Friday, May 8, 2015

Sunset Discussions

It's been a rough week. Couple of weeks. Past month or so. As several of the comments on my blogs this week alluded to, I'm not upset with Courage because he wouldn't get on a trailer one time (truth: I was livid about that, but I'm moving on). The deeper issue is that Courage is a really challenging horse. He doesn't scare me and I can ride him and I do like him, usually.

But the stunts he's been pulling lately are making me seriously question my commitment here. Yes, I can ride him, but on a lot of days, it isn't very fun for me.

The answer might be in the pie. Or maybe I need a different pie entirely.

a tasty foot
I tried turning Courage loose in the arena to see what he'd do. Maybe he'd glue himself to my side and act needy and want me or we'd have some sort of magical connection or I'd feel something or know something or learn something.

Or you know, maybe he'd wander around the arena and scavenge for weeds while completely ignoring me for an hour, then come say hi and wander off.

Because he's a horse. And that's what horses do. They horse.

Sometimes they horse in ways that we like.

Sometimes they don't.

They aren't thinking ahead. They don't have plans. They live in the moment and they react.

And sometimes they hold a grudge.

Some of them are easy.

Some of them are not.

And just my luck, I have one that isn't easy, but that I can handle.

If I want to.

I either need to woman up and JUST DO IT, or I need to let him go and find something that isn't quite so frustrating to deal with.

I don't know what the answer is. Pass the pie.


  1. I have no answers, other than if it's not fun, it's time to change something up. Whatever that is.

    Will a nice chai cake with cinnamon cream-cheese frosting help? Because I might need seconds...

  2. I'm a bit at that point with Skye. I don't own her but I am her only rider and she's gone from sweet docile baby horse to very challenging 6 year old and I don't know where it came from.

    But I feel strongly all horses are idiots and somewhat evil from about 5-10 years old before they settle down.

    Except Don, he was perfect. In every way. And I try not to ever think about that because then I start comparing and no horse compares.

    I don't like pie so I think I'll go find some ice cream.

  3. I have cinnamon rolls. Will that help?

  4. in a way, it's nice knowing the decision is totally yours to make - you're capable of managing the consequences regardless of the outcome, it's just a matter of preference (gross oversimplification, sorta, but you get the point). good luck figuring out what you want and how to get there!!

  5. Pretend Courage is your boyfriend. You've been dating since you were knobbly teenagers. You're grown up now and need to ask yourself if you want to marry him. Was he part of a learning path in your life as you grew and figured out who you are, or is he your forever? Your heart horse? Are you willing to fight to keep him, or are you okay with (yes it sucks) the break up and the tear filled, ice-cream eating nights that follow, but looking back, no regrets because he was never going to be that "everything" you need?

    For me, that's the easiest way to tell if a horse is the one you love and will love forever, or if he's a horse you loved but are no longer in love with.

    Some relationships last forever, some only long enough to help us grow. Trust yourself as you make a decision about whether or not it's time to break up, but don't do anything that will leave you feeling like you lost the love of your life.

    1. Wow. This is making me look back on old horse partnerships in a whole new light.

    2. Holy smokes...that's deep...and true. I will try to remember this always for any equine partners that I may have in the future.

    3. This is quite possibly some of the best advice I have ever read on the internet. Well said, Sand!

  6. If it's not fun, something needs to change. I know this is hard, and you know that. I completely agree with Sand^^ up there. You need to decipher why you still have him. Are you just in love with him, and can't imagine not having him? Is this a rough spot or is it time to break up?

  7. I really like the do you marry the boyfriend analogy's not a failure if you're just two great individuals who aren't a right forever fit for one another. That doesn't diminish how awesome either of you are. It's NOT Izzy 2.0. And you're totally right, horses generally are not out to cause us grief day in and day out. Rough patches (especially greener horses) can last a good long while. Supporting whatever decision you make, always!

  8. Hugs to you as you deal with this. I'd suggest you go back to your own timeframe advice. Give it X weeks/months/whatever. If you're still not having fun, or if your frustration outweighs the fun overall, then you'll know its time to part ways.

  9. Two thoughts: One, no horse is going to be fun all the time. There will always be months where you are not having any fun at all and want to give up. I have three horses and can assure that on any given day I want to kick one of them. Two, not every horse is a forever horse and that's OK.

