I've lost that loving feeling. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy 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.
etnorcross is offline  
post #2 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 10:26 AM
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It doesn't sound like you're necessarily asking for advice, but it sounds like selling these guys is probably the right thing for you to do right now. Why not just take lessons on BTDT lesson horses for a while, to get your confidence and muscles back up? If you're riding lesson horses, it doesn't matter whether you can make it out there once a week or four times a week.
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 10:41 AM
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Have you thought about a partial lease to help keep them in riding mode?
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
It doesn't sound like you're necessarily asking for advice, but it sounds like selling these guys is probably the right thing for you to do right now. Why not just take lessons on BTDT lesson horses for a while, to get your confidence and muscles back up? If you're riding lesson horses, it doesn't matter whether you can make it out there once a week or four times a week.
I'm not really looking for advise, so your correct. I do desperately want to get back to the rider I once was. I deeply regret taking time off from horses, but I just couldn't afford it. Not being born into an independent wealthy family really made my life just the worst! I want to do 2 lessons a week so that I can improve my balance and skill level. Before I stopped riding I was show in Quarter horse shows placing well and was making my way over to the dressage end of things. My legs were hard as rocks, my arms were chiseled by an artist and there wasn't a horse I was afraid of. For how many years I've been around horses and the years that I've been riding, my abilities should be farther along than they are.

Stay with me on this. My husbands grandmothers, fiance's nephew and wife live very close to us and we have recently come into contact with them. The wife is a very well known in the industry, we are about to meet them and my husband shared that I have two horses. I'm incredibly intimidated and terrified to meet her. I'm currently what you'd call a backyard horseman, I show at local shows if I can and my horses aren't expensive by any means. I feel almost unworthy of meeting her. It's all made up in my mind, believe me I know. I've heard nothing but WONDERFUL and AMAZING things about her and her farm.



I guess, my actual question now is. Does anyone had times in their riding career that makes them doubt their abilities or their resolve?

Everyone I talk to at my farm is always so happy to be there and never seem to have a doubt of what they can do. I may add, everyone has horses that they've been able to dons with. My boys and I just don't connect. My mare as a child did and is still attached to me and my show horse was always my partner in crime. These are the first horses that just haven't connected.
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txgirl View Post
Have you thought about a partial lease to help keep them in riding mode?
I have, and I've leased horses before. Every time I've gotten into a lease, the horse has been sold to someone else either midway through the lease or at the end of the lease. I've gotten a pretty bad taste in my mouth from it.
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 12:13 PM
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There is no shame in selling both horses if they are not suitable for you. Plenty of top riders have sold great horses because they have not gelled together.

I would suggest that you sell both, get some lessons on a good school master, get your weight down and riding muscles up for about a year so your confidence returns and then, if you still want to, get advice from your instructor and find a horse suitable for you.
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etnorcross View Post
For how many years I've been around horses and the years that I've been riding, my abilities should be farther along than they are.

I relate to this on every level. It's easy to get down on myself because "I've been around horses my entire life, why am I not as good at *insert sport here* as *famous person who excels at said sport*?" I think all we can do is strive to be better, do what we can to learn and improve, and try not to judge ourselves against someone else's measuring stick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by etnorcross View Post
I guess, my actual question now is. Does anyone had times in their riding career that makes them doubt their abilities or their resolve?

ALL. THE. TIME. Every fall, every frustrating ride, every misstep - there are definitely days where I feel like giving up because I just can't do it. I've been working on ending every ride on a positive note and trying to focus on getting better every time out. Even if it's just a little thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by etnorcross View Post
These are the first horses that just haven't connected.

I feel ya. I went through several horses before I found my heart horse. After he passed, it was a long time before I felt connected to another horse again.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
There is no shame in selling both horses if they are not suitable for you. Plenty of top riders have sold great horses because they have not gelled together.

I would suggest that you sell both, get some lessons on a good school master, get your weight down and riding muscles up for about a year so your confidence returns and then, if you still want to, get advice from your instructor and find a horse suitable for you.
This. ^^^
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 01:16 PM
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I think you did a great job analyzing your situation. The only thing you need to drop now is the "If only things were different..." mind set. You don't have the skills, and you don't have the time, to do those horses justice. If you can afford to, keep those horses and keep them in training, but in the meanwhile you have to look for a suitable mount or get out of the hobby before you really get hurt.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 03:43 PM
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I took 25 years off horses. It isn't the end of the world. Best to take a break and focus on something else, or just take lessons without the stress of having to keep a horse in training until you have the time and interest to do so. I have no regrets. I had horses from the age of 5 until I left for university, and then only rode occasionally because I was a student for a long time, then finding a career, then having kids. One day, my daughter asked for riding lessons, and we haven't looked back since. I have three horses at home, and still don't ride as much as I'd like, but I do things I didn't know I'd ever be able to do with horses. And most importantly, I cherish every single day I have with them. I feel like I won the lottery just looking out at my pasture. I built the barn I wanted, have 13 acres for them to live on, and spend my evenings shaking my heads at the wonder of it all right in my own backyard.

One issue I had, however, which I sympathized with when I read your post is that the second horse we bought was a lot more spooky and dangerous than what I bargained for - we believe she was drugged when we tried her. So I got a third horse who is green, but safe, and with my daughter (who has now been taking lessons for 8 years and is winning championships at shows now), we are working on his training. It's slow and gradual, but I don't fear for my life when I'm on him, and he's forgiving of my mistakes. My mare, not so much. Still haven't figured out what to do with her.

My point is that you seem to be feeling that horrible things happen to you and that because you're not from a rich family who can supply you with a steady cash flow, you have no way of continuing to improve as a rider, but that's the case for lots of people. And it's ok to sell horses that you don't have the time or energy for, and just take lessons for a while, or even take a break from horses altogether. It's called adulthood. Sometimes other things have to come first. You have the rest of your life to get back to it - the nice thing about riding is that you can pretty much do it at any age.

Kudos on losing the weight! But don't put yourself in situations where you can keep getting seriously injured. That just takes the fun right out of it. Because in the end, you should be enjoying this.
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 04:59 PM
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I have also lost that loving feeling following an injury. Still love horses, and enjoy spending time with them when I feel like it, but no more riding for me. Zero confidence, also gained weight and lost muscle, so I'm good on the ground. It's not the worst thing really -- I sold my last horse almost two years ago with no regrets. I hated the feeling of not being able to ride him and still having to pay for boarding/feed/hay/wormers/vet care, etc. I remember my riding years with fondness, and really enjoyed that time. I hope you find peace with whatever decision(s) you make.
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