To ride or not to ride! For some that's never a question. But never is such a strong sneaky permanent word. What happens if you have to ride but (Gasp!) - you just don't want to. And it doesn't happen once or twice or every now and then but regularly. Could you be experiencing burnout? Like fear I believe burn out is something not a lot of equestrians will talk about. Especially since everyone around them seems to be gung ho on riding! It's also a scary thing to say out loud since you might see all that you've invested in tack, lessons, boarding, feed, supplements and vet care. And you've gained so much from your horse! You've shed teas, bled real blood and overcome incredible obstacles including the hardest obstacle – yourself! And now you just don't wanna. At all. It's not like you stopped loving horses or riding. It's just well, the thrill is gone. You need to give yourself a break. Just relax. It's OK and your horse friends have felt the same even if they haven't said it out loud or they will. And, here's a big newsflash – your horse loves you anyway! Burnout can happen to anyone at any time. It's OK. The question of course you have to ask yourself is why? Why are you burned out? Has the strain of riding interfered with other things like family and me time? Are you going through a ton of stuff outside of the barn and just drained yourself? Did you change situations and it turns out to be the wrong change? You love riding. Burn out is not a sin. It just means you're tired out. And, that’s OK. Sit down in a quiet place and ask yourself 5 why's. Why am I not interested in riding? Why am I feeling burn out? Why am I feeling different about this than before? Why do I feel like this? Why? Write out your answers. Don't cheat – be totally honest and you have permission to go back and cross it out and write the real answer. In the answers, you will find some answers. Take those answers and put together some steps. Are you bored? Maybe you need to find a different place or different- too many people or too few people and you need the comradery . Maybe try different horse activities – try an obstacle course or a clinic in a discipline you don’t ride. Maybe you need to step up your lessons to overcome a challenge or maybe back off and take the pressure off. Maybe you need to ride a friends or your trainer's horse and find out horses are pretty much still 4 legged animals and not perfect under different saddles. Give yourself permission to think way outside the box. Keep asking yourself why you do this and why you love it. As you see it from a fresh perspective and get into the deeper level of why you ride the question will change from why I must ride to can't wait to ride! Of course, there's also other things you can do – find therapy, talk to a trusted friend or even take a break. None of these things is bad. It's just part of your journey. Riding puts you in touch with your soul. It helps you become your highest self. So, nurture that and take care of it!
Let me know what you do to handle burn out? What causes it? What is your cure for it? Post on Facebook or comment below!
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