Feeling so demoralised.... - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 42 Unread 12-05-2019, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,277
• Horses: 1
Feeling so demoralised....

I don't even know how to word this but I have no one to share this with... that would understand.

After failing to outsource a reliable instructor for the fourth time... I am depressed. Badly. About my horse situation. My relationship with Katie is amazing. I get to stay in the city of london at a great yard with loads of turnout. And really... I checked out many other yards. This really ticks all the important boxes. There is amazing hacking... but not for me it seems.

When I first came I was told there would be plenty people to hack with and instructors on site to learn with. Well not the case. I mean not for me. One staff member (will fake name Jess) solely exercises Katie for me. She rides Katie a lot and the general theme is that its mutually beneficial. Katie gets schooling, exercise and fun and I get... a fit, mentally stimulated horse. They love each other and have bonded in a way that I am beginning to realise I might never get to experience... because of how much and how well Jess rides and I seem to have gotten nowhere myself.

Thing is at the start I was very happy for Katie to be shared while I was at work... but to hack Katie in the national park requires her to be stalled overnight at a further facility - with no arena. It means after work I can't do anything with her. But she gets to go on a fun group hack in the daylight right.. what's best for her. Right? What's better, being stalled in the day and arena at night with me or a several-hour hack through woodland and fields with Jess in the day?

I can't jump. So I let Jess take her to jumping clinic (cleared by vet for work previously btw). Katie LOVES jumping. I want to learn to jump but see above my instructor problem. But meanwhile I'll let Jess help get it out of her system. This also means more time at further yard and less time for me. But what is best for Katie right?

They use her in the staff schooling lesson once a week but as it's an RDA school none of the instructors or owner has time to teach me (even though I can pay - they are genuinely busy I get that). She gets ridden 4-5x across the 3-4 days she's in. I ride her once a week right now in the evenings because I let them take her in the day. Because it's for staff y'now... but Katie would prefer it...


My feelings and why I finally ended up crying over this...

1. I can't justify buying a towing vehicle or horsebox.. I mean I live in the congestion zone it's just ridiculous. I don't show and since I can't even hack her 20minutes alone right now doesn't look like I'm going anywhere. Once I move out in a year or two. I mean I can pay 150 to rent a horsebox for a day to take to a riding school....

2. The more staff hack her out and take her fun places in a group the harder it is to hack her alone. I mean we're making progress but it's just no fun. For anyone that is actually reading this and unaware - I live in the city. There is roadwork and buses and kids and mothers to navigate. I am an OK rider but that's about it. I cannot just let her jolly off into the sunset and the trail is so narrow leaves brush both sides. Jess said she'd work on solo rides but hasn't been as they've been doing lots of group hacks or pairs. It's for safety and I get that.

3. I can have riding lessons. At a different riding school. On a different horse. What's the freaking point?! Fair enough if it was in addition... The most recent instructor I've contacted to come out quoted me 125 for a 45 minute lesson. I guess I'm not of his calibre either since I don't show. Staff lessons are for staff.

4. I wanted to take her away but the places that I've been in contact with have been all talk and zero commitment. I might end up going somewhere just to not be able to get 5 minutes down the road or kill myself at this point...

5. There are no other people locally to hack with - I put out ads and got one response but she is unfortunately too far away.

6. old yard was ridiculously expensive and too far away even if I wish to have that instructor back so badly :<

I feel so petty. I am constantly trying to remind myself to try and not be selfish. I don't want to punish Katie (by denying her) just because I can't do XYZ. I have some other stuff going on that isn't helping me feel any better. I just feel like a terrible owner. Not for Katie but for myself. I didn't think I set high expectations but right now I'm just paying for other people to experience all those things. And if I stopped that... then Katie would get nothing. It's a lose/lose. It even crossed my mind to offer Katie to Jess. I was going to get another horse this year for my partner so when I move. But now it feels so pointless.

IDK I'm just really depressed. We have an amazing relationship and I love teaching her things. I like being alone.. I just never realised I would be THIS alone... y'know.

edit: got some bad news - family and terminal which I'm sure isn't helping me be optimistic right now sorry for the moan :<

Last edited by Kalraii; 12-05-2019 at 08:57 AM.
Kalraii is offline  
post #2 of 42 Unread 12-05-2019, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Southeast
Posts: 7,943
• Horses: 0
So sorry to read this. Tough sometimes, to figure out what is best for everyone.

You are a kind person, and they I think are taking advantage.

Wonderful that Katie is getting good riding, but is there a cost savings to you for all this use of your horse??

Sometimes it helps me to mentally review my overall experience with a horse to help me focus on a plan.

So to review, you have a wonderful horse. YAY! Remember the excitement buying Katie brought.

Then the low of trying to find the best place for both of you, and moving a few times.

So you have a place now, with good and bad points. It's really hard for me to understand the boarding situation over on your side of the pond, because it is so different from here.

Maybe the owners and staff don't realize how important it is for you to ride your own horse.

What would happen, if you spoke to the bO and said you are thinking of selling Katie, because basically you are paying lots of money to keep her, for others to ride, and you don't get to ride.

I am NOT suggesting you really sell her btw, just something to push the people at the stable to help you find a path through this. I would bet they do not want to loose Katie, she sounds as if she is the "steady Eddie" for the students to go out with.

As for your family situation, I can only pray that they find peace and do not suffer.

