It’s been a minute.
Juice is doing great, and I’m doing okay too. But obviously, I haven’t been writing. I have been reading everyone else’s blogs though. If we’ve ever ‘talked’ through our blogs in comments or elsewhere, I’m still keeping up with you, I’ve just been quieter.
We went to one more mini trial to finish out our show season in October. I dropped to beginner novice instead of trying for novice. Doing novice would have brought on stress, which I wanted no part of. We did fine, and had a good time.
My heart just hasn’t been in riding. Don’t get me wrong, I love my horse and my barn’s community. Ohio has had a shit ton of rain this year – record breaking levels. And so having less chances to do relaxing trail rides, what I normally turn to when I’m burned out or just not feeling like doing anything, has not helped with motivation. Neither have my own personal issues; I’m going through something that has occurred on and off throughout most of my life: depression. So really, my heart just hasn’t been in anything. The sun going down before I get off of work everyday just makes me want to curl up in a ball and sleep. I have begun to realize I ask way too much of my $39 Happy Light that I use each weekday morning.
So through this winter so far, I’ve tried hard to be nice to myself. To not feel like a failure or bad horse mom if I stay home more. I planned months ago to swear off lessons for the most part until late February or March, in an effort to save some money. My horse gets turnout and has several sets of eyes on him throughout any given day. He is fine if I can’t make it out to ride a couple days in a row. He was clipped in October and I have not needed to clip him a second time since he’s in reduced work, so he wears his sheet more than his blanket, which should help that thing last another year, I hope. I’ve had quite a few days I’ve just gone and given him a thorough grooming and turned around and headed home. I have not forced myself to go when I know my toes will freeze within minutes of arrival. My tolerance for this season is much lower than usual right now and that’s just the way it is.
I’m taking steps to address how I’ve been feeling. Hopefully I will be doing better soon.
I went back to my first post of 2018, fully prepared to cringe when I went through my goals for the year. But it turns out I accomplished several of them:
Clean and condition my tack regularly. I was definitely more on top of this. We got a new bridle for Christmas, so I have incentive to keep it up.
Work on ground manners with Juice. He is a hundred times better in the crossties now than he was. It only took a few weeks of strict discipline and reminders every now and then. Stuffing him with treats (plus all the people that surely did when I wasn’t there over Christmas) when I feel guilty about not seeing him kind of caused this behavior to backtrack, but overall he is way better.
Ride some Training level dressage tests at schooling shows. I did a couple. I learned I need to find different schooling show opportunities or just do fix-a-test clinics, because I did not enjoy this so much.
School 2’9″ and higher in lessons. We did this for the most part, unless we were specifically working on grids or other exercises that are more productive at lower heights.
Do more jumper shows, schooling or rated, improve on our last experience in some way. We did both schooling and rated jumpers, and came home with Reserve champion for .70m at the rated show and had good rounds in the .80m. Watching the .90m did not have me anxious at all, so I think if we go to any in 2019, we will be doing .80-90.
Right now I’m not setting any goals for Juice and I. I don’t know if I want to horse show this year, I don’t know what we’ll do or where we’ll go. I don’t really care right now. What I do care about is getting myself back to who I want to be. The only person who needs to be satisfied with that is me, but I have felt weird not writing about it. I was inspired to finally get some help by Nicole Cliffe’s efforts to de-stigmatize mental health issues; so I hope that I may be able to help someone reading by putting this out there.