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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

October 30, 2012

A Month of Non-Equestrianism

It has amazed me how easily I have fallen into being a non-rider, non-endurance pursuing, actually not pursuing ANYTHING person.  If I could roll it up into a little nut-shell, I guess I've burned myself out pretty bad, kind of like a spinning rear wheel in deep mucky clay.  You spin all you want, but honey you are just digging a deeper trench.  That is where I've found myself this year.  It isn't only the horse thing.  I'm blah-say about cleaning, folding the laundry, mowing the grass, doing the dishes, showing up for work.  The little flames of positivity is burning way low.  Like I do with most things, I've spent some time mulling it over, dissecting it, and coming to the opinion of ehhh!   My pursuit of anything horse related is seriously stalled by the economy, the price of gasoline, the price of feeding the critters in general, an aging truck (dare I say an aging body of my own...(back! back! damn you, back in the box!).  The rest of me is aging, but sister I AM NOT OLD.  I REFUSE TO BE OLD.  I WILL NOT ACCEPT OLD.  Heading into my sixth decade I do feel wiser.   Not the O word.   I desire to be the woman with the long grey braid with the wind still in my hair even if it doesn't exactly fill the sails anymore.   See where I'm at?

So during this period of lassitude I've not been doing much.  Doing a little hiking, some very quiet low-key ground work with the girls.  I can't even say that I have formulated a plan for 2013.  I found the segue into CMO a lot of fun, and something I'd do again for sure, but not in a competitive way.  My heart is still somewhere else, but my dose of reality continues to tell me it isn't feasible to my lifestyle right now, maybe never.  A readily simple answer would be to sell out, down-size, relocate.  If that is a "smart" answer I can't predict.  I'd definitely need a hotter fire in my belly for it than I've had the past few months!

I do want to give a shout out to Sheri Devouassoux who is moving right along with her horse AAS Al Hamdani.  She is competing a horse that has presented some health challenges, and she is doing a great job with him.    Way to go Sheri!

I'd love it if some of you would hit the reply button and let me know what you all have been up to.  ~ E.G.


  1. Long time no comment, but I've been following along! I think everyone has those "low" times where you just don't feel motivated. And hey, as long as it's not your job and you don't have to make money doing it, then why not? Just enjoy relaxing with your girls for a while!

    1. Your post reminds me of that dismal time period I had four years ago when I gave up racing.
      I was OBSESSED with TBs, racing, breeding, history, everything. I had immersed my whole life into wanting to have racehorses and it took several years of utter failure to finally beat it out of me. (Absolutely not saying your experience is similar to mine in this way!!!!)

      I remember this horrible fealing of loss, almost like mourning. Anyway, eventually my focus shifted, it took a lot of time and alot of days spent thinking and cleaning horse stalls to finally be ready to accept a new "reality" in my horse lifestyle.
      Now I am very content, although I have not been brave enough to venture back to the track....
      Have you seen the "Exotic Marigold Hotel" movie yet? All day I've been thinking of that one line in the movie where the innkeeper tells the guests about a saying they have in India "We have a saying here that things always work out in the end. So, if things aren't working out for you, it is not yet the end." I love that.

  2. Well, like you, I wanted to be an endurance rider, but now is just not a good time. However, I have found several groups of friends to ride and camp with. We have a great time together and get to see lots of places. We keep it simple - good eats, good drinks, good ponies... It's about all I can ask for right now.

  3. Thanks for the Shout Out, EG! Yes, my horse has been a tremendous challenge. From having to deal with extreme studdishness even almost a year after gelding him, to his "race brain", to a ligament injury, to his thyroid issue, to dealing with his Insulin Resistance...He has been a challenge and sometimes I wonder why I chose HIM and not some horse that could have been simpler. But he is definitely worth it! He is really a good boy, and he can't help that he has issues. And he tries so very hard for me. I have stuck by his side even when I wondered if he was ever going to be sound again. About a year and a half after buying him, he behaves like the perfect gelding, has lost his "race brain" (for the most part), his ligament has healed, his thyroid is medicated, and his IR is under control with a special diet and supplements. Yay! When I finished the ride last weekend, I was so, so, SO proud of him and how far he has come. Thanks for acknowledging me and my little gelding. That means a lot to me! :)

  4. I hear ya. I spent many, many years with a homesteading dream. For a long time I loved living off the land: raising all my own food, cooking 3 meals a day from scratch, raising animals, trying to make a living from the land by farming, etc.

    This year: TOTAL BURNOUT. I have listed my farm for sale and I didn't even bother to raise so much as a tomato. I havent baked a loaf of bread in months. I have been buying pre-packaged processed food and everyone is wondering what happened to me.

    Just sick of the work I guess. I am sick of cutting up firewood and cleaning up after 100's of animals. I see everyone else having vacations and going out to dinner and I just want to do that too for awhile. I want an office job. I am sick of breaking ice in blizzards and cleaning pens in 90 degree weather. Way too much for one woman. Plus the enormous expense of it all.

    So I conditioned one of my horses for endurance riding. We finished an 30 mile LD just a few weeks ago. I should be elated but I find I might have managed to make a good, dependable horse into a nutcase and now I am frustrated with that. If only things could progress smoothly, right? Oh well. I'll figure it out but that's my rant for today.

    Sometimes we just need a break. A real break. Not a two week vacation but a real change in life.

    1. I was forced into my least-horsey summer/fall ever by the intense Midwest heat. I have decided that I will not do another CTR or CMO if there is any chance of rain or if it will be hot/humid. Let's face it, it isn't fun riding in either of those conditions for either the rider or the horse. Why should I put my horse through that? I don't have the ego-need of competing even if it won't be an enjoyable experience. So since I didn't do much competing this year, I've kinda lost my "drive". I'm hoping I can get some ambition up for next year, but tell ya what -- it was kinda nice not worrying that my horse was gaining a few pounds...

  5. Continued frustrations definitely lead to ruts. Finally having my own horses to do what I want with when I want has been wonderful, but I've definitely already found ruts with them, albeit minor. Gotta find a new angle to look at things and find excitement, that's my goal.

    The spring brings promise. A friend and I are going to try to set up a CMO for our local riding club. We think because it can be so adaptable for the super competitive, super fast, super savvy, yet provide fun for all those who don't fall into the aforementioned categories that our friends will all really enjoy it. The whole point is just getting out on trails we love with our animals. Having more of a goal to everything that "riding" or "getting drunk" would be good for everyone!! Besides, we've already decided that if we absolutely have to we'll put beer at one target to spur them forward. ;-)

    Will definitely keep you updated on those developments as you're the reason I now know about CMO!

    Here's to rising out of ruts and finding new angles and new excitement. =)