Realising, acknowledging and drop kicking out the Winter Blues.
Hands up. Who’s got them? It can be a sly weasel. One moment you’re going into winter with great gusto and amazing intentions of spending the Winter ‘establishing your flat work even further’ and then, when spring comes, you and your noble steed will be prancing into spring, easily competing at Medium. Obviously.
Winter arrives. Winter stays. Winter does not understand a calendar.
Suddenly, you realise you’re sat outside your stable in May, with lethargy the weight of on elephant on you, motivation the consistency of a ghost realising you have only just got turnout on very wet grass, one fresh horse, one lame horse and you are staring at the stable door thinking.. maybe it’s time I give up. The gym is a cleaner hobby anyway.. Right?
And that’s when the Blues devil has got you.
I mean I’ll be honest, this has been my experience this week. You’ll have your own light bulb moment when you realise it too and I defy any equestrian who has not had this moment at some point in their life. The saying ‘Horses are great levellers’ does not just relate to decking you in the show ring in front of people.
So let’s just rewind somewhat and go back to ‘The Back’. If you’ve been following my Wishful Eventer page, you’ll have had a good giggle at my first physio experience with the NHS. I’ll be completely honest, I couldn’t understand why I was getting worse. So I went to a private physio in Cirencester who has the time to be able to do more ‘hands on’ work. And THANK GOD I DID.
My physio Sarah was UN. BERRR. LIEVABLE. Straight to the problem. Not the healed broken vertebrae, but the ones below jammed up. So jammed, there was no movement and she questioned how I was walking. What a relief. Even now within the equine world we spend so much on our horses but do little to care for ourselves and there is that push to ‘push on through’ and I was beginning to feel like a wet lettuce. I skipped out of that building! Now, I’m an honest bird, so here’s an honest statement.
Can you begin to imagine how wonderful it was to be able to have a comfortable pee for the first time in months? I even FaceTimed my sister. Gotta take the highs just as much as the lows.
And then, the next minute.. I was totally overcome by winter. I have ridden very little due to the pain, I had to admit that I am unable to do my three day event, the weather is the definition of Bi Polar, Bella thinks its hilarious to flare her check ligament up, Libby is sharper than a surgeons scalpel and understandably, I’m not entirely sure I could handle a fall right now and after all that, as a family we have had a family bereavement.
Man. When did horses get so hard?! When did life get so difficult?
So there’s the realisation and acknowledgement of the Winter Blues.
Now here’s the secret to drop kicking it into summer (because Spring and Autumn are seasons that are sadly extinct).
- Take the pressure away. Sit in a stable with your beloved and groom each other.
- Remember why you do this. Book a clinic, a competition, a lesson. Whatever’s your flavour.
- Talk. Reach out to your support group. My family, each and every single one have them have been invaluable not to mention a few key friends.
- Allow for change in goals. Goals should be fluid but they should always be there to keep you focused.
It’s been a weird start to the year. The event season is all over the place with events cancelled all over the place. My journey to recovery is going to be much longer than I thought. The mud is not going to go for a while. But. In the meantime.. I’ll see you at Hunters Equestrian, carrying out my first BD test on the 20th with The She Witch.
I’m still the Wishful Eventer. Down but not out. Ragged but clinging on. Our season is about to start.
Much Love to you all,
Josephine & The Libster
Learn more about Josephine in her previous blog here.
Visit Josephine’s Facebook page – The Wishful Eventer.