Sunday, November 25, 2007

Balancing Act

We all juggle far too much in our modern lives, trying to keep our work, our social lives, our relationships, our responsibilities and our minds and bodies running at optimum speed and productivity. I haven't been doing a very good job managing all the segments lately. We leave for St. Lucia this coming Friday and all I can think about is how stressed I am about the cross-country flight and how much work I'll have to catch up on once we get back -- how sad is that? I know once I get there I will relax but I suspect I have a very tense week ahead of me.

My trainer Willow was still very nervous about me riding Miss last weekend, every time she lunged her she'd been crazy, so before my lesson she gave her a weak dose of tranquilizer. This turned out to be a mistake. She was so dead it took all we had to make her canter on the lunge line and I spent the entire time having to push her forward and pick up her head.

I rode her again today without the drugs and she was fine, although her right front was obviously a bit sore. She's due for new shoes tomorrow and it's possible the pad has worn down and is causing the soreness. Let's hope that's all it is anyway. It was such a pleasure to ride a horse that needs hardly any leg to stay at a nice big trot. She's so comfortable at the trot, it's like riding a giant sofa. I hope that I've proven to Willow that I can ride her without being a liability.

I was chatting with another horse owner at the farm about my frustrations and she said she'd gone through the same issues with her young mare and that the farm has to protect itself, plus nobody wants anybody to get hurt. She told me I shouldn't think of myself as a green rider anymore, that she's seen me ride and thinks I'm great, that I have balance. You can't teach balance, she says, you either have it or you don't.

Strange how on my horse, perhaps the most precarious place I could be, is the one place right now where I do feel balanced.


  1. Have a wonderful holiday, and try not to be so hard on yourself.

  2. Your friend is so right. You either have balance or you don't.

    It sounds like you do! And you don't sound like a green rider to me.

    Actually, you also sound very sensible considering you chose to omit the drugs the next day and felt comfortable and things went perfectly. Horses know that, I believe.

    Have a great trip! Enjoy yourself. Would love to see pictures.

  3. You will have a wonderful vacation and relax as soon as the plane door closes.
    I'm happy to hear you are riding Missy. She's going to take care of you as well as you've been taking care of her. She just knows she can be silly with the trainer, but I doubt she tries anything that would harm you.

  4. Hi Donna,

    Trust your horse. The relationship you have built over the period of your experience with her is the foundation. You know what she needs and what you need. I think that horses are more sane and have more sense than people. I think this is true of animals in general. Chances are your trainer needs meds more than your horse does!

    I am sure you will have a most wonderful time in St. Lucia. I have been there twice and have found, among the Carribean Island peoples, in my not absolutelely extensive experience, St. Lucians are special. They are hugely inclusive. Gorgeously familiar. They are intrinsically welcoming and just completely lovely and wonderful. We always had the most wonderful times there.You will feel at home and happy there, I am sure of it. I hope that your visit gives you the rest you need and that the beauty of the place (which is spectacularly legendary for good reason) fills your heart with peace. Miss will miss you. But this time for yourself and for your man will renew your energies.

    Good choice. You will both love it.

    Bon Voyage!

  5. Have a wonderful vacation, Donna!!!

  6. i'm glad that you're back riding Miss. Although I'm not sure if you'd get me on a horse that has been drugged.

    I'm with the others about balance.

    I hope you relax and have a great holiday. I am jealous! Warm weather, how awesome would that be.

  7. Donna..have a wonderful time on your trip. Sad to hear Miss is still struggling:-( Too bad your trainer opted to drug her for her workout, that doesn't seem right especially on a horse that is experiencing soundness issues. I get a sense of sadness in your post and hoping things turn around soon. Pulling for you two.

  8. Hi Donna,

    I hope you will have a lovely trip.

    I know how much you love Miss, and I can sense the skill you are gaining as a horsewoman, and like the others, I'm pulling for the both of you. I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel the most balanced on my horse and when around my horses.

    I wish for only good things for you and Miss, and I hope you will take this in the spirit with which I'm going to say it--I frankly would fire a trainer who would drug my horse and then put me on the horse and then ask that horse to canter on a circle. That is dangerous for the both of you--even if it's done with the best of intentions--and in my honest opinion doing the both of you wonderful beings a grave disservice.

    I don't usually speak so frankly, and I try to not butt into things that are none of my business, but I like you, I know you're a good person, and Miss a good horse. I have felt priveleged to share in a tiny bit of your journey as a horsewoman as you share your experiences here. And so there it is, my humble opinion, for whatever it's worth.

    I would hate to see you or Missy get hurt. I think you're made of strong and sensitive stuff, just as I suspect your mare is. I'd encourage you to not let someone put you two in a situation that could compromise that balance about which you write so eloquently. This from a woman who knows how quickly you can get hurt on a horse. I broke my back 15 years ago in a very bad horseback riding accident and am lucky to be walking. Heck, I'm lucky to be here.

    You are a horsewoman, Donna. Truly. You don't need 30 years of riding experience to make that claim. And you can trust yourself.

    Pax. Kimberly

  9. Hi Donna

    Sorry it has been a while since my last visit. I can sympathise with having a rough time, been there done that LOL.

    I am also not sure that drugging Miss is something that I would have done and even suggested. I am surprised that a trainer would even suggest it really. You need to be able to spend time with her whenever you want to on your terms, that is where you can start building trust between you and your horse. Having her making you scared of her is not the answer. I don't know if you read one of my blogging buddies' blog, MiKaels Mania - Arabian Horses? Her link is on my blog page in the list on the right. If you dont already visit there I suggest you do, she is a wonderful writer and horsewoman. I have only read back on your blog a bit so don't know what sort of issues you have been having but certainly dont think that the way your trainer is going about it is the way to solve the dilemma. Trust your instinct, if it doesnt feel right to you then it isnt and you may have to make changes, dont let yourself be forced into decisions for you or your horse that you dont feel comfortable with because you feel you have to. Hope this all makes sense and I am rooting for you. ((((Hugs))))


  10. Oops sorry just read the rest of your comments here and see that MiKael is one of them so you already know each other. LOL.

    Have a great trip and stay safe.


  11. Hi Donna, Hope your trip is a fun one and you get to relax. I have to agree with most on the trainer and drugging a horse with lameness issues. I would certainly question that practice. Anyway, have a good holiday!