Thursday, June 29, 2017

Intentional slacker

I'm settling in to my new status as a commuting adult amateur.  I ride 3 to 4 times a week and that's fine because my horse is getting loved on 6-7 days a week.  I school seriously 2 times a week and then hit the trails and goof off.  We went on a group trail ride on Sunday, discovering the way to a new trail network.  4.86 miles of trails?  Yes please!

Theo was a saint, leading through some very rough terrain.  Too rough for pictures.  The trail was closed for a couple years after a bad storm dropped some very large trees.  We were probably the first horses on it in two years.  Theo tip toed over dicey footing, showing the two barefoot stock horses how to make it up the hills and through the water.

I ride for the love of it.  Yes, I'm competitive, but I've learned the peril of burnout.  When I had to work late last night because a new customer launch went sideways, it was no additional stress when I realized Theo wasn't going to get worked.  Trainer A is on him 2 times a week now as she gets ready to show him.  Theo isn't going to freak out at a random day off.  He's not going to lose condition.  I'm not a bad owner.  Tonight I will stay late, baby sit this new data run, and not worry a bit about my horse because he's already been worked today and is scheduled for an extra ride in the morning.  I could ride him tonight if I wanted to, he's plenty fit enough to be ridden twice with eight hours in between, but I need to work.  It's how I afford him, his fine clothes, and his tasty grub.

Trainer A is hopping on him extra this week to get him ready for the schooling show on Sunday.  And I'm very excited about this.  I really want to see Trainer A show him and I think (hope) she's starting to get excited in her own right.  Last year she never showed higher than Intro.  Now she's back at First 3 and talking about when to move him to Second.  It has to be so nice to go out and show at a level that's actually challenging and fun.

So here I sit in the unusual position of only riding when I really want to.  I don't have to drag myself to the barn when I'm stressed or fried or exhausted just to keep my horse in work.  And I kind of like it.  With the long weekend coming up, he'll be seeing a lot of me.  And then I can go back to earning his keep and not feel like I'm sacrificing his care to afford him.

It's new.  And weird.  But I think it works now that I'm getting used to it.

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