Saturday, September 17, 2016

Is This What Getting "Old" Feels Like?

I look at pictures from the last 15 years of my riding career, and I realize that most of the horses in them have died.

It's..... I don't know how to describe it.... Humbling?..... Reality Check?.... Mid-Life Crisis?

The horses of my youth were all good old soldiers, and I expected that I would outlive them. You ride old horses, Schoolmasters, when you're just starting out. After that, it changes. You start to ride younger horses. You train them, you bring them along, you outlive them.

I've been training horses long enough that now I'm outliving them. I am suddenly being confronted with the knowledge that the young horses I train today will be the old horses I will have to say goodbye to eventually.

Jack was always Spider's "replacement", and I find it difficult to work with him now because I'm not ready to replace Spider yet. In the back of my mind, I also know that I will outlive Jack, and I will have to deal with this pain again.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Coming Back

It's been a month since Spider died, and I still haven't ridden. I did drive a pony the other day, and that was fun... but it's not riding.

I kept trying to use my seat to stop and turn. It didn't work, which is why my passengers look terrified.


I think about riding, a lot, but then I can't find the motivation to actually pick up the tack. It's still too raw. 

I know myself, and I know Jack. He's young and he's green and he will make mistakes. There's nothing wrong with that, but in my current raw emotional state I will blame him and I will get angry that he's not Spider and that is wrong. I can't do that to him. So, I'm not riding yet. 

I've had so many falls, including breaking my back, and never hesitated to get back on and ride again. I always bounce back, nothing keeps me down. But somehow riding again after losing Spider is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. 

I suppose it will resolve itself. The kids are back in school, and I'll have less things competing for my attention. Eventually I'll have nothing better to do, so I'll go grab Jack and we'll go for a ride. And I'm going to have to ride Beau and Spots now that the kids are in school, to keep them tuned up. It's inevitable, really. Riding isn't a choice for me, it's life. 

And maybe that's why I still haven't gotten over Spider....



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