By Meagan DeLisle
I haven’t cleaned a stall since Whit was born.
Rumba loves retired life and honestly prefers to be out. The few times we had poor weather, Wayne took care of the farm while I was with the baby.
I knew the rest of 2021 would be challenging in terms of my horse life. I really wanted to focus on Whit and then get back going in gear once he reached the six-month mark. With that just a few weeks away, I’ve been thinking a lot about horses and riding and my life.
Motherhood takes everything out of you and more. I love it, but my opportunities to be Meagan and not Whit’s mom are few and far between lately. So even though I was tired and exhausted and just wanted to eat cookies and crawl into bed early, I decided to strip Rumba’s stall and put her in for the night since it’s getting below 30.
If you’re not a horseperson, you won’t understand the peace that comes with cleaning a stall. As I busted shavings and filled water buckets and tossed hay, I started thinking back to late nights at the barn, doing chores after getting home from a lesson, all those weekends spent driving back and forth to St. Louis to train, all the horses who have (and haven’t) worked out, the feeling of hacking across the Kentucky Horse Park to the cross-country warmup, and the way I cried the last time I crossed the finish flags with Bear as I heard my favorite announcer say, “he doesn’t have a tail, but he’s got a lot of heart.”
I’ve been so blessed in my horse endeavors. It’s not been easy. I’ve cried so much and ripped ligaments and broken bones and fallen off so many times I turn on the heated seat in my car even on the hottest days in July.
I haven’t had the chance to ride again since seeing Scarlett and honestly, it had me really down. I was thinking of putting a pause on riding. I put so much money into this sport, why keep doing that if I don’t have time to enjoy it?
I know it would be easier to wipe my hands of it and be done. Less bills, less stress, less worry about being here and there and everywhere. But if there is one thing I have never done in my life, it’s take the easy way, even when it made more sense to do things easily. So I made myself a promise and I’m making it here so my friends can hold me accountable. I’m going to survive the holiday season and then I’m getting back at it. I’m going to get fit. I’m going to show Bear again. I’m going to see Scarlett in Florida. I’m going to move back up to Novice (eventually) and prepare myself for the next steps.
And it all started with cleaning a stall.