I'm having a lot of thoughts lately about what to do with the horse. Luckily, there are no pressing issues or decisions that need to be made right away.
My thoughts start with the fact that John and I have a 5 year goal of buying some land. It is really important to both of us to raise our children with access to dirt and worms. We both grew up with animals and outside and feel it is invaluable in child raising. Especially with all of the creepy people out there, it is so important to have a safe place where kids can be kids without having to worry if there is a creeper at the neighborhood park. I feel much more comfortable telling kids to run out and play in the pond in the back 40 than I do telling them to walk a few blocks to the park. Plus, I want chickens. And Boomer at home. And John wants to teach our kids to fish.
So, what are we doing to further this goal? Well, saving a little at a time. Paying off debt. We have to live in our current house for 3 years since we got the homebuyers tax credit when we bought it. So, we have 2 more years of saving ahead of us and we feel confident about that. Before we move, we need to make sure John is in a job he loves and will be happy with for a while so that we can know what location to be looking in.
I am starting to wonder if my plan of keeping the horse where he is AND paying for training while I am out of commission is a bad idea. I mean, I like the idea and it would be good for both of us, but is it counterproductive to our goals as a family? Would it be better for him to go unridden for 6 months and just be in a pasture near our house, then maybe a refresher 30-60 days with a trainer when I'm ready to ride again? That would save nearly $3000. Or, I could spend the money and Boomer could be ridden twice a week for the next 6 months while I'm sitting on my ass. I'm just starting to wonder if I should be thinking more long term.
I'm also at a loss for what to do with my saddle situation. My motivation to replace my saddles with a dressage saddle has taken a nosedive since I am not even going to be riding for 6-9 months. When I do finally get back on, I have a feeling I will be most comfortable in a secure western saddle. But then, if he doesn't get ridden for 6 months or more, his shape will be right back where it started. However, that is almost a year away and not something to worry about. When I start feeling ready to ride again, I can evaluate my saddle situation and go shopping then.
It is just such a shame that there really are not a lot of options in and around Lawrence for boarding. There is the one we tried when we first moved here and didn't like and then there is a new pasture boarding place that I want to check out. Thats it unless I want to drive minimum of 30 minutes. I really want him close to home, especially if I can't ride him. It would be nice to have him in training, but I'm not sure it would be worth it for 6 months or more. I mean, I'm not really even sure what my level of interest will be when I return to riding. I figure I will probably enjoy some trail riding and occasional jogs around the arena. Not really sure 6 months of training is where its at. I'm thinking that a refresher course is more what Boomer will need when I decide I want to ride again and have an idea of my interest level. Which is fine. I don't mind paying for 60 days of refresher training. The question remains, is it worth it to pay $310 a month for my horse to sit in the pasture? When I'm able to ride, the cost is fine. But if I can't use the heated wash rack, lighted and heated arena, private tack locker, or any of the outdoor arenas- is it worth it? I feel like most of my board fee is for human comfort. If I'm not riding, why should I pay for it?
So, I'm at a loss right now. I'm leaning towards moving him closer to home where he can be in a pasture for $100 a month for the next few months. I just don't know what to do and I am in a weird place right now where my priorities are shifting in ways I never imagined, but it isn't a bad thing at all. Its just different. I think I am finally starting to understand what parents mean when they say "Everything changes, it isn't bad. Its just different." I get that. Everything is changing. It is different from what it was and different from what I expected. But it isn't bad.