BY JAMIE SKUBAL
Well, the only thing that I can say I have successfully done is try to keep my head above water.
I thought the road to the World Show would be hard, because financial reasons always pop up and take my precious funds away from showing. What I did not expect was the amount of life changes that would surface in the last six to eight months alone that would start causing me to make excuses.
I got engaged, which is exciting but also brought the start of wedding planning. It’s not only time consuming, but also financially draining.
I am also in the very beginning of this semester’s classes, which are even harder than anticipated. Honestly, I thought taking online courses would be an easy way to manage school with working full time, going to the barn and all of my other obligations. But boy, I was wrong about that! Still, I will never be upset for trying to give myself career opportunities through education. Because as we all know, this sport isn’t cheap!
Aside from wedding planning, classes, a day job, and an attempt at free time. My truck also decided she had enough of the road and went offline. Now we add a new truck payment to the growing list of stressors.
In the heart of winter, many cold evenings and inclement weather make it hard to stay motivated. My biggest excuses seem to be:
- “I’m cold and tired.”
- “What’s one night off?”
- And my favorite “He’s young, it’ll do him good to grow.”
While none of these observations are necessarily wrong, they do start to add up. The more my horse grows, the sadder I am that he is just sitting while I deal with the rest of my life.
In the last few days alone, I can count just how many of those I was grumpy and ticked off for no reason. But all that seemed to melt away when I dragged myself out to the barn. After sitting on my horse walking and maybe a little trotting in the lovely 27 degree temperatures bareback, I felt so much better. That moment told me something.
I need to stop feeding into the excuses, and just ride.
If I’m tired? Go out and lunge him for 10-20 minutes. If I want to have any hope of showing this year, we both need to be in shape. At this point, I know I couldn’t handle a full day of showing, let alone be at the level I need for the World Show.
Which brings me to perhaps the biggest root of my excuses—the reality seems that my World Show goal isn’t happening this year. Wedding, school and my overall self-care are coming in at a higher priority than big ribbons this year.
But, that doesn’t mean I slouch this year away. I can still get to at least a few schooling shows to get more experience for me and my horse.
If you get bit by the excuse bug this winter like I have, just remember how good it feels to simply go out to the barn. The best part of our equestrian love isn’t the winning ribbons or big trophies. It’s the experiences, life lessons, and moments we get to spend with our horses along the way.