Q: I am an older adult rider. Two years ago I finally bought my dream horse, a wonderful gelding. I had a lot of fun showing him and riding him on the trails. Recently, however, I have no motivation to ride, show or even go to the barn. It’s not a time or money issue, it’s more like riding has become a task. Is this normal? I don’t know what to do!
You might also try taking a break from showing. Though you have to be dedicated in order to succeed on the show circuit, the unending scrutiny of your position and your horse’s way of going can steal away some of the sweet, quiet moments we all treasure with our horses. However, if you’re competitive by nature, purely recreational riding might not hold your interest. But there are plenty of intriguing equestrian pursuits to investigate, from drill teams to mounted shooting, arena polo, team penning and extreme cowboy racing. Your current barn buddies may scoff at your burgeoning curiosity, but you might meet an entirely new group of horsey friends along your journey.
Ultimately, though, you have to do what’s best for your horse. If you feel like you can’t provide the attention he deserves, he needs a new caretaker. But don’t be in a rush to sell him. A dream horse only comes along once in a lifetime. Consider leasing him to another rider who would appreciate the opportunity to ride a nice horse while you contemplate all of your options.