How do you make decisions? How do you know if you are doing things for the right reason or not? I am usually a good decision maker, except when it comes to the big crossroads when there is too much at stake or too many factors to consider and recently, that has been the case.
I started riding at the age of 12, a relatively late start considering my very horsey family, but from day 1, I was hooked and it dominated the next 15 years of my life. I missed birthdays, holidays, any opportunity to “just chill” and often passed my brother on the stairs as he was coming in from a night out and I was heading out to get ready for a show! Ponies were my main focus. Although, when you have a pony like Pie and the perfect face of Floyd, I am sure you can understand the addiction.The one time I could just relax and be me and forget about it all was when I was riding. Cantering across a field, I could just be me.
But the issue was, at times, it became more than just a fun thing to do. It became a coping mechanism. When I was struggling with something, I went riding. When my friend died, I went riding. When I had to make a big life decision, I went riding. Riding became something I relied on more to hide from things. I never dealt with a lot of stuff – I just rode. It became an unhealthy relationship. I had lost the joy and the fun and was just desperately holding on to the sense of peace I used to find from it.
Then life threw some equestrian hurdles at me – a riding accident, the big step up to the horse world, no horse to ride, negative comments from people I trusted, pregnancy and a traumatic birth. So, I am talking Becher’s Brook level hurdles!
And then the decision making had to start – were horses something I wanted to keep doing?
So, it’s only taken me 6 years, a lot of false starts, a lot of souls searching and a lot of changed minds to make a definitive decision.
Recently, I decided to live with the decision that horses were no longer part of my life (hence no blog for 77 days!) – a useful technique for decision making; even if you can’t physically do it, you can picture it. I didn’t see a horse, I didn’t write anything horsey, I didn’t read anything horsey. And the truth is that I was ok but ok doesn’t really work for me. When Hickstead came along, I still wanted to be there. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to be there without wanting to make a difference. Situationally and physically it may need to be different to how it has been but there are things still to be done.
So, I will be upgrading the blog, continuing the YouTube channel, investing some time into finishing my first book (first! Aim high!), taking on more judging and perhaps persuing some commentary opportunities….
There was every reason to stop but when you love something……