Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm Going to Have A Lot More Time For The Horses

Recently I wrote a post about my difficulties in trying to juggle my career, my family and my riding. It's a subject that's been eating at me for some time. I simply can't be a good employee, a good mother and a good rider all at the same time. But I've found it impossible to choose what needs to be cut from my life. Obviously my family is here to stay, and they come first. So, by default, I either need to cut out riding or my career. But which one?

I've worked hard and sacrificed a lot for both. I've spent most of my life learning horsemanship, and nearly fifteen years studying dressage. I've poured my mind, my body and my soul into my riding. I've broken my back, my ribs, my fingers and feet learning to handle horses. I've sacrificed so much of my time to the pursuit of perfection that it seems ridiculous to turn away now. But I've also spent years on my education in pursuit of my career, and I have the student loans to prove it. I've fought tooth and nail to earn the respect of my colleagues in what is undeniably a male dominated field. I can now stand toe to toe with the men and be taken seriously. It's no mean feat in the sciences, especially in academia. How can I just walk away from that?

Fortunately, fate intervened to help me make my decision. I am pregnant again. And with that new development, my decision was easy to make. I know I cannot split my time evenly between two children and still maintain a full time job and a horse in training. When I thought about how to spend my time, one question kept coming up over and over in my mind: When will I have time to teach my children to ride? It was then that I realized what is most important to me: sharing my passion for horses with my children. My career does not need me, someone else will step up to take my place. But no one else can pass on my love of horses or my years of experience with them to my children. It was the easiest decision I've ever made.

So this is my last week as a productive member of the workforce. Next week I begin my new career as a broodmare. And it won't be a complete waste of my education, my concentrations were in physiology, neuroscience and behavior. I can think of no better application for that particular skill set than training horses and raising children.

And yes, I will continue riding with my Obstetrician's blessing. As long as the pregnancy is going well and I am within my comfort zone, my OB feels that it's perfectly safe to ride. With my first I rode until about six months along, when my belly started to get in the way I stopped. I'll be long-lining and lunging after I'm too big to get into the saddle anymore. With winter setting in and no indoor, I don't think I'll be training much soon, anyway. From here on out it will just be maintaining the training I have!


  1. I'm glad it was an easy decision for you; it sounds incredibly hard. Congratulations on your decision. I'm sure it will be a wonderful and rewarding experience.

    And congrats on the baby!! Very exciting for you.

  2. Congratulations on the child on the way, and on retiring for now from the workforce. Two children are much more work than just two times one child!

  3. Congratulations on the baby! And what a blessing God gives when he knows it's time for one. His gift has now given you an answer to the question you've been asking for months.

    I think both children will be happy now with a happier mother....Sending my love to you all.


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