I have pondered for years if I am doing the right thing or making the right decisions. Whether it be with the horses or myself in general. I’ve never been a confident person; I don’t know if this stems back to my childhood - growing up with an all-male household, who knows? As years have gone on, I have tended to question myself in a lot of things I have done or will do and carry on doing this to this day.
In my personal life, at the age of 25 I was married. Back then we were a successful couple together. Running a business and having the lavish lifestyle that came with it. I still worked, but only part time in those days and during that time, I consistently questioned if I was doing the right thing... juggling a business and working at the same time.
It was a difficult marriage towards the end, but over the 17 years we were together, I even questioned if marrying him was the right thing? In the end of a difficult 7 years, I decided one day to pack my bag and leave with nothing only what I had in my bag and my two dogs at the time – did I make the right decision? I got out of a marriage that I did not want to be part of anymore and gave up on that “lavish” lifestyle that I was fast becoming accustomed to, but was that everything life had to offer? No. My happiness was more important! I had made the right decision, but I still questioned it, and did so for years until finally accepting that I was 100% right this time.
With the horses, I always question and probably always will. After nearly 30 years of ownership, I still ask myself “Am I doing the right thing?, Am I making the right decision?”.
I try to allow my instinct, gut and experience guide me but a lot of me believes that being a good owner, involves questioning yourself. When it comes to my horses, I have done and always will put them first. It may not have always made right decision over the years and unfortunately, I have suffered heartache as a result. But we live and learn, and can only do the best with what we know at the time. Now, when faced with important decisions, I allow myself the time to think. I don't believe I should have all the answers right away.
Having just Boy now has taught me a lot. We are 13 years doing things together and working things out. It hasn't always been easy though... 2 years ago I had 7 horses, then 5, then down to 2 and now it’s just me and Boy. Recently, we had to move yards due to him not being settled / safe, and because I had a nasty accident. The weeks prior to the move, I consistently questioned myself...“am I doing the right thing?", "am I making the right decision?”.
I knew deep down I was making the right decision for both of us, but I still took the time to ask the people around me... my Pa and my trainer. I took the time to fully assess the situation and fundamentally, decided it was best for both of us to move. I decided that if I didn’t do it, and something did happen, I would question myself over and over as to why I didn’t do it! So, did I make the right decision? Yes. Now, we are both happy and settled.
Now, I try not questioning myself like over the little things like "is he warm enough"? "happy enough"? "does he have enough hay?" etc. Now, when it comes to the bigger situations, I look back on what I have done so far and know that I have always done my best at the time and made the right decision. Would I make the same decisions again? Maybe not - but I have learned not every path leads to the right one initially and to never be too harsh on myself when questioning if I am doing the right thing.
Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing, than to win and do the wrong thing.
Remember we all start from zero and reach 100 in the end and it's how we get there that's important. There is never a wrong time to make the right decision.