3.5 years ago I took a break from 33 years of horses, for reasons I won’t go into here.
I had a massive void. Horses gave me so much – not just regular exercise that kept me semi-fit but it totally kept me sane. When I’d had a bad day, just being around my horse and being outside, whether riding or taking care of her was enough to clear my head and close those tabs I bang on about.
I hadn’t realised the impact stopping would have.
I tried running, I tried the gym (that is definitely not for me), I got a personal trainer for home, I tried Joe Wickes work outs. All of it, didn’t make my heart sing.
Through all of this, I learnt that I’m an outdoors person. I need quiet to recharge, I love being on grass, by trees, just in fresh air. I also learnt that I needing help slowing down, not help speeding up, because sitting still and relaxing was a challenge for me and my overactive mind.
Happiness and exercise release serotonin and I wasn’t really experiencing either of these. We all need serotonin, particularly women. Maybe that was why I got sick, who knows?
Then I got a bike. This ticked so many boxes. Outside, fresh air, quiet, meet ups with friends. I still love it BUT the bike doesn’t need me, so habits were hard to create and the consistency was a bit hit and miss.
Then as you know in December, little Poppy joined our family.
Like my horse at the time, she needs me. She needs daily stimulation and exercise to keep her sane. This then forces me to take time every day away from what I am doing. Sometimes, I think I haven’t time for it but then it’s 30 minutes – 1 hour. Seriously, has my day not got time to STOP, pause and walk in the fresh air for this amount of time?
7 months in and I honestly love it. I’ve been more present than I’ve been since I stopped riding, I’ve found walks that I didn’t even know existed direct from my house and met so many lovely people who I otherwise wouldn’t have got the chance to chat to. Equally, I’m more creative because I pause. I cannot find inspiration in a full mind, I need to down tools to have room for more ideas. I have more clarity on my vision than I’ve ever had before.
Poppy is so good for us all as a family, but, in all honesty she has been the extra healing that I needed and I am a total addict to walking her.
I’m starting to feel the urge to get back in the saddle but for now, I’m happy being a daily dog walker.
I’m present. I’m happy. I’m slowing down, all with my new bestest furry mate.❤️