Saying “Yes” to everything horse-related, and “No” to everything else . . .
“Do you want to go to the local h/j circuit year-end awards banquet?”
(What do I wear?)
“May I nominate you for secretary of the local h/j circuit organization?”
(Does it involve math?)
“Do you want to ride in a clinic with a trainer from Louisiana that you’ve known for a while?”
“Can you be an IEA warm-up rider?”
Outside of my desk job, no one even asks me to do anything non-horsey any more, and it’s pretty much the way I want it. If it has to do with horses and I’m not working (gotta pay for the pony!), I will most likely agree to do it if I can fit it in my schedule.
Saying “yes” can be both fun and exhausting, while saying “no” holds a power all its own. I say “no” to things just so I can say “yes” to the horse-related stuff. I skip taking vacations, I don’t go to many concerts anymore, I avoid movie theaters and bars. Romantic entanglements? Forget it. I know what I’m missing out on, and I’m not shedding any tears over any of it.
I do not mind at all feeling overwhelmingly tired at the end of every day knowing that I got to see my horse and am usually quite happy with that; this is on my terms. I want my weekends filled with horses (and maybe a little football, but not now dammit). I don’t want balance, or whatever it’s called. I want to play with ponies (of all sizes). I work to pay for the ponies and cover my health insurance. If the health insurance weren’t so important, I am not sure what kind of full-time job I’d have–maybe even a horsey one?
Even if I didn’t own a horse, I would figure out a way to ride as often as possible. I don’t do it for the competition or with set goals in mind any more. I don’t do it to test my limits any more. I do it because it’s my favorite thing to do and no matter how the ride goes, the ultimate end in riding for me is happiness. There is nothing else like it. Horses and their people are my community. Who’s with me?