    In the past, when I was having a hard time like this and didn't know what to do, I put the horse up for sale. I overpriced the horse in the ad and figured if it sold that was that. When people started calling I had a total panic attack and right then knew that I wanted to keep the horse and keep trying. If my reaction had been relief instead, then I would have sold the horse, made a little profit and invested it in a different horse. It was a win-win solution. ((Hugs)) You'll figure it out.

  10. The answer will come to you. Until then, pie (or B&Jerry's core ice cream because that shit is fabulous)

  11. My advice is the same as Shannon's- no horse is going to be enjoyable all day every day, but it's up to us as riders to know what we can handle and what we're willing to handle. Just because you CAN handle something, doesn't mean that you want/have to, it's something I didn't realize until recently!

    Sometimes its kind of like picking your poison. It's fine if Courage isn't the type of horse you want to work with, even if he once was a horse you wanted to work with (kind of like the honeymoon phase in terms of people relationships). People change, horses change, preferences change, etc. It's also fine to hold on and try to get through it.

    It's also not a decision you have to make now, you can give him a week, a month, a couple months to improve and if by X date he doesn't, bring it up again. I did that with Rico SEVERAL times (I always kept him of course, and in the end, didn't regret it, but it was hard).

    Good luck! I'm always around if you need to vent :) also I had creme brulee flavored ice cream the other day and it was amaaazing so I highly recommend it.

  12. Not to be a broken record, but sometimes erratic behavior can be caused by ulcers. Sometimes they bother the horse, sometimes not. My vet told me a course of treatment with Ulcergard would do no harm. You can buy much less expensive omeprazole in tablets and pastes if you want to try it.

    Horses can have excellent care and still have ulcers. Treating my horse made a huge difference.

    1. Obviously it's a bit top-of-brain for me right now, but I second this.

  13. I have no advice, but offer internet-support, and if you were closer, I'd bring pie. Well, okay, one piece of advice: consider pie with ice cream.

    Thinking of you.

  14. My only advice is to not feel like you HAVE to make a decision right now. Nor do you need to justify your choices to anyone - do what feels right to you.
    Can you ride different horses? Even try some new ones out? I've found in the past that either makes me appreciate what I have at home or makes me more sure of what I'm really looking for.

  15. Tough decision for sure.... However, as an amateur, riding should be fun. It should be your stress relief after a long day Yes, all horses can be difficult, but the good days should outnumber the bad. Only you can make the best decision, but make it for YOU, not for anyone else.

  16. Well said. Hang in there and I'm sure the answer will become clear.

  17. Have you considered leasing him? He is a fab horse and it might allow you to step back and regroup while someone else puts time in on him (and financially allows you to test waters/play the field? This avoids the finality of selling and plenty of time for more pie. :) Hugs!

  18. I knew it wasn't just about the trailer incident and was kind of surprised that so many people seemed to think so; your frustrations with him lately were apparent, to me at least. I don't comment a lot but I'm an avid reader of your blog and have loved reading about your journey with Cuna and now Courage. But we only see what you post; no one can really see the day-to-day stuff, except maybe Alyssa and Redheadlins.

    Sand's advice is stellar and I wish I had thought to look at past equine relationships in that light. It would have made things so much easier.

    I have done what Sharon did: put the horse up for sale (Lily, in this case) for more than I thought she was worth at the time and went horse shopping myself with the budget I thought I could afford. I did not like the other horses I tried out within my price range (at the time, I was looking for a dressage prospect that could eventually make it to the upper levels) and when people started coming out to try out Lily, I freaked out: I realized I had a pretty nice horse already that I had already put a lot of work into and her good points far outweighed her bad points. I had my answer then, and thus Goober-brains's sale ad was removed from the internet. That was almost 3 years ago. And I would totally be lying if I said there haven't been moments of absolute frustration with her, even now, when I think, "I should sell her!" which I don't write about on the blog, because the second I think that I cringe and thus I continue to have my answer. She is an incredibly sensitive, emotional horse and sometimes dealing with all of that emotion makes me feel like the exasperated boyfriend. Her good points far outweigh the bad, though, and so she stays. I will repeat yet another commenter's advice, T's re: riding other horses in the meantime. It's been hugely helpful for me in the past when at this type of crossroads.

    Big hug.

  19. I like the advice regarding thinking of a horse as your boyfriend, but I'll admit- that doesn't make it any less of an emotionally challenging decision. Whatever decision you make, I hope you find peace at the end of it!


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