My Riding Ambitions; A Heartfelt Confession (pt 1)

Recently, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do in respect to my horsey passion. I’ve become aware that my work as a teacher is very time consuming and full on which has meant I haven’t spent much time with my horses over the last few weeks.

I’ve felt a bit down and out about it; often feeling frustrated that I haven’t been able to ride, or even spend much quality time with them. At the same time though, I’ve also been battling motivation (or my lack there of) and what I actually want to do moving forwards. It’s a precarious situation to be in; at one end I am annoyed at my lack of horse-input but then at the other end I get off work and I’m starving and, for lack of better terms, can’t be bothered to even attempt to ride.

As a result, most of the time recently I end up seeing to Harry (his owner keeps him in a lot so I always have a bed to sort at night) and if I’m lucky I might see Bo.

It’s really made me start to consider what I want to do. I had dreams, and still do, of competing in dressage. I have a friend from college years ago on Instagram and I always see pictures of her rosettes and beautiful shots of her and her horse (he’s a Friesan and he just looks amazing) competing in dressage. Every time, I think to myself; “I’ve been saying it for years and I’ve still never done anything”.

It’s actually quite demotivating in itself that there’s something I’ve wanted to do for so long and I’ve never done it. I’ve always been so busy with studying for university, working my weekends and now I’m teaching full time. Or, I’ve just not had the right horse to go out and compete on (absolutely no disrespect to my Bo pony but he doesn’t enjoy dressage and it’s not his strong suit!). It’s like there’s always something holding me back. Yet there’s also a part of me which has been there since I was twelve years old that questions my ability to do well, or that competing is even in the cards for me. It’s sad really.

Writing this post now, I am wondering how to move forwards. I have my loan horse Harry to ride and it’s going to take a long, long time to fitten him up enough to ride a decent test, especially given that my time is very minimal, it’s coming into winter and the rain and wind are almost a permanent fixture in Scotland in November.

I think another factor is that Harry is not mine. He’s 16 years old (though has extremely low mileage since he’s been ridden on and off his whole life!) and I don’t know if putting in all the work is worthwhile if his owner won’t let him move with me next year when my partner and I move out and to a different town. Oh, to see the future.

I definitely would like to compete in some dressage competitions- just low level to start with to get a taste and then see where I go. Harry might just be the boy to get me started, it’s just I need to get him fit which is no easy feat.

How does everyone else manage to juggle full time work/ horses/ fitness/ competition prep?

I think there may be a part two to this post once I’ve done some thinking …

Happy horsing!


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