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. ❤



14 thoughts on “Balance.

  1. the clueless but curious rider 05/19/2016 / 9:40 am

    I still feel bad about that turn to the three stride, the only way I can describe it is *insert fart noise* lol he was such a good boy though!! Glad you had a night to recoup 🙂


    • hellomylivia 05/19/2016 / 9:41 am

      Haha I’m still doing that and I ride him every day 😛 So glad he got to play with you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Allison Stitzinger 05/19/2016 / 11:02 am

    Days off are necessary for both ponies and people once in a while! Don’t beat yourself up – take the time you need to recharge your batteries!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Erin 05/19/2016 / 11:34 am

    Yep. I’ve done the same. Sometimes you just need a me day. Hope you’re feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lauren 05/19/2016 / 11:36 am

    This is why I commit to a roughly 4 day a week routine, but have a hard time doing less. While I love riding, I need things like writing/friends/downtime to keep my overall Lauren brain happy. That balance works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. SprinklerBandits 05/19/2016 / 2:59 pm

    Days off are an important part of learning. It’s better for Frankie for you to make intelligent choices than for you to drag your shit to the barn with you and take it out on him. 🙂 Tomorrow is a new day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stacie Seidman 05/19/2016 / 3:24 pm

    Welcome to new horse mommy-hood! Soon you’ll realize that it’s totally ok to have a day off. My poor horses have the whole winter off! And to be honest, I think they enjoy an unexpected rest day as much as anyone else. In this case, Frankie still got his workout, so definitely no harm there! I bet you totally made your friends day by letting her ride your amazing pony!


  7. Nicole Sharpe 05/19/2016 / 5:30 pm

    When I first started working with Murray, I was at the barn rain or shine, in the hail, in the cold, even if he had a day off. I wouldn’t say that I burned myself out, but I definitely did NOT use and appreciate my days off then — and I should have, since he didn’t need as much riding back then! Now I am much more liberal with my personal days — sometimes a personal day is just a hack, or going out a kissing him on the nose then organizing things, or it’s lying in front of the telly. I so rarely feel guilty about it any more, because I know that I will want to ride in no time at all!


  8. aHorseForElinor 05/20/2016 / 12:06 am

    I’m with you in that whole thing about creating balance. .. it’s so hard not getting sucked into a routine that is simply too intense. All barn. All days.
    You deserve a break!!!


  9. sarahczspots 05/20/2016 / 7:55 am

    Don’t beat yourself up over it. He is your happy place, and there’s no harm in letting someone else ride him if you aren’t feeling it. There’s also no shame in giving him an extra day off either. Sometimes I just go sit in the field and watch my guys graze when I’m not mentally ready to ride.


  10. Micaylah 05/20/2016 / 11:03 am

    I always feel guilty not being out there. Luckily my guy is low maintenance and as much as he likes to work he doesn’t need to be ridden daily (he actually excels with time off). I’m trying to get to a four day a week program. Its hard when I’m house sitting because I have so much more on my plate


  11. draftmare 05/20/2016 / 9:32 pm

    I have those feelings too. Sometimes I just feel so guilty about not going to the barn when nothing but my own personal feelings are keeping me from going. I have to remind myself that in the larger scheme of things, my horse doesn’t really care if she gets worked or not, though I like to think that she does like seeing me. And also just like a job, or going to the gym, we as riders sometimes need an off day.


  12. Tracy - Fly On Over 05/23/2016 / 3:00 pm

    Horses DGAF if they miss their weekly lesson. It sucks when real life gets in the way of riding, but it’s a necessary evil (damn bills).

    Liked by 1 person

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