The Guilt of Not Making Time

The first week of my Easter break is almost over, with my dissertation and exams looming I can’t say it has been relaxing at all really. I wanted this blog to be as honest as possible, right now I am feeling really overwhelmed in my life with my list of things to do mounting up and the hours to do them depleting quickly.

Whilst in my head I have prioritized doing my dissertation, I still have a lot of other stuff to do. And whilst this “other stuff” continues to pile up, my horses continue to be pushed further down the list. I hold my hands up and say, I am addicted to my horses. I physically could not see them for a whole day and I feel the worst guilt if I do not get to ride them. I go to my yard twice a day; mornings to turnout and do the jobs, sometimes ride, and afternoons to bring in and finish them off. My livery package is assisted meaning I get turnout and bring in included, and yet I still do it every day! Why? I have no idea, I guess I am just a person of routine just like the horses. Getting up and going to the yard early every morning prepares me for the day and I find I am most productive when I do this. The feeling that my horses need me drives me on and gives me the energy and motivation to do them every day. But surely everyone needs a day off? I always like the idea of having a day off from them or even having a little break away with my partner. However I would simply miss them too much, and the dog. I guess I am addicted to my life in many ways.

What I am trying to put into words is the enormous guilt I feel from not riding my horses. When I say “not riding” I don’t even mean them having to have a whole week off, they still both get exercised at least 5 days a week. I’m not sure if this feeling is normal, I feel selfish for putting myself and other elements of my life first as well as guilty for not exercising them. I always imagine the horse’s life to be quite mundane, stable and field, that’s all there is. Exercise to them must be a highlight and a chance to break the status quo. I have no idea how I have come to this conclusion and part of me thinks- they are just horses, stop trying to humanise them, they know no differently- but part of me thinks- what if they are disappointed? what if they were looking forward to being ridden and I have now let them down! I really overthink things…

So how do I combat this? I rationalise my thoughts- one day won’t hurt them, sometimes a day off can be beneficial to them!- or even- when I have finished my dissertation and I land some high paying job I will have so much more money to spend on them (unlikely but the thought comforts me). My horses are happy and probably get a lot more love and attention than most other horses, I think it is more that being with them makes myself so happy that I get addicted to that, with the stables being a happy place. I also try and plan my day effectively, if it means I need to get up 30 minutes earlier to fit it all in then it is worth it. Everyone needs a work/life balance and if you are horsey, you need a work/life/horse balance. I’m still trying to find this balance without spreading myself too scarcely or making myself unhappy.

Sometimes I wish the world would leave me be in my horsey bubble where I can ride everyday and spend all the time in the world with them, but I guess that is every horsey person’s dream!


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