Saturday, September 28, 2013


This summer I failed. I'm not whining about it, but rather trying to face it and accept it.

We've had a tough summer. Many positive things happened, like catching up with old riding friends, and getting on the trail, getting Clooney back from the trainers and getting the hay in, getting Soyala trained and sold to a great home where she is already starting under saddle with a professional trainer, and getting Diamond Rain (through the help of riding friends and leasing riders) to be a bombproof horse. But, many sad things happened too.

One of the sad things is we lost our beloved Quigley to colic at the age of five. It has been for me devastating. It will take a long time for me to get over it, as he was my birthday gift from our mare, Jo Jo. We had sold him to someone we knew and he was boarded here, but the situation was not working out, which compounded the feelings about his death. It happens, and one has to accept it, but it is painful.

I have also failed to ride as much as I wanted to. Many excuses, like rain or being busy, sadness, getting old, having had too many accidents over the years, has made it a tough year for me, although I still do ride a lot, and positively went to several nice clinics this year which were amazing, I'm not getting myself to implement what I've been learning.

For some reason, I've got a cloud over my head I'm trying to wish away, so that I can get going. I have many plans this month, there's a stallion riding inspection this month. I want to bring Clooney there so he can get his riding inspection done (he already is an inspected breeding stallion). Then, there's the Cowboy Dressage Clinic I'm desperately trying to organize, it has been hard to get people here interested in it, as they do not understand it. Some friends do, but it has been hard to get everyone organized, nailed down and together to get it done. And, finally, getting my own riding better and better, it's been not as progressive as I'd hoped, and I am the only one to blame (O.K. I have a lot of farm work to do all the time, so getting the energy to ride is often difficult).

I guess today, I wanted to confess my failures. Hopefully, by doing so, I can let go of them and move on. Or am I just feeling sorry for myself?


  1. I just sometimes think as a person gets older you get a lot more to do and the aches and pains kinda slow me down and for me it is harder to get up in the saddle, but all things together I still play with my horses and that keeps me healthy

  2. Sounds to me like you've had a summer full of accomplishments!! You did get an awful lot done! Clooney is looking beautiful! Can't wait to hear how cowboy dressage goes! Hang in there and keep your chin up!

  3. Harold and Donna, thanks for your comments, sometimes I think I'm not even worth commenting on! HAHA! At the same time, I know, everyone has probably been there (except of course the young folks who should just GO GO GO! Thanks for the encouraging words, and yes, as one gets older it can get harder with particular horses. I mean, my old trusty mare, I can get up on and run still like the wind, but the ones that are more exciting to ride, I've got my pants (trousers for europeans) full! That's the crap! Hahah. I've decided I'm going to ride Clooney at the riding inspection, and if I fail, what the heck. You only live once. In the end, today was O.K. after I wrote on the blog, I worked mare and began her training today, even though she's 11 years old, and only a brood mare (she's not ours, but from a good friend). We'll see. Thanks all for this great blog!

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss! I always tell myself to try and do the best I can. That's all I can do. If I don't try, I regret that I didn't try, so I remember regretting and go out there and try. I don't know what I can do until I try! In reality I agree with Donna that you've done alot this year! Keep up the good work!

  5. It DOES sound like you have done a lot this summer and they have been positive. Work your way through the grief of Quigley's passing. It seems that you have many other very good things going on. We can 'hear' the sadness in your blog - but we are here, in virtual world to support and ENCOURAGE you! Harold is right - go and PLAY with your horses. Never mind having to get on them and get something done. After I had my kids, I didn't have as much time to ride or didn't feel safe hopping on when I was alone at home with them in case something happened. So I would go out and play. I did on line training from the ground, forwards, backwards, sideways, circles, figure 8's, weaves, over and around obstacles (which in some cases were piles of poop in the paddock!) It's amazing how much it translates to the horse once you actaully DO get up on them! And you can see how lively they are BEFORE you get on them. Somedays, you just don't get on. The horse doesn't know what your plans are. Be flexible and don't set hard goals. Go out and play with the horse that's there. Love them and Lead them. And whatever grieving process you need to go through (building a memorial, naming something after him, having a picture painted, dedicating a part of your ranch to him) do it! It WILL help.

  6. Wow, what words of wisdom you received above Karen. First, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a horse is so difficult - not just grieving the loss, but often times we beat ourselves up, wishing we could have done more...we feel powerless. And I agree with everyone else in that it sounds like you did alot - ! Cut yourself a little slack and just enjoy life. =] You are doing awesome. I think we all set high goals going into summer - but the truth is, that's all they are are goals....and it doesn't mean the little things along the way don't help get us there eventually...AND it's not always about the goal's about the journey that gets us there! So just sit back and enjoy the flowers a bit....get on that trusty mare of yours and hit the trail - and pat yourself on the back for a great summer. =]

  7. Yes, Denise! And, thank you all for your comments. Yes, I guess I have some high goals, and some of these goals have been out there for many many years. I guess the thing is, that as I get older, I'm afraid I might not reach some of the most important goals I set for myself. At first, I thought well maybe I am just trying to impress people, but that isn't it. I really truly want to reach some high level riding goals, and yet I am frustrated with too little time or energy or funding to work on them, or maybe I'm procrastinating. It is really great to get feedback, and it does help to just toss it all out there and see what people say.

  8. Karen, first of all, I'm so sorry for your loss. It hurts, and sometimes it takes longer to start thinking only of the happy memories, especially if there were some hard feelings at the end. You have actually accomplished a LOT, even though you don't think you have. Also, keep in mind that grief saps your strength, so I believe that once you can move past some of that grief, you will have more energy to work towards your goals. Give yourself some slack. It's okay to rest and rejuvenate. Take baby steps and forgive yourself. Every day is a new day. Your horses should be a source of relaxation, joy and fun for you We RACers are there for you, routing for you in cyberspace!!!!!!

  9. Karen, first of all I would like to say you did not fail! you just in your head did not do all the things you wanted to do, but maybe you where asking too much of yourself!
    I am very sorry for your loss that is just heartbreaking when you loose one of your loved ones.
    I think you are a great example for a lot of us. And unfortunate getting older is part of it including the aches and paint..believe me I am already starting to feel it too and then feeling guilty I don't ride enough.
    BUT we do care for our horses, do the best we can to keep them happy and healthy and isn't that the most important thing!
    And feeling sorry for yourself and vent about that....that's what we are here for right! We all have our "blues"
    Take care my fellow RAC-er and Curly friend.


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