Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Small Check, Big Post

It’s already May 13 and I’m finally getting around to sharing this news:

The lease check I wrote to the barn this month was a lot smaller than usual. As in, only half the amount. May 15 will be my last day leasing Marve.

I made this decision for a variety of reasons. I wish I could say his bolting had absolutely nothing to do with it, but it did make an impact. He has been better lately, definitely, but I’m still scared sometimes, and I find myself downright dreading certain things (like cantering large, following other horses, etc.).

But even more so than that, my decision came down to time. I am run ragged and feel like something has to give. Riding even just 3 days a week was proving to be too much. While I’m sad to be ending the lease, I’m very excited by all the time I will have to spend on other things. Writing. Catching up with friends. Joining another writers’ group. My SO has wanted to take an oil painting class at the community arts center with me for ages, and now I have time to do it. Plus, in the coming months I have a whopping four business trips (one of which is international) and three out-of-town weddings, so I don’t see how I’ll have time to ride as much as I have been anyway.

But all of this comes with guilt, too. The barn manager was disappointed I was ending the lease, but she told me they expect to keep Marve on at the barn. I will continue riding him in weekly lessons, so it’s not like I’ll never see him again. But I know I will miss the feeling of having my “own” horse to care for and ride. I even feel guilty that I have interests outside of riding that I also want to explore. There are only so many hours in the day, and I guess now is a time to take a break.

I still feel a bit torn. Since last spring when I started riding Mae, I’ve been leasing and therefore had a horse to (kind of) call my own. Now I feel like I’m moving backward by going back to only taking lessons. Plus, I have the urge more than ever to get my own horse, but that still isn’t going to happen. Despite the time issue, which is a big one, I also recently got some bad news at work: our company is cutting salaries 12% across the board. Yikes. So now, with a reduced salary and with my job’s future in question, I’m not exactly in the place to go horse shopping. I just keep telling myself: some day. Some day, it will happen.

In the meantime, I think I’ll take a break from blogging. I have been pretty erratic lately about posting, and I’m sorry for that, but thanks to the few loyal readers who actually keep coming by. I will continue reading your blogs to get my dose of horsey goodness. I will have to settle for living vicariously through you for a while.

As for me, I hope to be back. Maybe it will be when I take up another lease, or when I decide I’d like to blog in detail about my lessons and progress, or maybe even the day I finally feel ready to buy a horse. For now, I’ll miss you guys. Thanks for your advice, support, and friendship. Happy riding!