It’s 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday and my butt is still glued to my cubicle chair. I keep checking the time on the big clock in the office that sits right above my desk. The seconds tick by at an excruciatingly slow pace.
“Are you still coming?” Reads a text from my barn manager.
I had sent her a message more than an hour ago, asking her to leave my horse in because I planned to ride later that evening.
But here I was – still at work, with a list too long of things to do before I could technically “clock out” and call it a day.
“I don’t think so. Sorry.” I text back, deflated and irritated.
It happens to everyone – days don’t always go as planned. As an adult amateur rider, days like these serve as a bitter reminder that my horse is merely my hobby, no matter how passionate and dedicated I am to him and the sport.
Personally, I put a lot of pressure on myself to take my riding seriously and reach the goals I set. Most of the time, it’s so rewarding. But it can also be emotionally taxing.
As an amateur with a full-time job (plus maybe a side hustle or two), a husband, a house full of other critters, other hobbies I half-ass (for the sake of my riding), family and a fledgling social life, feeling stressed out just kinda comes with the territory.
Days like these serve as a bitter reminder that my horse is merely my hobby.
There is nothing easy about loving horses. There’s the tremendous financial expense. The soul-crushing nature of injuries and setbacks. Even competitions, which are supposed to be fun and the pinnacle glory day of what we do – also come with early mornings, lots of chores, driving, packing, feeding, you name it.
My husband, whose been an outsider looking in for a long time now, is constantly amazed at the amount of work it takes just to ride for a few minutes around an arena.
It makes me proud that I can say I manage all that on my own. That I can have a rewarding career that I care about. I can ride my horse four times a week. And that I can be competitive in the show ring.
But it is not easy to balance all of the things.
By the time I left work, it was dark. I was pissed off because I didn’t make it to the barn. It soured the rest of my evening at home.
But tomorrow is another day. So I moved the “RIDE TIME” hour-block on my Outlook calendar over to the next day.
No matter how busy I am, I always seem to find a way to make it work.