Well isn’t this a great start to being a real adult? I graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Psychology and a degree in Equine Science about 3 months ago. And now we have a world pandemic and I am currently self-quarantining in my home. At least I am still able to go see Dayton and take joy and solace in that. For now.
Dayton and I have been through so much together! We graduated college! That’s insane. Those 4 and 1/2 years really flew by. But the last 2 I think were the most important. There was a LOT of change in those last two years. Starting with my decision to bring Dayton out to Colorado while I was still in school. That was never my plan hah! My plan was simple. It was smart and logical. My plan was to get through college, get a degree, get a job, move if I have to, and THEN bring Dayton out. Once I had my life together and figured out…but then I realized you never really have your life figured out do you? You figure it out as you go. Trial and error. Fall and get back up. And I didn’t want to do that any longer without him by my side. I wanted him to be a part of those memories. By my side for the rest of my college career and forever afterwards. He was such a huge part of my early formative years and I couldn’t imagine my adult formative years without him. So I made the most stressful and terrifying decision of my life and moved him to Colorado, officially as mine. 100% my responsibility. It’s a lot to take on as a student in college. And it’s a lot to have now as a graduate working in the real world. Responsible for all my finances now. My loans, my debts, my rent and bills. It’s a lot. But it will always be worth it. Even now, when we are all in crisis mode, unable to work, not making as much on each paycheck that we are used to. There is always a way. You make it work, if it is important to you.
When I first started my job, I worried about the time I would have with him. It wouldn’t be like school where I would have most afternoons or some mornings to go see him, ride and care for him. I’m working 10 hour days now and commuting 40min to and from. I don’t have as much time as I did. But that is where you make time. I go and see him in the dark after work to give him his grain and love on him. I ride and spend time with him the mornings that I do have free because my other job two days a week is in the afternoons. And it is hard. And I felt so guilty. But did he ever show me he was mad or upset or unhappy with his life? No he didn’t. He was always excited to see me when I would pull up in the dark. He recognizes my truck now because I would drive it all the way down to his pen at night lol. We enjoy those moments together. And as summer is approaching the nights are getting longer and it’s no longer dark when I get home. I struggled with this loss of time because I thought I was being a bad horse mom. But then I saw something online that someone had posted. It said: “…if your horse has good care, turnout, attention/love and feed, you’re ok. You care and are being a good owner. Your horse doesn’t care about being ridden. It’s not the beginning and end of it all.” And I had to think, “well some horses do need daily exercise and a work schedule” but does my horse? I had to really think about what makes Dayton happy and what he needs. He’s not a horse that needs a strict riding and work schedule. We’ve never had that! He needs me to be there for him. He needs me to show up and give him his grain and spend time with him. He needs his brain engaged so he doesn’t get bored. That is what he needs. And can I do that still? Absolutely I can. I still see him 4-5 days a week. I work with him at least 2 of those days. He gets his grain. He has friends he his turned out with and has room to run and play. He has good food 24/7 and shelter. He is happy. And as long as he is happy I am happy. I think as horse people it’s so hard for a lot of us to let go of expectations and standards we see from other people in our community. Their life and their horse is not yours. And everyone judges everyone in the horse world. You’re always doing something wrong lol. So do whatever makes your horse and you happy. Do whatever works.
Staying happy and healthy right now are the two most important things. I’m stressed that I’m having to stay at home for these next two weeks. But I am going to use this opportunity to spend more time with Dayton because hopefully the world will get better soon and I will be a working girl once more. In the meantime, catch me social distancing at the barn with my horse.