The Obvious Fears

Adding another human to the family was not a lightly taken decision. My husband and I both travel for it work, we are both passionate and competitive in our respective hobbies, and double the responsibility. But when it’s the right thing, you make it work. This is what felt right to us. And we are so, so excited for this little boy’s addition!

If you’re wondering, yes, this baby is the reason behind my three year plan scramble.  It started out as a way to provide tangible plans to my spouse, so he could breathe easier knowing what the heck I was trying to do.  I find myself now treating it as a road map of ideas.  It’s kind of fun!

All gushing aside, I am very nervous about the riding aspect.  I know that it will be hard.  Getting my daughter to the point she is now at the barn (reasonably controlled) was a long education with lots of roadbumps, and now I essentially get to start over again.

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From my daughter’s announcement

I also know that I cannot do what I did during recovery with O around, which was essentially pressure myself to do as much riding as possible (she was for sale). That led to a lot of sore rides, and frustration on my part at my own limitations. I am confident that I have an entire barn full of people who are there to support me; plus my family being nearby never hurts. And I thank god, very freaking day, for having quiet, safe schoolhorses I can ride now and get back on after baby gets here.

There’s a large part of me that is so excited to “start over again”. To share those moments at the barn with my son. I can only hope that he’s as responsive to the horses as my little girl is. And if he’s not, I will figure something else out. Because if there’s a will, there’s a way.  And dammit, I have a 3 year plan to enact!

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Big Things to Consider

Thank you everyone for the awesome comments and ideas on my last post about my 3 year plan.  My excel document has kind of exploded with all these new things, and I’m now in thorough research mode!

While planting all of these details in my lists, I did want to reveal one more major consideration that I’m taking into account.  I’m not looking to add a 4th member to the family.  I’m looking to add a fifth.  By the time that any new horse would come into our lives, we will already have grown!

Baby Boy Announcement

A secret no longer!  We are so excited!

How Easy It Would Be

In review, 2016 was full of massive amounts of change for me and my family. I will say that for the most part it has been great.  Yet, at the same time I’m feeling driven to give a more transparent look at what my experience has been as a riding parent.  It is easy to focus on the good parts, which I do 90% of the time.

There was the day that my baby finally figured out how to properly pet Dee without scaring her half to death, or poking an eyeball.  The summer mornings where I had fantastic rides while my child sat happily cooing in the shade feeding the barn cats.  Nights like tonight where my kid, with a very limited vocabulary, said as clear as day “hi Dee Dee” to the little mare before my lesson.

I have a very tolerant spouse, local baby slaves family available and a very, very tolerant barn family (including the horses).  All of these things make it possible for me to continue riding the way I want to.  But.  That does not mean it’s easy.  People at the barn comment on how happy my baby is at the barn, and that I’m such a relaxed mother…

Truth be told?  I am constantly stressing.  I stress about people judging my decisions, I stress that my little girl might set off someone else’s horse.  I stress about my husband shouldering too much.  I stress about her getting hurt because of my choices.  It can be suffocating.

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And then let’s talk about pushing a stroller, leading a horse, and carrying a diaper bag during our barn trips.  I mean some days managing it all is oppressive.  Some days it does not seem worth it.  So when a barn mom told me a few days ago that she was impressed with my ability to deal with it all, I found myself laughing and saying, “…it’d be so easy to quit”.  I think my answer surprised both her and myself, but it was the honest truth.  Right now, riding 3 days a week is all I can manage without my head exploding, and sometimes 3 days makes my head explode.  Life would be so, so much simpler if I wasn’t riding.  Which is scary.  But in someways very clarifying.  I know exactly where my limit is.

But for transparency’s sake, I will tell you that even remembering all the good parts, just so I could type them in this post, makes me tear up.  Some days it will be too hard.  And yes, I could quit.  Yet, for now, I want to focus on the fact that I get the opportunity to share my favorite thing, with my favorite little person.  Watching her love what I love (as much as a toddler loves anything), keeps me going.

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With her pony.

 

Relevancy

While I am still recovering from all things Rolex, I wanted to take a quick minute to discuss something that has become very important to me recently.  I’ve discovered through my freshest bout of soul searching, that my biggest fear of the moment is that I will no longer be relevant.

To the professional riders of the world, that means they are no longer considered the best; perhaps that they don’t get the media attention, or high profile clients, or attend the biggest shows.  But to an adult amateur, especially one with kid(s), it means something else entirely.

Honestly, I am terrified of not mattering any more.  Without a horse, and without a really important goal driving me I felt that I was shrinking away into irrelevancy.  Irrelevancy at the barn.  Irrelevancy to my trainer.  And worst of all, I felt like the old me was so far gone, and that maybe I didn’t matter as much as I used to.

