One of my favorite blog titles ever is Diary of an Overanxious Horse Owner, because I can sooooooo relate to that title. Really,I’m jealous that I didn’t think of it first!
Anxiety hasn’t always been present in my life. Through school, I was pretty care free. Sure, stuff would come up but I always just kind of assumed that everything would be okay and things would work out for the better overall. I’m not exactly sure when or why it happened, but for the past year I’ve been battling a lot of generalized anxiety.
It’s not like I get a panic attack, but generalized is more like a slow fog. It starts with a little worry that spreads, and before you know it you’re worrying about everything. I have certain triggers, but they aren’t always consistent. The other night I laid in bed worrying about a mole I’ve had since birth being skin cancer now, for far far too long. At its worst, I can’t think or do anything else but worry. At best, there’s no worry at all but usually I live in the in-between land of worries lingering in the back of my head at all time and me trying to squish them down like Whack a Mole.
Being a horse owner with this is an interesting adventure. The semi-chronic NQR’ness of the summer almost drove me insane. I left the barn in tears a lot, which was hard for some people to understand since my horse didn’t look lame and hacked around mostly fine with me. In my brain though, I jumped around from ‘What if I have to retire him at 9?’ to ‘What if I’m slowly crippling him by my horrible negligence?’
You can probably see why I’ve taken some things “off the table” on this blog since then. Lameness is one of them. I just can’t handle it mentally.
Anyway, being a horse owner with anxiety means it’s a constant battle between “Am I being a crazy person?” and “Am I looking out for my horse’s best interest?” I’m trying to walk that line gracefully, but don’t always succeed. This fall, I started every single lesson with yelling across the ring to my trainer, “DOES HE LOOK SOUND? HOW IS THE LF? HOW IS THE RH? IS HE EVEN? IS HE OKAY?” Luckily, she is awesome and just patiently answered my questions (Answer? He looked fine) until I stopped second guessing myself all the time and just rode my horse.
These days, things are a bit better. I still worry. I worry when my horse has been recently body clipped and the temperature drops to freezing in a week. I obsess over which neck thing to buy in order to keep his “wittle naked neck” warm, and go against my trainer’s advice to buy him jammies.
When he ruins those jammies, I worry the next freezing temperature will make him moderately uncomfortable.
When he spooks at cold weather, I don’t think that it’s just cold, windy weather giving him a little extra. I think that he has ulcers, and that I need to treat them and that I should probably put him on a digestive supplement but then that would put my SmartPak budget too far in the red and then I remember that I’m awful at budgeting and then I go back to the fact remains the same that Simon needs ulcer treatment…
You get the idea.
Any other anxious horse owners out there? I’ve been working on my issues, but at this point I’m still a member of the crazy horse owner club.