Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Overly Personal

Despite how it might appear online, I'm a very private person. There are parts of my life I'll share with anyone anytime, but there are also a lot of parts I share with no one, ever.
quintessential lap chiweenie

This past year has entailed dealing with a lot of bullshit that falls on the "no one, ever" side of the spectrum. It's not strictly horse-related, so it's not 100% relevant to this blog.


What are horses, if not thousand pound mirrors of everything we like and hate about ourselves?
me too buddy
So without getting overly detailed and personal, I think we can agree that Courage and I have a tenuous (rocky?) relationship. It's hot and cold and on and off and omg the vacillations have probably exhausted you all. I've received many well-intentioned, well-reasoned opinions from people I like and trust to just sell the horse. It's good advice. It's advice I'd give myself in a similar situation. I'm not offended by it and I honestly appreciate the outside perspective.

I keep hanging on to Courage against reason. Against logic. Against everything. And it's not even like I'm head over heels for him most of the time, you know? I have good rides and I'm like "omg <3", but just as often, I have incredibly terrible rides (if I can even catch him) and leave the barn supremely frustrated. And then there's now, where I'm not even riding and he's still being an asshole.
yeah it's cool i wanted to spend hours cooling you out DUMBASS
In any circumstances, that's more than enough to justify finding something easier. This is a hobby. It's supposed to be fun. I'm back on the "definitely not fun" swing of things. Courage is impossible to catch, impossible to handle, and an absolute twit to work with.

But see.

I'm working through a lot of things personally. Things like keeping everyone and everything in my life at arm's length. Or being so guarded that I never let anyone close so they can't hurt me. Compulsively hiding any trace of emotion so no one knows how I really feel, ever. Deep-seated (justifiable) anger. Disappointment. Loss.

I am 100% polished and professional at pushing everyone away.

And that's a me-problem, not a Courage-problem.
Another me-problem is that my lack of trust in future outcomes means I'm very driven by what happens in the moment. Which means I have a freakishly hard time seeing through the difficult present to a possibly brighter future.

Which is to say, I'm very emotionally unstable right now and then I piled a concussion on top of that. If you've never had a concussion, just know they're the worst. I can't think or concentrate on anything, I make stupid errors, and I forget everything. It's maddening.

Courage is not the forgiving type to start with, he's never been easy, and I guess the best thing I can say for him is that he's 100% "genuine", meaning he goes like shit when he feels like shit and he doesn't apologize for yanking my chain, ever.

That's just Courage. Take it or leave it.
Between the "emotionally unstable", the "concussion protocol", and then the "SB hasn't ridden since 12/1" problem, I'm a giant ball of angst. I go back and forth between "I should just shoot him in his stupid head" and "omg <3 he's making me a better person and we're in this together".

Like. Both those emotions in the same half second or so.
super awesome blogger secret santa present!
I'm trying to accept that I simply am emotionally unstable right now for reasons outside my control and actually not because of Courage. I know that my interactions with him are just a reflection of the larger pile of shit I'm wading through and frankly, the weather is freaking horrible and it's really not a bad idea for him to have some time off.

But dammit, I really want to just go out to the barn and walk into my horse's stall and have him meet me at the gate and be one of those "everything is ok" horses where I can hop on and toodle around when I need to.

And he's not that.
I can't make him that.

I can't control what's going on around me. I can't always trust my own judgement. I know I'm not in a place to make big decisions right now.

What I can do is make a plan.
step one: stick head in snowbank
Courage is getting December off. He hasn't been ridden anyways and as my trainer pointed out, he's an all or nothing horse.

I don't know if I can ride come January, but I feel confident that I'll be able to lunge or work him in hand 2-3 days a week. My trainer will be able to ride him 2x a week as weather permits.
definitely things to work on
Generally, February means we start being able to ride outside again around here, so hopefully by them I'm back in the saddle and Courage is in a program.

The maddening thing with basically everything in my life right now is that I have no control over it. I can't put it on a schedule. I can't say when I'll feel better. I can't say when or if my head will start working right again.
but i have cute pets
So yeah. I can't fix Courage and he doesn't always give me the warm fuzzies. I can buy him a metric ton of shit (actual scenario), put a plan together, and feel like there's one tiny corner of my life that's starting to make sense.

And sometimes, one tiny corner is all I get.
pic courtesy of the Thoughtful Equestrian


  1. That bracelet... <3. I know it's frustrating, but sometimes taking a little time (especially to heal the brain, literally and figuratively) helps everyone.

  2. We all have our shit to work through. Being self-aware about it is important, but doesn't make it any easier! And human relationships are so hard. Here's to healing all the way around in the new year. <3

  3. ugh. sorry, girl. getting sidelined from the things we love (and need) by circumstances completely out of our control... is basically just the worst. here's hoping that the time flies and that you're recovery coincides with improving riding conditions!!!

    in the meantime tho, thankgod for some sportsball. go team!!!

