Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wide Open Spaces

Well, school has been kicking my butt lately. Val is having a well-deserved break. Ideally, I thought I'd still be able to ride every other day of the week, but I've been lucky to get one ride in during the school week.

Obviously, Val is fairly fit. He just came off nearly a year's worth of daily work and a long eventing season. He was only getting 2 or 3 hours of turnout from his stall, and I just wasn't having the time to ride the extra off. It wasn't fair to him, so he was introduced to the herd today.

I know it's best for him, but I feel like I'm giving up on doing my best for him, in some way. On the good side, he gets to stay out during the week, but he can still stay in his stall on the weekends. I know he'll love eating nearly 24/7 and having less work, and I know the rest will be good for his joints. I just hate having to admit that I can't ride my horse 6 days a week and get good grades in my classes. I hate being the person that just goes out to feed her horse every day. I want to be able to spend time with him like I always have, and I really hate having to choose between him and school.

Plus, I'm fully capable of admitting it: I'm scared of what will happen to my riding. Just this first month or so with me not riding him consistently has already affected me negatively. In January, when he's supposed to come back into regular work, how far back will I have slipped?

So, I'm pretty sure he'll be happy as a clam. I just wish I was as chuffed with the situation. I think the best thing to do is just keep a positive attitude the next few months. Whatever I lose in the interim, I can get back. And no matter what, we're going to keep chugging after the 1st of the year. At semester, one of my classes that was only for my first semester is replaced by a study hall, so I should have more school time to work on homework. Hopefully, that means less time spent at home doing acres and acres of homework, and more time spent riding and gearing up for the next eventing season.

I'll still be taking lessons on weekends, but it will be odd having only 1 or, best case scenario, 2 days to practice what I've learned in between them. I'm sure we can adjust.

On the plus side, senior year is going to be a cake walk compared to this year. I can't hardly wait!

My favorite picture of Val and I from Champagne Run this summer:

ETA: I also wanted to add that I am rather absurdly pleased that you can see my saddle shine a bit in that picture. If this was submitted to PH for George Morris' column, he would obviously point out that my feet are pointing out like a duck's and my heels are definitely up in the air. However, we have very conservative turn-out (for eventing!) and my saddle is clean. Bonus point for sure, I would imagine. And because of my awful leg position, he can't see the bottom of my boots! (It always kills me when he scolds people for having dirt on the bottom of their boots.)


  1. Ahem... there's nothing wrong with pasture turnout........... lol

    Actually, it is much better for the horse: joints, diet, and state of mind. They are less likely to develop joint problems later in life, and less likely to develop behavorial problems such as cribbing or weaving. Plus,at least with Greta, they are much calmer when you take them out to ride and you can get away with not riding them for a few days because they're out in the pasture walking around anyway!

    Perhaps this is not so for the human - especially in the southern states where we don't get snow, we get mud that drowns our poor rubber boots while they scream out to you "heeeelllllpppp meeeeeee!" and you walk right out of them and go "D'oh!" - but the horse is usually smart enough to stay out. In the green grass. With his pasture buddies.

    It will take Val a while to get settled in. It might not take that long. It all depends on him and the other horses. He might get a few bite marks, but just get a tube of Neosprorin(?) or any other cream you can find at the tack store (not SWAT though, that's not meant for wounds, neither is the stuff that comes in the neat little green square tin, forget what it's called) believe me it WORKS, and fly spray and things will heal up.

    And do not feel bad at all about not being able to ride as much as you would like to. Junior and Senior year are bitches (pardon me) but they will definitely be worth it in the end when you get that diploma in your hand with scholarships! Val will understand. In fact, he probably has no problem with less work lol!

    God, is that enough? I totally understand, though. Kind of my situation too right now :(

    Good luck with everything. Y'all are awesome.

  2. And finally we can see some pictures! You two look so professional, even with the leg. But hey, this ain't the hunter ring, right?

  3. Thank you :) I definitely know pasture is great for him, but in my mind, in somehow equals "surrender". That has definitely got to find its way out of my brain...

    Ha ha, I guess I haven't posted all my pictures on here! I think I'll do one a post from now on, since I have plenty...

    Yeah, at least it's functional! It still would be better if my toes pointed the right way and I used the right muscles, though. Always room to improve!