I’ve spent the last few weeks just feeling burned out. Ever since Fair Hill, or honestly, even before Fair Hill, I’ve been struggling with the motivation to ride. Then the comments about Nay’s weight combined with the weather combined with neverending vertigo/vestibular migraine combined with life, I’ve just pretty much given myself permission to take a break.
Until this weekend, I’ve averaged less than 1 ride for most of the last 30 days. And you know what? The world didn’t end. I need to remind myself that if I take time off, the world doesn’t end.
I’m still struggling to find motivation, but there’s less… pressure?
I also pulled off my spurs and set down my crop.
You see, my leg was doing something funky and it appeared that I kept pushing a spur into Nay consistently. I hadn’t been doing it until I started and then I suddenly couldn’t stop. Nay would pick up his canter and then react every time the spur touched him. NOW, he didn’t buck, he didn’t crow hop (other than the time he really moved his hind end over and hit the wall and reacted to that…twice), but just was unhappy. I tried to pay extra close attention to my leg which caused me to mess with my hands which caused me to get extra tense which caused me to not enjoy riding. I was so hyper-focused on my damn leg that nothing else worked. So that wasn’t working.
So, when I went to ride the other weekend, I pulled my spurs and decided to just ride. And I’m going with that.
I’m also letting Nay Nay play in the indoor pre-ride when at all possible. He thinks it’s fun and since he’s 1000% perfect on the lunge line (even though it’s not his favorite thing), it’s nice for him to let loose. I don’t like him playing on the line, but I don’t mind him playing in the indoor. And, while I was nervous after turning the indoor into a turnout place, just because he plays in there, he was actually a gentleman when I rode inside last weekend (for the first half of our ride).
This weekend I actually rode twice.
Saturday, he was a madman playing. I’ve NEVER seen him buck more in his life. And when someone opened the door to see how long we’d be inside so they could bring in a green horse (we were fine since all Nay needs in 5-6 minutes and they hadn’t even groomed or tacked up), he took that as an excuse to launch into yet ANOTHER bucking and galloping fit. Of course, I didn’t video at all on Saturday.
He was great for his ride outside. We cantered forever and I realized just how weak I am to right. I need to work on that…
Sunday, Nay got to play again but was far less energized. He was spooky but tired from the day before. Nonetheless, he was good boy other than his slow-motion spook the burn pile at the canter — the same burn pile we did NOT spook at while it was still smoldering the day before… But, once I made him stop and look, he was fine.
We ended with 4 jumps. We trotted an easy outside line that I completely messed up the first time, trying to hold when there was NOTHING to hold to… Nay still jumped everything and looked back and me after like I was a fool… But, we did it again, I let go, and life was good. We also did an easy diagonal line which we also did the day before and he was foot perfect. Considering we haven’t jumped in… a while, we ended there.
I will say, cantering without spurs is OK. Nay is picking up the left lead without issues and the right lead has been going pretty well. Right lead issues are mostly me, but he is still getting it. If we don’t get it, it’s mostly lack of pace and a nice pony kick seems to help. Honestly, he’s VERY out of shape now and it’s nice.
As for his weight, I asked my farrier on Saturday who looked at him and told me he’s fine and I’ll never get 200lbs on him. He also didn’t see severely underweight. Unlike the vet, my farrier actually likes some weight on horses and said he looked great. He’s not one to throw out compliments. He is the one person who told me it was time to put Hayley down years ago… He’ll tell me the truth even if I don’t want to hear it. He took his time looking at Nay, pointed out his round butt, how his ribs are completely covered and unless you press hard, you can’t feel them let alone see them. He’s also very much a thoroughbred and will never look like a warmblood — some thoroughbreds can look like warmbloods/quarter horses, most don’t. He sees a lot of horses and said he wouldn’t be embarrassed to take Nay anywhere. So. Yeah.
as far as my vet is concerned, my horse is either too heavy or too lean at any given moment. at different points in time she’s said to me, exactly, “don’t let him gain any more weight,” and, “don’t let him lose any more weight.” and ya know. he’s fine haha. they’re basically always fine
I don’t know if it was burnout or what, but I definitely let that comment get to me more than usual… I also can usually spot stuff so I was concerned that I wasn’t seeing 200lbs worth of something. Either way, he is what he is and I need to not lose sleep that he doesn’t look like a warmblood. He’s built different. For that matter, he’s built differently than Subi who is anything but narrow.
I think we can be too hard on ourselves. We’re AAs and taking a break is okay. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our horses or the sport. I’m glad you took a breath and found your way back to fun.
YOu are so diligent on your care of your horses so I can see how that comment would wound. I look at Nay Nay and I see a healthy horse.
Glad you had a couple of good rides! I don’t blame you for feeling the way you were. Honestly, if i had to trailer out to ride, I’m not sure how often I could get that done either.
It’s a 3 minute haul but sometimes it seems impossible.
You said in a post at the end of September that no one reads for your health issues. With my own chronic illness stuff (which influences every other area of life…), my intent to comment on that never happened, but I will say that I’d totally read more of that. I know the adage ‘no hoof no horse,’ but it’s also like ‘no human, no horse’ right? I’ve found another blogger or two talking about anxiety influencing their ‘horse life,’ which has been refreshing (for me at least). But I haven’t seen anyone else talk about vertigo, migraines – and horses. Sorry for the novel – my intent isn’t “do this!” but more if you want to, I’m sure I’d learn something and others would too.
Maybe I will. I struggle with talking about chronic stuff just because it is so much part of my life that sometimes I think no one wants to hear more about it. But then, I guess I don’t really use this forum much to talk about it nor do I vocalize much in general. It might not be a bad thing?
I will say, I am VERY fortunate to have a trainer who 100% understands the migraine issues.