I did something very unexpected yesterday.
I told my trainer that I would not be there for my weekly lesson, and that I would make it up another time.
Now, this particular action has occurred many times over the last year due to travel or illness or other barriers to me getting to the barn and riding.
But this time I cancelled because I needed a day to just not. There was nothing that would’ve prevented me riding. I was physically capable, the weather was fine (though gross, as has become the eternal state of weather in NoVA), and my horse was ready to go. I could’ve gone to the barn and hopped on and had my lesson.
But I knew that if I did, the tension and frustration and frazzled feeling I’ve been carrying for the last week or so would carry over to my ride. And as terribly guilty as it made me, the best thing I could do for me and Frankie both was to take a step back and give myself permission to take a deep breath.
I felt so guilty about this- why should Frankie miss out on work just because I’m feeling off? The weather has been so crappy, he would probably love the chance to stretch his legs and play. I was gone over the weekend and he hasn’t gotten worked with the consistency I’d like- is he going to start losing muscle mass? What if he forgets about his mother? What if he HATES ME???
I don’t have to elaborate further because you all share a similar type of crazy and know what those thoughts are like.
Thankfully, I’ve got a support system that helps me out in every way when I work myself into a frenzy like that.
I’ve got the friend who reminds me that one day off is NOT the end of the world. That we are not showing this weekend and Frankie is dead-broke, it’s not like we have him in a strict training program that I’m messing up. That he deserves my patience and hard work instead of my stress and baggage. That ONE DAY OFF WILL NOT KILL HIM SERIOUSLY OLIVIA CALM DOWN YOU RIDICULOUS BALL OF ANXIETY.
And then I’ve got the friend who I can trust to hop on Frankie in her lesson and give him a good ride. Who sent me video of her jumping so I could see for myself how it went. Who called as soon as she left the barn to give me a FULL report on what they worked on and how Francis did. Whose first words on that phone call were, “Oh my God your horse is so fun.”
So yeah, there’s still some residual guilt. I really did miss my guy yesterday. But I definitely made the right choice for me and my pony- to take a step back and take care of myself, as hard as it was.
We all have to figure out our own balance and what works for us, and I’m still figuring out my version of what that looks like. It’s going to require saying no to more things so I don’t get as spread thin, and it’s going to require a little more organization.
Thank goodness for the people I have helping me out while I catch my balance. ❤