There is a huge undertaking to actually having a baby.  Physically-just…wow.  But mentally is what has actually taken me longer to get used to.  In so many ways, what I want matters less now.  Her needs are first, and I want it that way.  But losing O and gaining my daughter in a matter of 3 months pulled the rug out from underneath my personal identity.  Suddenly what I define as a rider means someone who pays a trainer to ride.  Not someone chasing a dream on their own horse, with 1000 iPhone pictures and plans and stupid huge amounts of hope.

Now my iPhone is filled with more baby pictures and random snaps of food and beverage choices, than it is horses.  My car is almost clean.  My calf muscles are kind of super whimpy. I don’t have the local vet on speed dial.  I don’t have reasons to buy new tack, or really even more schooling gear.  When you ride once or twice (maybe) a week, that’s not really top priority.  At first, all of these changes, they made my throat close, and a full on panic mode would start.  I can’t tell you how many times I called my mother, or my husband, or friends on my way home from lessons, upset, crying and totally rattled.  I didn’t understand what had happened to Genny circa 2012-2015.  The feeling that I no longer know everything going on at the barn, the feeling that I don’t have any long term goals, and the feeling of having to totally scratch a dream -that is a trip.   I felt irrelevant, that my dreams weren’t important anymore.


Last week I had a moment, and it just felt like a teeny bit of the old me rose to the surface.  I had just spent the long weekend surrounded by all things horse at Rolex, and came home to have an awesome lesson on a sweet-as-pie schoolie.  I rode well, I laughed, I smiled, I pushed myself.  I was high on life when I drove home, and it was then that I realized that maybe right now I do not have a perfect plan in motion, or really even know exactly what’s next for me.  I still love every single second I spend with horses, and in the saddle.  Maybe my definition of a rider has changed a little bit; that’s only proof it can and will change again.  I know who I am when I’m in the saddle, and I know that’s where I belong.  I want to spend my time with horses grateful for the ride, not sad that I don’t have more.  Great things are coming, I’m sure of it…I just suck at being patient.


So for now, I’m going to try out a new identity, instead of trying to resurrect my old one, and see where it leads.  I hope to more dreams, shiny new ponies, fabulous rides and happy memories.

Thanks for reading along.

Genny Macy

Wife, mother, horse crazy lady.

 

 

 

How Horses Prepared Me for Baby

I’m wasn’t someone who is got all starry eyed and high pitched when babies were mentioned.  I mostly just internally laughed at the fact that those suckers parents who were up all night, covered in weird juices, and their very lives being dictated by these tiny, squishy narcissists.

But then I had one of my own.  And I’m totally obsessed,so the joke is on me.  While learning the inside and out of keeping a tiny human happy, I realized some things related directly to my time with horses. Allow me to share the reasons having horses in my life prepared me for having my daughter…

  1. The bills.  $200 for baby shots and her monthly appointment?  SIGN ME UP.  Once you pay for a few vaccinations plus the farrier and such, I was clearing way more than that on a monthly basis for a horse.  By this scale, baby is practically cheap.
  2. They can sense fear.  I swear to God my daughter can tell when I’m not in a place to have her melt down on me.  And then proceeds to melt down on me, just to be sure I remember who is boss.  So number one rule, don’t fear the baby.  Same rule applies to horses (duh).
  3. The opinions.  You have them, my 2nd cousin once removed’s wife has them. Congrats.  This goes for horses, and now babies.  I do not need your constant opinions and 50 different recommendations.  Thanks for adding to my anxiety.

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    Paint pony isn’t so sure about cooing pink cheetah dressed squish.

  4. Sleeping.  I figure if I could drag myself out of bed in the dark hours of the night for a horse show, I can do the same for my baby. You know that adorable happy look your horse gives you when they see you.  Babies do that too.  Heart squeeze.
  5. Googling.  Learned this the hard way with my injury prone pony.  Do not google.  Especially at weird hours of the night.  You will not like what you find.
  6. Camera phone skills.  If horse or baby is doing something, and it’s not life threatening…always take a second to take a picture.  Because cute.  iCloud storage be damned.

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    Like when you daughter decides this is the optimal toy chewing position.

  7. Poop. (You know I had to go there.)  After you’ve mucked your way through years of lessons, or stepped in or on steamy horse poo….well the baby doesn’t even compare.  Still ew.  But just an ‘ew’ that you accept and move on from.
  8. Communication.  I’ve spent so many years trying to wordlessly communicate with my horse.  It’s not so different to try to figure out what your baby needs.  There are things that don’t need words.

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    No words needed.