Post-Ponies Dilemma

Growing up with horses, it never occurred to me that there might be a day that I didn’t have them at my immediate disposal. Well, friends, I’ve quickly found that that time is now.

I first moved to Amarillo for my internship with AQHA at The Journal, and figured I’d leave my ponies with my parents at home in Idaho—temporarily, of course. Six months later, and I now live in Colorado.

Goose is clearly bothered by my absence. Here he is hanging out in the canal to grab a few sprigs of grass.

Again I weighed my options. I had to decide whether my horses would join me in my initial move, or if they’d have to come later. 

There are definitely certain parts of the state where keeping horses might be more feasible, but in the greater Boulder area, the thought of affording two horses is enough to send me into full panic mode. So, they stayed for now. The sad part is that I miss them. And I find myself constantly scheming and searching for places where I might be able to comfortably keep them financially, and with the certainty that they are in a safe place where they will be happy. But, until I discover that place, I find myself with a lot of extra freedom.

So, what does any 23-year-old do with a lot of spare time in a beautiful, mountainous town with a lot of other 20-somethings?

The answer is that I just workout a lot.

As every person who has spent any amount of time caring for horses knows, it is a lot of work, and a lot of work takes a lot of time. I’m used to being dirty, sweaty, exhausted, and in an incessant state of: ‘I have an endless list of things to do’-land.

So how do I recreate this busyness to fill the void? 

I’ve found that in a state like Colorado, it’s not a difficult task. It seems that many people here live life similarly to horse people, that is, they are constantly active. A quick search on Google will inform you that Colorado tops the charts for healthiest states in America. And it’s no surprise; events like ‘Bike to Work Day’ (held this week) send the streets into near chaos as people grab a coffee and bagel at the nearest “fueling station” and head off down the sidewalk.

All that I’m saying is that in the absence of horses I’ve had to find other hobbies to fill the obsessive void that my four-legged friends once filled. I’ve gone on hikes with new friends from Spin to Win; joined the company softball team; taken up a new sport; cleaned off my bike for more than the occasional long-ride; and now genuinely enjoy long walks.

I’m lucky really because though I may not be able to keep and enjoy horses right now, I’ve found a fun, supportive community in my outdoorsy, sports-crazed buddies. And, I’m incredibly thankful to have a family that finds no qualms in keeping my yellow boys out in the pasture a little longer. In fact, I think my mom is eagerly plotting to snatch them out from underneath me.

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