I am missing the boys like crazy, but if I learned anything from my two-ish years off of riding it’s that a little separation can be a good thing – though difficult.
I used to make horses the center of my life. An idol, you could say. I would never willingly take time off of riding. Horses were my passion, and what I wanted to do with my life for a long time. A career with horses didn’t really work out for me, but I still had so many high hopes of jumping high and competing more. However, making any one thing (besides Jesus) the center of your life is not a positive thing. In fact, it can become quite toxic.
When Chance got EPM, I was forced to stop riding for a while. Of course, I still owned a horse – I just couldn’t ride or compete. I had no way to get another horse without getting rid of him. Needless to say, I never considered getting rid of him when he was sick! That would have been a low, selfish, and cruel thing to do. I remember feeling like it was the literal end of the world. Obviously, there are far worse things in life than having to take time off of riding but I was so blinded by my “passion” that it felt like the end of the world to me. That time showed me that there is more to life than riding. For one, just owning a horse became enough. I also ended up beginning down a new path of becoming a nurse. Looking back, it was kind of a gift.
I let go of the drive to compete and jump high, and I have been able to focus on learning more about training and horsemanship. I have developed a deeper relationship with Chance than we had during all our years of riding together. I had a far more open mind when I was horse shopping recently. I didn’t want the perfect horse, with tons of scope and show potential. I wanted the horse with a good mind that could help me improve my horsemanship (aka, Flynn).
So, sometimes a break is a good thing. Separation from the things we are passionate about can be good. Though horses will always be a great passion for me, and will always be in my life – they can’t be the absolute center of it.