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The Seasons of Life

I posted a question on Facebook last week that brought about a flurry of conversation. Very good conversation.

Have any of my Facebook friends ever made a 180 life change at age 46? Anyone have horses or ponies and then decided to make a BIG change? Just curious to hear other's experiences...

I did have to be more specific as some took this the wrong way at first. Of course it's a very cryptic question when asked without a back story.

**Also, Hubby pointed out I am NOT 46 - YET - I am still 45. Though to be honest we won't be making any big changes until I'm 46 so I guess there's that!

The back story:

I have been going through some big 'season of life' changes. I think some would call it a crisis of identity or even a midlife crisis. I am calling it both.

Basically, I am wondering what I want to be when I grow up. I have literally had ponies or horses my entire life. Of my 45 years, I have been without an equine for only 2 years, and those weren't consecutive years.

When I was a toddler, my mom would put me on the old broodmare Donna, while she was training ponies in the pen nearby. I would sit on her, and sometimes tumble off, and then toddle around the pasture with her and her baby.

This is me at 2 years old. Donna's baby and me with a large lollipop!

When we lived up on top of the Bozeman Pass I was the only kid for miles around so I played with the ponies. We had a small herd of mares and a stallion, they pretty much ran "wild" on the mountain. (Obviously they weren't wild. They were very sweet and tame and gentle.) Much of the time, you would find me with the herd or riding my mare, Sister.

My mom trained Shetland ponies to ride and drive. I grew up in a cart.

My grandma (my mom's mom), my mom and myself!

I remember falling asleep to the sound of pony hooves on the gravel, or pavement, as my mom drove all the different ponies she was training.

So, ponies, horses, donkeys, what have you, have been a large part of my life, for my entire life. I am wondering if this is still the path I want to walk.

I am working with a wonderful therapist/life coach and she is helping me decode my brain and my heart. lol. This will take some time. It turns out I am actually very complicated.

I know that the idea of taking a different path and leaving my pony life is very difficult for some people to understand. There are a few people who are a little angry with me. I find that very interesting and wonder what that says about their situation! Maybe, they secretly yearn for a simpler life too...

I have been having some excellent conversations with people over the phone, through messenger and on my Facebook page. I was looking for stories people could share about their journeys and was very happy to read many, many different ones. Some have left horses only to come back to them later. Some never left horses and have zero desire to do so. Some are thinking maybe they, too, are ready for a different path. Some want to travel. Some want simplicity. Some are making changes due to health issues. So. Many. Stories. To me they are all beautiful.

The big question I am asked (and am asking myself) is WHAT will I do if I don't have ponies? The answer is, I have no idea.

Well, I have a little idea. I would love to be a barista at a coffee shop. I would love to garden and grow food. I would love to spend time in the mountains with my hubby. I would love to be able to go spend a weekend away, just on a whim! I would love to live in a small old farm house, all cozy and sweet. I would like less stuff. Less equipment, less tack, less responsibility. More freedom, more simplicity, more slowness, more TIME.

I'm not saying I can't have this and the ponies too. I can. And, that may be what happens. But, if I do decide to let them go, I know, I will be alright. Even though I feel ponies are deeply engrained in my life, I know I can be myself without them as well.

I look for joy every day. Some days are darker than others and I may only glimpse joy briefly, but it doesn't stop me from looking for it. I know I can be content with ponies or without. I just need things to get a bit easier, less draining and less urgent. I will keep searching for the perfect little place to move to, here in Madison County. I will keep working on myself. I will figure it all out. But until then I do really enjoy hearing each and every one of your stories. If you are so moved please email me your story at!

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Aug 05, 2022

Mindy, how do I unsubscribe from comments. I guess I did that by mistake.


Aug 03, 2022

I wasn't 46, but otherwise... I too grew up around horses. I didn't come from a horsey family, but I wanted ponies and my grandmother left the money to me to have riding lessons when she died, which led on to a Welsh pony, then other ponies as I grew... until I was 25, when I had to move across the country with my infant daughter, leaving my beloved mare behind at livery. Before I could arrange for her to join me, she slipped twins, developed pyometria and died, leaving me devastated. With a small child to raise, I had neither the time nor the money (nor the heart, either) to get another equine until after my daughter was grown…

Mindy Schroder
Mindy Schroder
Aug 04, 2022
Replying to

Thank you so much for your story! I really appreciate it when people share what they have been going through. It means so much to me. I'm so sorry for the two great losses you went through. Horses and ponies certainly do take up a lot of space in our hearts and when we lose them it leaves a great hole. It sounds like you have a lovely little herd of horses now. Ones that are really patching up your heart! I completely understand the adage, empty wallet, full heart.

Thank you so much! Mindy~

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