Shifting the Balance

Ever since I’ve gotten back in the saddle as an adult, I’ve been super focused. Always looking for ways to go improve my skills, train harder, compete more successfully, raise the jumps. I’ve spent every spare moment at the barn trying to fit in more saddle time and I’ve spent every spare dollar (and more) fitting more shows into my schedule.

It took me approx. 3 months back in the saddle to get back in the show ring, and I’ve never looked back.

So taking a step back as we get close to the wedding is Weird for me with a capital W. I’ve cut back to riding 2-3x a week, and have a mix of pro rides and junior riders hopping on for the other 3-4x. I gave up my private lesson spot for one in a group lesson. The jumps haven’t gone over 3′ in a little while, and our rollbacks are decidedly hunterific these days. For the first time, I didn’t respond to our quarterly show schedule update email with an enthusiastic “sign me up for those 4!” For the first time, riding is my hobby and not my entire focus.

Also a big part of that hobby is endless nose smooshes. PC- Liz

I don’t like it. No I do not. I miss my schedule and I miss my horse and I miss the sweat and the aches and the struggles and I’m itching to get back to it like you wouldn’t believe.

I like doing this. I already miss doing this. 

But at the same time, something had to give as we round the final stretch to the big day. I’m traveling north to Rhode Island for planning sessions increasingly often and even when I am in town, I have fittings and events and phone calls and all that fun stuff eating up my time and energy. Setting up a program for Frankie that requires less time from me was painful, but is also a relief to know that he’s getting loved on and groomed and worked just as often as his attention-hog heart desires. It takes away a lot of the guilt I was feeling about not being there as often as I’d like.

Francis don’t care WHO is paying attention to him, as long as SOMEONE is paying attention to him. 

Frankie is feeling just fine about all of this. He’s been carting me around my lessons with his ears up and happy snorts (even if he does try to break wayyyy more often because #chunkaroo). He makes silly faces when I curry the itchy spot on his neck, he puts his face down for towel time behind his ears after every bath, and he’s always happy to see me when I’m there. He’s sound and healthy and with the help of my amazing barn family, he’ll be fit and ready for me to take the reins back after the wedding. I already have some ideas for fun new adventures next show season.

At least one of these ideas may or may not tie into him apparently being a really adorable eq horse.

While I’m already eager to get back to a full training program with World’s Best Horse (TM), I’m going to enjoy this hobby season as a mental break from the pressures that I’ve put on myself and my steed for a while now. I’m going to view it as a reset for us to go back and work on some basics without an urgent timeline, a chance to share Frankie with some talented riders looking for saddle time, and a chance for me to explore a different type of balance in my life.

96 days until I can get that dang balance shifted back to the barn.


What? Just because I’m trying to enjoy the break doesn’t mean I’m not psyched to get back into it 😉

16 thoughts on “Shifting the Balance

  1. Rachel - For Want of a Horse 08/27/2018 / 9:47 am

    I know that it is hard but you have a light at the end of the tunnel and you will have an amazing wedding and hubby on top of a unicorn! I had 8 months of NO riding when I had back surgery now THAT was DEATH!


    • hellomylivia 08/27/2018 / 1:05 pm

      I can’t even imagine going 8 months!!! I’m definitely excited for the wedding- with all the effort we’re putting in, I know it’s going to be an amazing day ❤


  2. Stacie Seidman 08/27/2018 / 9:50 am

    I think it’s healthy for everyone to take a little break once in awhile. Frankie too! But I also can’t wait for you to get back at it! Love following along with you guys!


    • hellomylivia 08/27/2018 / 1:06 pm

      He’s definitely loving the break! He’s a good sport about doing All The Things, but I’m sure it’s nice for him to step down for a bit and not push his comfort zone for a while.


  3. Tracy 08/27/2018 / 11:05 am

    When I first graduated college, my job required that I work the entire month of October (no days off, not even weekends) and it was THE WORST to not be at the barn for 30 whole days. 10/10 do not recommend and I 20/10 do not miss that.


    • hellomylivia 08/27/2018 / 1:08 pm

      Oh lawd that sounds AWFUL. A (reasonably) flexible schedule is a total must for me bc of the horse- I’ve actually turned down offers for jobs that don’t include that as a perk. It was different before and I’m sure it’ll be different in the future, but finding the work-life balance is TOUGH omg


  4. martidoll123 08/27/2018 / 11:35 am

    just remember to breathe. SO glad you have a plan for Frankie. Just enjoy the wedding crazies. They will be over before you know it 🙂 And you will be back to doing the Frankie train again all the time 🙂 HA


    • hellomylivia 08/27/2018 / 1:09 pm

      Having that plan in place for Francis is a HUGE weight off, I feel like I can relax (a little) and enjoy the craziness as it comes!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. HunkyHanoverian 08/27/2018 / 1:48 pm

    The insane Texas heat made me back off in July to 1 lesson a week and 1-2 hacks (the rest being pro rides which they could do early in the morning to avoid the heat). Then I didn’t have the budget to show in Santa Fe with the rest of my barn, so i spent the first 2 weeks of August chilling and playing around with some XC. Now, Rio is recovering from his attempted break out, so he’s has 2 weeks off, with at least another 2 to go.

    Honestly? It’s been a bit of a relief! I miss the intense schedule like crazy, but it’s been nice having tons of time for other stuff such as redecorating, spending more time with family, cooking, seeing old friend- stuff I usually don’t have time or energy for.

    ENJOY the wedding planning- it will be over before you know it, and hopefully you only get married once!!!


    • hellomylivia 08/27/2018 / 2:04 pm

      I will admit, it’s been nice to have the extra time to settling into the new apartment and get it decorated and organized just right! And I’m seeing friends more often, which is great since my bestie is no longer my roommate. Definitely lots of perks to the break!


  6. eventerinprogress 08/27/2018 / 9:59 pm

    I really admire your attitude. I lose focus with no goals and I ABSOLUTELY DESPISE having other people ride my horse.

    Can I tell you why?

    Not really.


    • hellomylivia 08/28/2018 / 6:52 am

      Hahaha I don’t do well without goals to work towards, this is def a new feeling for me! I do love seeing other people enjoy my pony though 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. carey 08/30/2018 / 11:25 am

    Sometimes we just have to take a break. Luckily, it’s a choice-ish, and not mandated due to injury or something like that. Enjoy the “down time” after the wedding there will be plenty of barn time in your life, you only get one chance to be a bride and a newlywed and all that fun stuff that can pushed aside for ponies. I’m sure fiance is enjoying getting more of your time 🙂


    • hellomylivia 08/30/2018 / 11:28 am

      It’s definitely an enjoyable break! We’ve been able to spend lots of time together exploring our new neighborhood and cooking together (i.e. he cooks and I drink wine and watch, but close enough). Growing up is weird!


      • carey 08/30/2018 / 11:44 am

        My husband and I cook together (and drink wine) almost every night. It’s one of my fav parts of the day.

        Liked by 1 person

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