When Your Dreams Laugh at You

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OK so that lasted 3 weeks. I just read over last week’s post and laughed at myself for being so optimistic. Become an accomplished equestrian?? Fulfill my other, long-term, secret dream?? Ha, ha, ha!!! Who am I kidding?

WARNING: The following is a complaining, unhappy post. I’ve had a bad week.


Image credit theequinest.com

I did make some progress towards the equestrian dream.  I found a new farrier.  Nikki now has shoes on both front feet.  I went out to ride yesterday for the first time in at least a month.  Everything was fine at the walk.  I asked for a trot and got irritated bucking instead.  I got off and grabbed my lunge line.  Around and around and around in circles we went.  (Brief explanation:  Lunging a horse is to attach a long “lunge” line to his halter or bridle.  Horse works in circles around you.  A lazy way to exercise your horse, an easy way to get his bucks out, or, in the right hands, a reasonable training tool.)

When I was done lunging Nikki, I went and found my husband.  I sat on a milk crate, between tomato plants, in the midst of our huge vegetable garden and nearly cried:  I’m quitting.  I’m quitting everything.  I don’t know why I have to come up with these silly dreams.  I’m selling Nikki.  I’m just going to settle for being a good mommy, having a nice house, and being a mediocre, part-time attorney.  We talked about my “secret” dream.  We agreed that its completely unrealistic.  So, I’m done with that.  Don’t ask about it!!!

Serenity?  Calm?  Peaceful??  POOF!!  All gone!!  I’ve been so stressed I’ve given myself migraines all week.  My dreams are laughing at me as they walk out the door.

What exactly does being an “accomplished equestrian” mean?  How will I know when I reach that goal?  Is it attainable?  I mean, come on, I’m not 16 with the possibility of being an Olympic rider.  I’m 37, with 2 small kids, married to a frustratingly practical, wonderful husband.   The fact of the matter is that I’ve had Nikki for coming up on 3 years now and we’re still working on the same things:  Walk, trot, canter.  Getting past the spooky end of the arena.  Me not being afraid of him.  Nikki not dragging me to every blade of grass.  We’ve been to 3 little schooling shows where its me and a bunch of 13 year olds.  We haven’t gone over a single jump.  I don’t remember the last time I jumped.  And over the past 3 years, Nikki has sent me to the ER, knocked me down, and developed some worse habits, all of which has whittled away at my confidence and made me question my ability.

I’m stuck.  A new trainer would probably be good for me.  But, since my horses are at home I need to either trailer somewhere to take lessons, move Nikki, or find a trainer to come to me.  I don’t own a trailer or a truck which could pull one.  Nor do we have the money to invest in those things at this time.  I can’t afford to board Nikki somewhere, particularly since I have a perfectly nice barn and arena here at my house.  Finding a trainer to come to you is a near impossibility.

So, just why am I riding in circles?  Small circles since we can’t go down to the far end of the arena.  I spent some time yesterday on bayequest.com and dreamhorse.com seeing how much I could sell Nikki for.  Am I serious?  I don’t know.  Check back with me next week.


(Danelle left 8 Women Dream in March of 2010 and is still working  on her dream is to become an accomplished equestrian)

  • Dawnda, the horror writer

    Hi Danelle,

    What an awful few weeks you have had. Add the heat and travel with small children (even if it was fun it is stressful) and it is no wonder you are questioning everything right now. If you want to stay on track to be an “accomplished equestrian” you need to start by making a statement as to what that means to you. It doesn’t matter what the phrase means to anyone else, it is your dream.
    Also, if you decide to stay with that and get a new trainer, I have two trucks that will pull a horse trailer. You are welcome to borrow one when needed or maybe I could go along. Maybe you could teach me how not to be afraid to get on a horse – something I have always wanted to do.
    I don’t have a trailer but I might be able to find one – or maybe someone else can.
    I truly don’t mind helping in any way I can – we are all here for each other.

  • Wendy

    Hi Danelle,

    I am so sorry you are having a bad week. I had larger dreams as a young adult which were not my calling. I thought I would be an architect. Spent over four years taking drafting courses. Years later I realized my drive to be one did not come from my soul but the want to be close to my father who was a contractor. Dreams can change. When deciding if it is an important dream to me, I look at it two ways. Would I regret not trying ten years down the road? We are all getting older and in ten years this moment will be part of my youth. The second part is does it bring me joy? Not every moment is joyful but do I remember some of those moments as being the most joyful? I hope next week is better. Wendy

  • Catherine

    Dr. Jeff Skolnick recommends when we are in this dark place to list 100 things we can be grateful for, with the first one being that we are first alive and breathing. From there he suggests we list our family, or those we love and expand the list from there.
    You have beautiful children, a home, food, pets, 7 women who support you, sunshine, air, Nikki, you have a horse to sell, you have the space on the property to keep her, the food to feed her and so on it goes from there. He says when we do this kind of list we realize how much of our lives are working.
    There is the story of the woman who liked to keep a perfect house, and while raising her children she often wished everyone would be gone so her home would stay clean. Her kids moved out then her husband died of cancer and there she was left with her quiet, clean house. She hated it and regretted the times she wasted not thoroughly enjoying her home with her family messily in it.
    But we are in a process and what you are going through is certainly part of the process and I am sure everyone else in this group have been in exactly this same place many times.