Most of my free time revolves around my two passions: riding and running.? I’ve always been passionate about horses. Even as a 13-year-old, getting up at 6 am in the middle of a Cleveland winter to feed my backyard horse didn’t feel like a chore once I heard his soft nicker greet me as I opened the barn door. As I’ve gotten older, it sometimes takes more motivation than it used to to get me to the barn, but once I’m there, I still don’t want to leave. Running, on the other hand, is something I’ve had to learn to love. It has definitely felt like a painful chore on more than one occasion and I’ve spent my share of runs talking myself into staying out there when all I wanted to do was stop and turn around. But I’ve grown to love the routine and didn’t realize how much it meant to me until last week. I’d had a nagging case of tendonitis in my Achilles and I finally went to the doctor.? I was told I could have a slight tear in my tendon and I needed at least a week off-no running, biking or anything that would involve moving my tendon a lot. I was lost and didn’t know what to do with myself. I had no idea how much my routine runs had become a part of my life. It got me thinking how our horses must feel when their routines are disrupted. I’ve always felt bad that our equine friends have no say in their direction in life to begin with. I wonder how they must feel when they’ve grown comfortable with a routine and then, due to an injury or other circumstance, they’re thrown out in the field or put on stall rest and somewhat forgotten. While some may love the change of pace, it’s food for thought to think that some may feel like I have-a little lost and anxious to get back into the race. Has your horse ever had the blues after a change in his routine?

?Traci Donatelli

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