  4. Compartmentalization is tough it's hard not to let the stress from the barn bleed into not-barn life and vice versa. I hope both even out soon. Always agree never make decisions out of desperation. But there's also the "let go or be dragged" aspect to consider. Random cliche thoughts, you're welcome ;)

  5. As someone that's had a serious concussion (okay, more than one, I'm dumb), I'm sorry. It's rough and takes longer than you think it should, and all of the kind words don't do anything for the frustration. But thinking of you and virtual hugs.

  6. You're mindfully aware of how your non-horse world affects your horse world, and I think that's pretty fucking amazing and a very admirable trait. Things in both worlds will fall into place <3

  7. I feel for you. I am a pretty emotional person and I can usually rationalize my emotions to get to a place where I'm happy or at least comfortable. But there are days when I can't logic and I have no sense of humor and I don't know why I can't deal, and it is the worst. THE WORST. Not feeling like yourself or understanding yourself sucks. Plans are good, and plans help. Hugs for plans.

  8. I want to say things to make you feel better. But it is hard over the internet, things can come across strangely. But I read this and I hear you. Best of luck, keep your head up and your heart strong.

  9. Yup I get this. Also a private person and I push people away when they want to get too close. However, the horse is an absolute reflection of how I feel. He somehow knows.

  10. I have the same "keeping everyone at arm's length" problem with my life. It can be very rough, but I agree that I cling to my horse (however crazy and dumb he can be) more than anything. Really hoping you start feeling better, especially on the concussion front, and can get back in the saddle soon.

  11. I'm sorry you are having a crap year. 2013 was for me what 2016 seems to have been for many people. Plans and sense-making are good. As the slave, I mean mom of another "all or nothing" horse I totally hear you on vacation time being more viable than trying to patch it together once every week or two... that's no fun for anyone. Hope 2017 brings you better things <3

  12. I feel like riding is a constant dance between oh I'm riding everyday and damn I haven't ridden in weeks. So cyclical. Feel better

  13. Sending hugs and man can I ever relate to some of this. Feel better but mostly give yourself the time and the chance to feel better. Time off is always good for me and my horses and you'll both come back stronger :)

  14. Sometimes a plan is the best thing. It can help settle the anxiety just knowing you can maybe just maybe control the future a little. Sorry things are so rough right now. 2017 is going to ROCK. :)

  15. Brains are the worst! Hope you feel better soon.

  16. So sorry to hear of your struggles :/ I hope your brain heals quickly and everything else that is going on resolves itself. Here's hoping 2017 is better than 2016 was.

  17. I'm really sorry that things are hard and stressful right now. Wishing you the best.

  18. Omg! Concussions are actually terrible, no one warns you how long it takes. Sorry to hear you are having a hard time but keep your head up. You're a bossanova

  19. I think this is part of why I love your journey so much. You are so HONEST about the good and the bad and the compromise in between. So many horse blogs are all about the warm and fuzzies, and the reality is that NO horse owning relationship is all good all the time. <3

  20. That Tom Dorrance quote is so accurate. Horses are so hard and maddening and frustrating sometimes. And I'm really sorry that you seem a little stuck in that part of loving horses right now. Piling a concussion on top of it does not make things any better I'm sure. But one way or another the time will pass, and eventually you'll come out the other side. In the mean time, it seems like you've got an awful lot of internet strangers pulling for you. And definitely cute pets.

  21. I hear you. My herd is pretty challenging too, and it's tough to know when to move on. Especially when things are a mess in the rest of your life. I think you have a solid plan taking form. Things will get better. It's what they do. Keep your chin up! I hope you're feeling back to your old self soon!
    (Glad you liked the bracelet!)

  22. Total stranger input here (literally because it won't let me comment with my name), so may be repetitive/irrelevant/completely wrong for your situation,

    Try writing down all the stuff you keep at arms-length from everyone else? My life kind of feels like it's been bounced off a couple walls this year and then put on a too-high shelf (again, screw 2016), so I started writing down all the grievances I wouldn't talk to anyone about back in February. As in-the-moment as possible, and sometimes it was just a string of profanities or doodles or I only could write for a couple minutes.

    Bonus points if you could do that or something else mildly relaxing while Courage frolics in the indoor? If whatever it is actually does do something for you, pony should at least notice that, however briefly haha.

    I haven't been able to really *ride* (not counting a literal pony ride in April) since October 2015, mostly due to health. My takeaway is that bodies suck and are the worst because you can be treating them like gold and they still break. Equally frustrating is the fact that punishing it will get you all of no farther.

    To a better 2017 for all!

  23. I feel you. Went through some big deal life changing stuff mid 2016 and I took a small break from riding because my state of mind really affected my riding. I think during that time was literally the second time ever I've cried in a lesson in 8 years. So just take the time to heal emotionally and physically. Your horse will stil be there when you're ready to come back!

  24. Ugh, I'm sorry to hear that. Sometimes, despite the picture you have in your head, things work out differently and then it's off to starting on a blank slate again. Best of luck to you and we're all rooting for you and Courage!

  25. Different "Anonymous" here ... you are approaching a sad anniversary. On top of everything else you are going through, that anniversary is probably really coloring your emotions. Especially where horses are concerned. Decide not to decide anything. Coast. Lick you wounds. It will get better.


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