Are you expecting too much of yourself and your horse?

I always knew having horses and completing a master's degree would be difficult, even with the having the horses at home. But I expected it to be easier than it has been, because my bachelor's degree wasn't as difficult as this! There honestly haven't been enough hours in the day, and the last couple of months have been hellish due to a lack of sleep and constant stress. I'm currently SO close to the end, I just need to finish off my master's thesis, complete my last language course and get the results of the test of my last compulsory module. Yet I feel like for the last few months I've been a total failure to my horses, they had to deal with less time and attention from me, and more days off than usual because riding 3 horses every day is just not possible when you're trying to finish up your degree! 🎓
And then a friend said to me that "you're expecting way too much of yourself". A lot of people (without horses!) struggle to complete their master's degrees, and I've been doing it with three horses and a yard to run! And this made me think that the reason I've felt so bloody guilty is because I've had to put university work first ahead of the horses for the first time in my life AND I've been expecting too much of myself. The perfectionist in me has been dying because I've not blogged regularly and ridden every day. But perfectionism means setting our goals too high and having unrealistic expectations. Being averse to failure is often driven by an underlying sense of shame and that's exactly what I've felt.

But I shouldn't feel shame about the fact that my horses aren't working every day. They are happy and healthy, so whether they work 3 days a week or 6 days a week doesn't bother them. They are loved, looked after, fed, turned out for hours and groomed each and every day, so it will not kill them to not work, in fact it probably days them the world of good to have a bit more time off every once in a while. They are happy when I ride them and they are happy when they have a day off and they get to be turned out all day!

So my options have been to either be frustrated with everything, be stressed and worried and sutrggle to keep up my expectations of perfection. Or then I can adjust the expectations to match the reality of the situation. So if the reality is that I can only each horse three times a week and focus on enjoying those rides, I know which is choice is better for me and my mental heatlh. The choice is yours … should you decide to make it. And, I only have 3 weeks left and then I'm done. Then all the horses can come back into full work for the few weeks before we move! 💖

1 comment:

  1. so true and then the happiness and fun is gone because your pushing to hard