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Bored With Riding Horses
 By Winniefield Park   •   20th Oct 2017   •   932 views   •   0 comments
The idea of not riding, or getting out of horses altogether may seem like a strange thought to many of us. I personally find it hard to think of myself as someone who Ďused to rideí. So, however infrequently, I still get on my horse, even if itís only for a half an hour. Especially in the autumn, I find the urge to ride irresistible, even if it means strolling around the field bareback.



But what do you do when you just donít want to ride at all? Believe it or not, some people struggle with feeling that they donít want to ride anymore. Theyíre not scared, theyíve just had enough. And, sometimes, when your whole life revolves around horses, choosing not to ride, or drive, or whatever else has filled your horse world, feels like a major decision. After all, our whole lifestyle is centered around horses. Our schedules are arranged around our horseís needs. Our friends may almost exclusively be horse lovers too. Our wardrobes are filled with tights and grass-stained t-shirts. And maybe we drive a truck, rather than a car because we haul a trailer, pick up bags of shavings and cart around bales of hay. Leaving horses can mean a whole lot more than just not riding.

For some, it may be a matter of burnout. If the only time you get together with other people is when the farrier shows up at the barn to trim and shoe you may feel youíre missing out on a social life, Ďout thereí. After all, those folks in the soft drink commercials you watch on tv after a day of mucking stalls, picking up the grain order and fixing fences, look like theyíre having a great time. So somewhere, somebody must be enjoying a life that doesnít involve horses and you wonder what thatís like.

Or you could be sick of the physical drudgery. Cleaning fifteen stalls, exercising six horses and dealing with a borderís balky pony feels like plain old, unrewarding, hard work. Even riding can feel like work if you donít feel like youíre into it.

Some people are determined to conquer their fear of riding. But if youíve become fearful and you also feel apathetic, it might not be worth the fight. If you're afraid of being in an airplane, you don't go skydiving. But, lots of people are afraid of riding, but get on, shaking with fear anyway. Could it be the real fear is being seen as a quitter?

So, what do you do? First of all, donít feel guilty. If in your heart, you would rather be putting effort into other activities, no matter how judged you feel - and we know how judgey the horse world can be, then follow your heart. The majority of us ride for pleasure. If you own a bicycle or a pair of ice skates, you donít feel bad about leaving them sitting in the garage. So while youíre not going to leave your horse without care, if you can afford it, and you feel good about simply owning a horse, take a guilt-free break. And, youíre entitled to sell your horse. Other peopleís judgment just doesnít matter. It makes sense to make sure your horse gets a good home, where it will be enjoyed, even if that home isn't with you. If you canít bear to sell it, loan it or lease it out.

You might find that you miss riding after a time. So take a few lessons, or do some volunteering at events or stables to find out how much you want to immerse yourself back into the horse world. If it doesnít feel right, youíll know very quickly.

Sometimes a change is better than a break. Try a new riding style. Change barns. Try a new coach. Try trail riding. Teach your horse to drive. You really donít have to do the same thing for the rest of your life. Beyond being good to the people and animals in your life and being a responsible citizen, you don't have to do anything you don't want to.

Many people take breaks from riding. Sometimes winter time forces the break, or a life event means you donít have the time to ride. Thatís a little different. Usually, weíre anxious to get back in the saddle. But if you just want to get out of horses, but still feel bad about it, consider that your time away will be spent learning new skills, new attitudes and ideas that if you decide to come back to horses, will allow you to come back better than ever. And, if you do leave horses forever, remember how much youíve gained from that phase of your life and be thankful.
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