AnitaAnne is online now  
post #3 of 42 Unread 12-05-2019, 09:31 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Hildreth, FL
Posts: 2,584
• Horses: 5
I have no advice for you. As @AnitaAnne said, my situation is so different, I don't understand how it all works for you. I just know that you are a kind and caring person, and I feel sad that you are struggling. So my heart is with you . . . and I know a lot of people on Horse Forum care about you.
knightrider is offline  
post #4 of 42 Unread 12-05-2019, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 6,300
• Horses: 3
Ditto others that I am frustrated on your behalf and sorry it's such a complicated situation. I don't disagree with your assessment that Katie having access to better stabling and regular exercise sounds good for her, even though it's not for you right now. If I'm following, that's temporary- though maybe another year or so of that arrangement.

One place where I see some opportunity to push a little more aggressively with the barn staff to make this more beneficial to you- I would try insisting that you get to ride her in the staff lesson. Yes, I see you clearly wrote "staff lessons are for staff." I have no doubt they'd prefer that. But given all the other benefits they are experiencing by having your wonderful horse accessible for so many of their needs, I think I'd make a stink about that and say you want in on it since you are not able to make another instructor situation work. That seems like an area they need to flex a little to make things work for you.

Sorry to hear about the family illness you're facing
egrogan is online now  
post #5 of 42 Unread 12-05-2019, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 7,483
• Horses: 3
Hello! I care about you too, and it must be so demoralising to own a horse and ride it less than other people, when you are wishing to ride and trying to learn and progress. I can totally understand why that would feel depressing. It would be OK to have co-exercise like your horse has if at least you got to ride as much as you wanted, with instruction, or with company on trails. So something has to change - it can't go on like this. I like @AnitaAnne 's suggestion about making selling noises to see if this will help you get some instruction time or group trail time.

So why can't you ride with a daytime group on the weekend - or any other day you're off work? This is the bit I don't get - why can't you ride with that group when you're around? So what if they're staff, it's your horse... and why can't you join? Are they riding faster than you're comfortable with? Or is it they just won't let you? If you were told instruction and trail buddies were available, they should ruddy well be available. It stinks.

Are you getting any discounts from the facility for their routine use of your horse? Yes, it's good for a horse to be exercised - but people pay to ride, generally, and so it's not as if they're doing you a bigger favour than they are doing themselves... Yes, you're getting your horse exercised when you can't do it, but they're still getting a good horse to ride.

I'm so sorry to hear about your family member. Hang in there, and don't apologise for wanting to talk about it to someone.

SueC is time travelling.
SueC is offline  
post #6 of 42 Unread 12-05-2019, 10:03 AM
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 251
• Horses: 0
Jess seems like she's already got time, experience, and she's obviously very near you. Is it possible for her to hop on a different horse while you ride Katie, and you can practice hacking out together? That's what I did when I started riding out on the roads and trails - the BO rode her horse while I rode mine so I could familiarize myself and my mare with the paths before I went out alone. Riding alone off the property was quite intimidating at the time, but after I did it just once and my horse was amazing and we had a fantastic time, I've lost 95% of that fear and I take her out alone constantly now. I get that you're in an urban area - I'm probably not in an area as busy as yours, but I do have to cross a few busy roads to get to one set of trails, and ride directly on the roads for a while to get to another set of trails.

Is there a chance any of the students you talk about would be able to borrow a lesson horse and come for a ride with you? I'm sure they'd love the opportunity to ride more!

Hang in there. I understand how you feel with everything feeling pointless with no personal growth. You'll pull through, and Katie appreciates you for all you do
Aprilswissmiss is offline  
post #7 of 42 Unread 12-05-2019, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 431
• Horses: 0
I don't think you're being selfish. You want to enjoy your horse whom you love, and instead other people are enjoying her. It's so difficult, but I'd try to remember that this won't be the case forever. Hugs!
WildestDandelion is offline  
post #8 of 42 Unread 12-05-2019, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 78
• Horses: 2
I'm so sorry that you are having troubles, and about your family illness. I can relate to the disappointment in your barn, which has made me feel very low as well.
One thing I realised for me, is that riding horses is the best thing I can do for my spirit. I always feel better after a ride. Perhaps you should try lessons at another barn, learn how to jump. Just riding itself might make you feel better, and you would learn the skills you want.
Alder is offline  
post #9 of 42 Unread 12-05-2019, 11:50 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 33,631
• Horses: 3
One of the many things about this forum that I've learned over the years, is that even though we are all tapping away on keyboards and not standing next to you, there are many, many members who genuinely do care.
It really does mean that you are never alone.

I feel your pain, you truly do appear to be stuck between a rock and a hard place and I'm not even sure I can give you any useful advice at all. One of the main reasons I say that is because the most logical advice would be to sell or lease Katie to a good home and try to forget her. Maybe in the future your circumstances will change and you will move out of London or maybe a better livery yard will appear that's close to home but will also have better facilities?

If you love her then that's likely not an option. One of my old horses has gone to a retirement barn on a sort of trial period to see how it works out. It would allow me to have a last chance of buying a horse I could do some showing with because I don't have room otherwise. She's settled in immediately. loves her new friends, is being cared for really well, probably ahsn't given me another thought. Unfortunately I'm missing her so much I can barely look into her empty stable and paddock.

Just winging it is not a plan
jaydee is offline  
post #10 of 42 Unread 12-05-2019, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 431
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
Unfortunately I'm missing her so much I can barely look into her empty stable and paddock.
@jaydee this made me tear up!
AnitaAnne, egrogan, jaydee and 4 others like this.
WildestDandelion is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome