Friday, September 4, 2009

Let's Talk About Balance

I'm not talking about balance in the saddle(although that IS important!)I am talking about balance of LIFE!

At one point in time, all I wanted to do was horses! I thought if I could just be around horses day in and day out that life would be perfect!

When I graduated college and finally left the "loveliest village on the plains" aka Auburn University, I went to work for Bartlett Ranch in Montgomery,AL. As a single girl,I absolutely LOVED working there!I got up at the crack of dawn and went out to feed all the horses,cleaned stalls,worked with the weanlings and yearlings,helped with the AI process of breeding mares, and just did general ranch stuff!I got to bed late, was paid nearly nothing but I was in heaven!

The short version of what came next is best described as "fell in love with a non horsey guy and got married and started a family." Suddenly there was more to life than horses! Who knew? There was traveling for a non horsey job,vacations not surrounded by horse activities and hanging out with people that generally didn't know the difference between each end of the horse!

Somewhere in the lifestyle change, horses became almost a challenge to do at all! Not because I didn't have support! On the contrary I had A LOT of support! It came in the form of "Sure! Buy that horse if you think you can make money on it!" At one point in the last 8 years we had at least one child and owned 6-8 horses as well as boarding others! Then soon we had 2 boys and several horses! It was crazy! Not to mention I was spending all my time cleaning stalls and all my money feeding them! Not having any energy to actually ENJOY them! Something had to change! My scale was tilted all the way to one side and I was NOT happy! I had no time for anything and no energy to do anything anyways!My balance of LIFE was WAY off KILTER!

So one day, my dear,sweet husband came to the conclusion that horses,no matter who owned them, were a lot of work! Years later I finally came to that same conclusion!
When I did, I decided it was just as easy to take care of a barn full of horses that I DIDN'T own as it was to own them! Actually it was easier since boarded horses didn't HAVE to be RIDDEN by ME or GROOMED by ME or best yet PAID FOR by ME! And with finally selling all but 3 perfect geldings, I could finally afford to DO things with my own horses as well as have the energy to do them! The scale of LIFE or at least barn life was starting to finally balance out!

With being married to a non horsey husband (NHH) and having two kids,comes activities that DO NOT revolve around horses. There are beach trips,going out to eat,church life,going to concerts,and just general low key everyday family life that take up time.If I CHOSE to not recognize this and instead say:"Ya'll have fun! I have a horse to ride or a show to go to or some other horse thing I have to go to," I would not only be pretty lonely but I'd end up dividing myself away from my family and undoubtedly end up in divorce! Of course the upside (maybe the ONLY upside) to that might be that I would end up being a decent rider and considered the top of my field.

The picture I just painted is scary for me to even think about! I know a few people that their lives DO revolve around the horse business.Their lives were/are lead from the barn or the truck on the way to a horse show.No non-horsey vacations were taken, no lessons were canceled, no horse shows were skipped in hopes to spend quality family time together.Meanwhile they missed out on their kids lives and the life they could have had with their spouse. The marriage,if it's still in tact,is full of resentment,anger, and lost hope.Good times. Of course they ARE at the top of their field. They're looked upon and regarded with the utmost respect by their peers and even some clients.When I think of what these friends have missed out on it makes me sad for them.

By witnessing such imbalanced lives, it has made me strongly focus on the balance of my life! I love God,my family,horses,friends and photography.I love to read,learn,taste and discover new things(especially about myself!)I have goals with my horses but even more so I have a goal to be a huge part of my children's lives and be the spouse my husband deserves and needs!In order to be "ALL THAT" I have to learn how to divide my attention and energy accordingly.When I am with my boys, I give them my full attention. The same goes when I am with my husband, horses, and friends.

I have learned too that LIFE is composed of MOMENTS.Sounds cliche I know but since I have "decided" to truly enjoy each moment, I get out of my comfort zone and try new things,I find JOY in little things like getting my boys dressed or even saddling up my horse.(Still looking for the joy in doing things like unloading the dishwasher!)

So with today's blog-if the only thing you get out of it is:"Emily is more than just a cowgirl", YOU ARE missing it! GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY ALL LIFE HAS TO OFFER! ENJOY THE LITTLE MOMENTS! And yes balance is more than keeping a leg on each side of your horse!

Below are some of the things I am super glad I DIDN'T MISS!


  1. Very nice. I'm always searching for balance, too, so I appreciate your position. I have also seen the people who miss great family moments and whose time with horses have destroyed their families. However, I have the blessing of a horsey wife (HW), so our balance is a little different. That's one of the great things about God's blessings, he gives them uniquely to each of us since we are each unique beings created by Him to be special and praise Him in our own separate ways.

  2. Absolutely! Well said! Thanks for the comment! Enjoy your many blessings! :)

  3. "hanging out with people that generally didn't know the difference between each end of the horse!".....UUmmmm, yup, I am pretty sure that is me!!!!!