Saturday, June 19, 2010

Where's My Motivation?

Not Here, That's for Sure

So, here I am with three good horses, two I can ride for sure and one still a bit iffy....

Do I ride? No.  Today it's hot again so it's hard to get myself up for going out, tacking up and riding.  I still have my cold, so that's another excuse. 

But really, years ago, neither the heat nor the sniffles would have stopped me.  I was totally immersed in riding and training.  I accomplished tremendous things with my horses.  I jumped big fences and have garbage bags full of ribbons to prove my success.  I moved two horses up to FEI dressage levels and competed there.  Granted my success at that level was not amazing, but just being able to enter the arena was an accomplishment. 

So what happened?  Is it the frustration Tucker brought into the picture?  That never stopped me before.  And besides, no one can ever say Chance has no potential and he certainly has a good attitude. 

I have the horses at home, so traveling to a boarding stable's no barricade.  I have a nice sand arena right here too, so no battles with other riders for a place to ride. 

I do know that part of the problem is that some of my physical issues are impacting me more than I'd like.  My knees hurt and there's not much more I can do about it aside from major replacement surgery, something I am trying to avoid.  My surgery in December really did knock some of the energy out of me, and a bit of my ambition.  Although I have recovered physically, I'm not so sure my mindset is back to normal, but then again, I wasn't riding a lot before the surgery either, so I can't use that as a total excuse. 

Frankly, I've gotten lazy.  And, maybe going back to teach wasn't the best idea for me in some ways.  I hadn't quite settled into retirement yet and suddenly, I was back in the classroom, working hard.  Even though I have been merely a substitute, I found it impossible not to give the best effort possible, including a lot of extra work. 

But, as I think of it, that too is part of the problem.  I have to change my thought patterns a bit.  I tend to be the kind of person who never tackles a job partway.  If I go out to weedwhack...another job that needs doing again...I can't seem to stop before every weed is conquered.  What I need to learn is how to tackle jobs a little at a time and walk away satisfied even when a task is half done, with part of it saved for tomorrow. 

So, I need to approach the horse thing with the same mindset.  If I simply weed whack half of the front bank in a day, that's OK.  And if I ride one horse a day and don't do anything with the other two, that should be fine too. 

Today, I picked up eight bales of hay in the morning. Perhaps, on a hot day, that's enough of a chore--aside from taking care of the Boys.  If I set lower goals, they certainly will be easier to meet, especially with my physical limitations.   When I first retired, I told myself I needed to accomplish at least one little job a day.  I think redefining "little" may help me.  What I need to do is a little at a time. 

Sorry for going on about this, but I do feel kind of guilty knowing I have three lovely Boys here I'm not riding. 

Then again, I'm not sure the Boys care.  They seem quite content to just hang out, just being horses.

Oh, speaking of which...latest plan for Tucker's hoof.  I did have some Forshner's hoof  packing here. So I am going to stuff the hole with some Betadine soaked cotton and then stick it in place with the hoof packing.  I will see if that stays in place better than the bandages--which do come off and let dirt into the hole.  I'll let you know how it works. 


  1. also, i think it's getting out of the routine, especially with you after your surgery - it's difficult toget back into it again... i've been thikning about this myself, as my routine for the last couple of months has not involved a lot of riding, and i can see this being an issue after we move next weekend....

    but we'll both get back into the normal run..

    maybe, in your case, make a point (weather permitting) of doing something with one horse at a specific time every day?

    i think also having them at home can make it more difficult, as you don't have to actually timetable it into your day....since you don't have to travel anywhere...

  2. Anonymous5:21 PM

    I think you're close to my age - I'm heading for 60. I think our priorities change over our lives. I've been thinking thoughts a lot along the lines you're talking about - I used to ride, and show, obsessively, and took that same attitude towards everything I did. I have significant physical limitations, too - mainly my back. But I still really like being around my horses - they're central to my life and I still want that. So where to go from here? I think your thoughts about taking a more relaxed attitude towards things really may be just the thing. And the horses really don't care - if they work or not that's OK with them - so long as they continue to get the good care we give them and have time outside with their equine friends.

    Hope the hoof treatment improves things.

  3. An athlete needs to have high intensity training periods and then, once or twice a year needs to take time off to rest physically and mentally. You seem to have one thing after another with no real down time. So it's hard to get motivated when you don't have complete time off. I can't ever remember hearing about a vacation you took, lying on a beach in Hawaii or the like. Not working, by the way, is not vacation.

    It's hard getting older; you simply can't do the things you used to. Why not get some help, permanent help, several days a week. It's money but maybe a lesson, which from you is worth a lot of money, around $45 I would think. Translate that into what you would pay someone to whack weeds or haul hay or just teach and use that money, rather than a straight exchange to pay someone. Have the horses earn their keep.

    There is also something to what Claire says. When the horses are at home you can go out "anytime" so putting off work is always an option.

    Then again you have done the showing at a high level and now that's done and it's time for other things.

  4. Well I think it goes and comes the will to ride. I have not ridden for over a month .. and well I do not feel like it either. I am very busy with Oliver and my exam for my therapeutic riding course, so riding/ training is really on the back burner.

    So you have all my sympathy.
    But also you are ALONE! A barn buddy a clinic buddy gives so much more stimulations and motivations.

    I am v.busy so I have not had time to update my blog, and when I find the time, blogger crashes on me ...But I have come to many conclusions on horse-world. is it really worth to become a horse-pro? I think to be a dedicated amateur is much better!

    But in your case, you ought to get back in contact with training buddies, to be able to share ideas, and energy, and enthusiam.

  5. "I can't ever remember hearing about a vacation you took, lying on a beach in Hawaii or the like. Not working, by the way, is not vacation."

    mary lou's right, you know, jean ... when did you last have a holiday? a proper, recharge the batteries one?

  6. I enjoy the social aspect of horses as well as the horses. Feed-back, opinions and laughter circulate freely amongst equestrians, as you must know. Could you include another horse in your herd? The extra company of another rider and the extra money could both be good.