It is so refreshing to have someone join us who is genuinely passionate about the horses in such a positive way. When I was in Central America, the Costa Ricans (also known as Ticos) told me the people in the US needed to La Vida Dulce, or "Live the (sweet) Life"....I believe that is true. So much pressure here in the US -- do you feel it in your country or no?
Yes we have it here too, in daily life, working life and horse life; for instance in all traditional equine competitions (dressage mostly I think) but also, sadly, in a relatively new sport here, endurance riding. which started in Netherlands round 20 years ago as a hobby sport for diehards, those that loved to barbeque and camp out. Now it is a genuine modern sport with ambition, stress and rivalry now that Netherlands also competes at international level and every advanced rider wants to be part of it.
I became stressed at endurance rides too, burnt out due to work related stress and then changed my life completely. Now I have not competed for a year due to pregnancy and after birth giving I started trail riding and classical dressage for fun only.
I'll pick up on competing later this year but only if we can enjoy this as a family. My baby son does not like to travel yet so I have to wait until he likes it more to go out for the entire day.
Our entire family practically adores the dolce vita! We love to stay at home, do family things, make a big feast of our daily evening diner (who ever does that these days??) even on Mondays so to speak. Just to remind ourselves of the fact that we appreciate the little family we have and that we are able to have a really good meal. I think in Latin countries over there and southern europe here the family diner is much more important and plays a role in the bonding within families and friends.
And regarding the horses, I try to focus on taking care of them and grooming them and have fun with this and appreciate that I can do this and can see my own beautiful horses every day. Not many can say that, only the fortunate ones.
I do not train them when I do not feel relaxed enough or when I am in a rush. On those days I only pet them because the horses will certainly not be relaxed when I am not and the work out would then be not so nice to them.
I also am teaching my daughter now how to take care of horses and ride them. I want her to have a good time, this also makes me focus on pleasure more than achievements.
When I ride with clients, I only pick the clients that sound nice at the phone or email. And when they come I am very proud to show them my horses and beautiful nature surrounding us. When I do it like this, we always meet wild animals like deers and such. I'd like to think that that's my reward for sharing this all with other horse and nature enthusiasts.
And sometimes of course I am stressed, rushed, bad tempered and all but then I practise Tai Chi and meditate, helps a lot, better than go out shopping and spend a ton of money I don't have ;-)