To Guilt or Not to Guilt?

November 12, 2021

Last weekend, I was feeling a little under the weather. With symptoms ranging from low-grade fever to dizziness to chills to sore throat to loss of taste and smell, I spent much of Saturday - Monday recuperating in my bed. Despite these symptoms, my COVID test came back negative — thankfully, it was only a nasty cold. Most likely brought on by stress and mental over-exhaustion. My body finally caught up to the toil I had been taking on it for 7 weeks.

For the first time since moving to our new barn (other than when we were out of town for a few days about a month ago), I did not go to the barn for 3 days in a row. And I felt extremely guilty. Given our prior boarding situation, I have been going to the barn every day, often twice a day for hours at a time. Though we are full board, it took me a long time to learn to trust again. To understand that not all equine professionals have ulterior motives. To (briefly) let go of my Type-A personality and try to accept that everything cannot always be perfect. To prioritize the important issues, and attempt not to worry about the not-so-important ones (the last two are still a work in progress!).

The rational, logical part of my brain knows that my horse will not even notice if I don’t come by for a day or two, since she is still getting fed, turnout, and exercised by my parents or trainer. But the irrational, emotional part of my brain worries that she is sad and will forget all about the connection we have grown little by little with each passing day. Deep down, I know that we are in a much better place now. And I know that my mare knows this too.

I also know that I am not the only horse owner who feels guilty when not at the barn. Any pet owner feels a sense of remorse when they go on vacation and cannot take their dog, cat, fish, bird, hamster, etc. with them. So what do we do when we see our beloved pets again after a few days of not seeing them? Give them some extra love to make up for lost time of course!

With H.O.P.E.

Diana Bezdedeanu