Day #14 - Any regrets that I have with my horse
Yikes...this is a hard one. I try to not have regrets in my life, because even when I change my mind about something, I try to remember there was a time when it was what I wanted. There is a much more succinct quote like that somewhere, but I am too lazy to Google it. ;-)
I kind of regret waiting so long to really start Reva. I waited to put her into more serious work this year, her five year old year, when I wish I had done this when she was four. But then again, I don't want to rush her, as she is a horse who has had MANY MANY training miles as a yearling and two year old. So what is one year? I am really happy with her and I do think it was a good choice. But if I had to pick a regret, I deep down wish I had started her a year earlier.
Hmmm...you know, I have been sitting here staring at my screen for a few minutes trying to decide what I regret with Dreamy. I can't think of anything. The one thing I sometimes wish is that I could afford to put her into professional training with my instructor. I think it would have taken MUCH less time to bring her along than me doing it myself. But you know, then I realize that even if I could afford it, I really don't think I would have ever done it. There is something so much more satisfying about being able to say that everything that horse knows is because I TAUGHT IT TO HER MYSELF. Granted, I have to own the good AND the bad (ha ha ha), but knowing I have trained her (with my instructor's guidance, of course, but I am her only rider) makes our competitive success that much better. No, we don't always win. But when we do well, it is because of our hard work together. So I guess I cannot really call this a regret after all. Sometimes I am too hard on myself and think how much better trained she would be if I had my instructor training her for me. :-p
I know I have made some stupid decisions with Sparky. Having owned her since I was a know-it-all thirteen year old (ha ha), there is no way I could say I have always done everything perfectly with her. I boarded her at a farm that never actually "abused" her, but I wish I had moved her out of there sooner than I did; they stopped feeding her more than one flake of hay a day, they turned her out in the manure pile (no joke!), and caused her to have a gas colic because when they finally did turn her out in a field, they did it for HOURS in a very grassy field. After a few months of boarding her, all of these things began to happen and we moved her pretty quickly. I was only fourteen and it sucked. :-( When I was sixteen, she made me really mad about something she did (I have no idea now what it was) and I hit her in the face. I deeply regret that decision and I have never EVER done that again, to her or another horse. I know it was nothing dangerous to me and I should have worked her through the issue, but being young and unable to control my temper is my only excuse. I knew better then but I did it anyway. :-(
I regret not going abroad in college because I was too scared to leave Sparky in the US. I wanted desperately to study in Cambridge for a semester, but the thought of not being there for my horse if she colicked or foundered (she did both twice during my first two years of college). Granted, she was boarded with my grandfather who is an amazing horseman, so I never had to worry about her day-to-day care. But it killed me to think I might be stuck in England if something bad happened to her.
I wish I had more time to fuss over her and groom her every day, because I know I will regret not spending enough time with her once she is gone, but trying to be a (high school) teacher, be a mom, keep up my house and barn, and ride and show two other horses does not always leave me much time for Sparky. :-( It breaks my heart and I do wish I had more time to devote to her, even just an extra 20 minutes to brush her. She is retired, so I don't feel bad that I don't ride her. She will be 30 next year (!!!) and I will have owned her for 19 years this coming January 2012. That is amazing to me. Overall, while I know I have made mistakes, I also take comfort in the fact that I have provided the very best I can for my horses and they are very healthy and well taken care of. I also know they are VERY forgiving of me and my mistakes. :-) So I try hard not to dwell on my regrets. I rather focus on how lucky I am to have them in my life.