Horse Show Hangover

Well, its taken me almost three weeks to even recover enough to write this post. My recent horse show trip with Louie was fun, exciting, stressful, expensive, exhausting, thrilling . . . Did I mention exhausting? It was four straight days of waking up at the crack of dawn and going non-stop until collapsing into bed and waking up four hours later to do it all again. Im so glad I did it though. Louie was a champ literally. We won Reserve Champion in the Adult Low Hunters division! My husband and two-kids came out to watch my jumping classes on Saturday afternoon, which meant so much to me. I posted some videos of our first and second place rides below. My adult medal class was on Sunday the very last class of the day. I was so exhausted by that point that I almost told my trainer I wanted to scratch, but I decided to push through because I didnt know when I would have the chance to compete again. And good thing because we came in second place (out of eleven entries). I was happy with the way I rode, so I cant ask for much more.

It wasnt all sunshine and rainbows though. After my last class on the fourth day, after cleaning up and checking out, after returning to our home barn, I suffered what can only be described as a meltdown. Im going to blame it on pure exhaustion. The way I felt can only compared to my condition after being in labor for 37 hours when my first child was born. I think I may have been suffering from a bit of heat stroke and dehydration as well. Somehow, I made it home and my husband was so shocked by my appearance that he considered taking me to the hospital. Although I was starving, I couldnt eat anything. I wanted to take a shower more than anything, but I couldnt even stand up. I went straight to bed, still wearing my breeches and show shirt! It was bad.

Its been a couple of weeks now and Im feeling normal again. But I made a very difficult decision to take a break from riding (and from half-leasing my buddy, Louie) for a while. The demands that riding makes on my time and on our bank account are becoming too much to handle. My kids get out of school next week and will be home with me for the summer. I want to spend more time focusing on them and on helping them pursue their activities and goals. I want to clean my house, weed my garden, bake muffins, take day trips with my kids, and spend more time on writing. Taking a break from riding will, hopefully, give me time to do all these things and possibly free up some money for a dinner or two out with my husband.

I am sad though. Although I am leasing Louie until the end of June, I miss him already. He is such an affectionate horse with a heart of gold. Ive been half-leasing him since last October and he truly has become a part of our family. Ill miss my friends at the barn too. I always look forward to hanging out with them and their horses. I wont say I am quitting riding, because I dont believe that is what Im doing. Ive tried to stop riding before and my breaks usually do not last more than a few months. I just need some time to step back and regain that passion that I seem to have lost a little of over the last few weeks.

Has this happened to anyone else? Have you ever felt the need to take a break from riding? Did you get back into it later? Please share. Its cheaper than therapy!

Im taking a blogging break for a few weeks, as my entire family is heading Disney World to help celebrate my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. Enjoy the beginning of summer everyone!