They say horses are like potato chips, you can't have just one. Given their social and accident prone nature it makes since to keep a few good horses. I personally have two and one in the “oven” and I can't imagine my life without them. Since childhood my horse life has been about doing stuff. Trail rides, shows, clinics, parades, and numerous other events, I have horses because I like doing stuff with them. I love the thrill of galloping alone down a long dirt road, and riding in the surf. I love what I experience while riding, and I am not the only one. How many riding dreams have been you lucky enough to experience? How many goals still remain on your “riding bucket list”, and what is holding you back? If your answer is the training level of the horses in your barn you also are not alone. Hundreds of horse owners have several horses who are not trained enough to do anything. These owners dream of trail rides, shows, and other events and yet years go by and they still remain dreams. Friends it is possible to reclaim your horse life but you must be willing to start somewhere.
If you are truly committed to reclaiming your horse life and fulling your dreams you must first be willing to put in the work long term to reach your goals. This means setting aside time on a regular basis to work with your horse. Can you imagine what the school system would be like if we only sent our children to school 1-2 days a month? The horses learning curve works the same way, the more consecutive days (or close to it) you spend training the faster you will progress. You would be amazed at what you can accomplish with a few months of steady riding.
You must be willing to prioritize. This is where it gets hard. If you really want to change your horse life you are going to have to focus on just one horse. I know that they all need work, but it is nearly impossible to bring along several horses equally in a timely manner unless you are doing it for a living. If you decide to spend 6 months but better a whole year with 1 horse out of 4 at the end of the year you will have one horse you can do something with instead of 4 horses a ¼ of the way there. When you have a horse you can reliably ride you can then start to do things with them and build your confidence and skills for your other horses. But most importantly you will be able to start living your dreams horse back and will be on the road to sharing those dreams with each and everyone of your horses.
You must be willing to be scared, repeatedly. Fear is a completely natural part of riding, and after years in the saddle I still still get nervous the moment I do something new with my horses. John Wayne said it best, “Courage is being scared to death- but saddling up anyway.” In my experience with horses the more scary something seems to be the more fun it is when you finally do it.