cross ties, the trainer who's working him say's he's the fanciest horse she's seen in a while, but like Dakota, he will need to be ridden 5 days a week to keep the training current since he's 9 years old finally getting trained. As much as I'd like to say he would be perfect for me, he's not simply because my schedule has gotten so crazy and my time management skills are not that great. I can go to the barn any time I want, but to be honest after 16 hour days with 2 hour travel time, it's some times hard to spend 4 more hours awake let alone at the barn to rigorously ride my horses, cool them out and put them away. Most likely in the dead of night. I also don't like riding alone in case something does happen, it will be a while until someone finds me.
You can say I've lost that loving feeling, I've also come to doubt my ability as a rider. After the second time Dakota dumped me, my trainer asked me if I had the correct muscles, if I would have fallen off. My direct response was, "If I could get more than 6 total rides in with out my horse losing his mind, I could get the muscles." She knows that my job has taken over my life, and I've addressed it with my managers and HR. They admitted to taking advantage of my ability to see a project through and relied on me to be the responsible one. This isn't a sales add for either of my horses, but maybe someone out there is feeling lost as well and we can be lost together? I don't know. If my company follows through I can get to the barn 4 maybe 5 days a week, but if I miss a day I need a horse who can miss a day of work and be totally fine with it. As of now, neither of my boys are able to do that. They need consistent training and a rider who isn't going to fail them and give them a reason to be scared.
side bar- I'm currently loosing weight, 40 lbs since February and still going down at about 2.5-3 lb a week and I plan on getting back into 2 lessons a week on a lesson horse we have at the barn to help gain my balance and muscles.
So if you're lost, lets be lost together and help each other or all of us find the light at the end of this tunnel.