About a week ago, I had a horrible dream. I dreamt that something was wrong with Plezant. I went outside because I heard a lot of whinnying coming from the barn, and I saw Plezant acting like he was in pain. It didn’t get better, in fact he got much worse. So much so that I called the vet, and Plezant had to be put down. Oh my goodness. The dream was SO real, and so scary that it woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep. It really made me think about this incredible horse that I have, and put into perspective how much time I have with him before something like that really happens. And it also made me come to the revelation that I need to make the most of the time I have with my horse.
No Planning – Just Doing
And in the past I have been a massive planner. Always planning every single thing that I do with my horses. And then when life happened, and I wasn’t able to achieve the goals or every other day riding that I had planned, I would be disappointed in myself. And then one day of doing nothing turned into two, and then three, and well, you get the idea.
But not anymore. Nope. I am making the most of the time that I do have, which means just going out to the barn and spending time with my boys. Making my horse time a priority is important. So instead of planning out every little detail, I just go do something with Plezant.
We have horses to bring us joy right? So why do we self-sabotage and figure out every way that we can to take the joy away from being with our horses? Sure it’s nice to have goals, and big plans. But why not just focus on the moment, and live in the moment and enjoy every precious bit of time we get to be with our horses? Is it because we get sucked in to social media and scroll for hours across photos and captions about what others are doing? Or how we wish we could be doing that? It’s time to stop worrying about everyone (or everything) else and do what brings us joy.
And if your version of joy is defined by taking your horse for a walk and letting him nibble on the grass as you go – so be it! You do you! Do what gives you happiness! Only you know what makes you happy. And I say life is too short to do things that don’t make you happy. Find a way to being forward your own happiness in whatever way you can. Make the time for it, but don’t be determined to schedule it. Or you may disappoint yourself when it doesn’t happen.
Schedule Horse Time
Ok, I know what your thinking. I just wrote not to schedule time for your horse. Let me explain….
I take one evening a week, for me Thursday’s work very well. So every Thursday after I get home from work, I commit myself to my ‘lesson time’. This came about because a few years ago, I took riding lessons on Thursday nights. So the habit of Thursday with horses became a habit. I have continued that habit by making every Thursday my lesson time. I ether ride, or take Plezant for a walk, every Thursday after work.
No matter what, my Thursday’s after work are reserved for time with Plezant. And I make sure to not use that time for things like chores. I always get my chores done, so having enough time for chores isn’t my problem. My problem is giving myself permission to have fun with my horse.
I do have to say though that since I have cut way back on my blog posts (sorry about that), and stopped focusing my YouTube channel on being the budget equestrian, I have been able to spend more time having fun with my horses. Because I’m not so focused on creating content, and working, I can just be me with my horse.
Do you give yourself permission to have fun with your horse?
Making The Most of Your Time With Your Horse
So while my dream, ok nightmare, about Plezant was terrifying, it was also a wake up call for me. Stop planning every waking moment and just go with it. So now instead of planning, I just go with it. I challenge myself to try new things. And when they work out, which they typically do, I boost my level of confidence as well as creating a memory. Which is why I always try to capture a picture or two of my time with Plezant.
I always have my phone with me when I’m riding, because I am typically riding alone. So I take a moment and snap a quick picture.
It can be when I am working in the arena, or capturing a derp moment on his face. The moment isn’t as important as the memory it is representing.
As an example, last week I took Plezant out on the trail for a walk. I like to be on the ground with a horse before getting in the saddle to see how they will react at a new situation.
So we went out on the trail for our first outing to familiarize him with his surroundings, as well as giving him an adventure. He loves exploring! So for our first outing out of the confines of the arena, we walked on the trail out back of my house. Oh my goodness he loved it! He was so happy to be out. It was as if he was seeing this view for the first time. And well, it was, the first time for this year. But he was so happy to be out and seeing something new. And of course there was lots of grass to eat too. #priorities
He got to get out, and I got to see how he was feeling about the trail. With both of us feeling good about the situation, we ventured further down the trail. Talk about having a pep in his step. He was moving beautifully and listening to my requests just as well. I call that a good time with my horse.
What Is Important To YOU
Having this time with my horse helps me to make my time with him important. Because it is. Spending as much time as I can with him will hopefully take away any of the would have, could have, should have thoughts. Instead of wishing I had done things with him, I can relieve the moments we have had together.
No one other than you knows what is important to YOU. If making sure your barn is immaculate is the most important thing for you – do it. If having new adventures with your horse is the most important – do it. Or if raising your confidence level is most important – do it. You do you, and do what you love. Make time for yourself (and your horse) and I think you will find it will bring just a little bit more joy to your day.