The past few weeks my mind has been on anything but my Little Princess. Instead, it as been pretty much consumed by the pressing concerns of HS's business and quite frankly, our livelihood. It isnt something I can explain but let's just say that these past few weeks have been really stressful, busy and hard on my ever-sensitive-nerves. I've been getting down to the barn at 4-5 days a week at least but only for short visits... some days I've only taken the time to stand at the gate and watch her graze for a moment... or I just walk out and stroke that downy winter coat below her throat latch (the only patch of her that remains clean) and I say a little prayer that maybe some day soon I'll have the time and mindset to do something with my pretty little mare.
I've been feeling guilty for not spending more time with her but am also so confident that she has been so well looked after by the wonderful people I board off of- she has plenty of good feed, a buddy, some grass and a warm place to sleep at night... which I like to think ads up to the quotent of a horsey good life.
But then on Saturday I came out to the barn and realized that I had completely forgotten to pick up a bag of grain and that she had been out for nearly two days. Not cool. Then I realized that there was a note on the board letting me know that the bald spot I'd found on her cheek is really dry and needs attention. And then this evening it was pointed out that I had slowly crapped out on treating her mud fever and that it was getting worse...then the (awesome) lady I board off noticed Princess coughing. Which pretty much confirmed in my mind that I'm a crap horse mommy.
I cried. Well, not really but it was a near thing. I ate a bag of mini eggs instead. Not helpful. When I was done the mini eggs I got to work on the mental list of all my deficiency's as a horse mom. Then, when that was done, I got to beating myself up over it. I'm pretty good at that....I've got practice! I get this bunched up knot of anxiety in my chest and my stomach gets all flippity floppy and I cant sit still. The worst part though is that running commentary in my head that runs through all the horrible things that I've done- all my failings as a caregiver to my horses, man, family, cats, dogs, etc.. and OMG all those guppies I killed back in elementary school! Then I tell myself I should just sell Princess and Abby and not even have a horse...
But this evening I decided that I really need to stop doing that. I'm going to let this one go. I still feel like I need to own the mistake. I am not telling you this (my hypothetical reader) to ease my conscience... I failed to meet my own expectations as a horse owner and while I am not proud of it I'm going to give myself a "get out of jail free card" on this one....which is a novel concept to me but one I think I could really grow to like:) While most days I try to be a good horseman sometimes I fail to try hard enough... or at all. Some days I suck. The point is that we all fail sometimes. And that's not the end of the world. It's isnt good but I didnt kill anyone or burn my house down (yet *knocking on wood*).
Tomorrow my Princess will get some cough medicine, she'll get an ointment for her spot and I'll treat her mud fever. Tomorrow I will step up and do better. And I'll leave the guilt and the self deprecation behind.