I promise there will be update pictures of Fawkes soon. Every time I’ve set aside a morning for horse work something, namely rain, has conspired against me. My optimistic daily habit of wearing breeches in the hopes of an impromptu ride have long since faded… I feed in slip on Keens now… I’m not even sure where my boots and chaps are anymore.
Honestly, other than setting up feed I haven’t been doing much with the horses. My late evening rides have been hijacked by the boys evening Doodle trail rides on their bikes. I’m very proud of them and how Beckett has progressed to riding a geared bike and is forming dreams of riding the Tour de France. I love seeing the fire of passion in his eyes and dimly remember that feeling myself when I was 9… All those dreams… just waiting for my time.
At some point “my time” slipped by without my notice. Admittedly I made choices that ended my wild and carefree days of youthful freedom. And I do not begrudge them… much. I was 25 when Sophie was born, firmly ensconced in a tiny riding career that had allowed me to work with local horses and teach lessons. Sophie turned the world upside down, in a good way, and I was slowly figuring out how to do horses and be a parent when we discovered that Sophie wasn’t exactly typical and I felt that I needed to focus all of my attention on her situation and what it meant for the future.
So slowly, without me really noticing it at first, my time started slipping away. Equestrian me took a backseat to parent me as I embraced this new chapter. I watched my horses age… Spring in his 30s, Aimee just behind him. We adopted our sons and furthered embraced this new path. Then my horses began to die and I realized how tied to them I would always be. Inconsolable depression followed by the realization that Equestrian me had been gone for so long that my riding skills, were dormant and rusty. A transitional horse was purchased and… oh the joy!! Lady rekindled that fire and drive!! The passion that had taken a backseat to Mommyhood was still there! I was back, balancing those two halves of my life like a pro… so many horses entered our life at that time and I was so happy.
And then it all fell apart.
With Baxter’s death part of me crumpled up and died too. Of course I went on to ride again, finding a happy place with Pip after a very hesitant start. Things were good for a while… we rode so much and we made plans of how 2015 would be the year that we would finally SHOW! and COMPETE! and finally go out there and put it all on the line.
Of course that didn’t happen. Martha became unwell and I could not rationalize asking for the time to go riding. I could not be so very selfish in such a difficult time. The stress of trying to keep everybody happy erupted late in the year and I closed the farm, asking boarders to leave which effectively severed friendships at the time.
From Nov 9 to today I’ve ridden 8 times. I’ve been out to work with the horses, I’ve held them for farrier and vet visits. I’ve played with the foals… but riding just doesn’t exist anymore. Those big dreams for 2015 disappeared under the glaring eye of reality. And the realization… my time has passed. All those dreams and hopes for what I would do when I grew up… at some point I grew up and forgot to do them. I was so busy trying to keep everyone else happy that I sat with all the tools I needed for my dreams in my hands, but failed to use them. There’s a lesson there friends.
So now I sit, admittedly sad, scrolling through facebook pics and memes, maintaining the illusion that I’m still “in” the horse world with witty horse centered posts… it’s all a lie. I want to be in that club but my time ran out and my dues are late…. I’ll stand here by the sidelines and cheer my friends on as they accomplish their riding goals. I’ll vicariously ride with them all as they fly around cross country courses and dance in the dressage ring. I will follow the training of everybody’s baby and laugh and cry with them at their antics and foibles. I will offer advice when asked and act as the sounding board when needed. I will be available for emergency cavaletti transportation. I will watch and I will soar with them as they fly so high.
But it’s no longer my dream.