Reasons to Quit

Posted by Sharon Labels: ,

“Reasons to Quit” is the title of a Merle Haggard/Willie Nelson song and that phrase (not the song) has been running through my mind for days now – long enough for me to pay attention. What possible connection could the words of that song have to me? Merle and Willie are talking about quitting smoking and drinking. That doesn’t make any sense. It has to be another line in the song:  “The reasons to quit don’t outnumber all the reasons why.”

Having just welcomed a new year and celebrated another birthday (they do keep happening, don’t they?), the reality of my decision to retire from the reining show pen is starting to sink in. Usually I would be planning for my show year – which horses to show, which shows to haul to, etc. – the absence of which leaves me a little lost. I didn’t make that decision to retire without thought – there were valid reasons – but now there’s a hole in my life plan that begs to be filled.
 I have to remind myself of the “reasons to quit” and wonder if they “outnumbered all the reasons why.” The bottom line is: I still should be showing BUT, to quote Willie Nelson again, “The reasons for quittin’ are getting’ bigger each day.”

That being said, I do need something to fill the gap. After all, it’s a new year. I have always needed goals in my life and I’ve always needed to be challenged. That can't stop just because I am no longer showing. My mind has been busy...

The first goal to meet is to do more trail riding. No surprise there – I’ve always complained that I couldn’t get out enough. While I still am physically able, I plan to take to the mountain trails once or twice a year.

But that isn’t quite enough. Having given up the reining game, I’m left with well-bred, well-trained horses – horses that could easily excel in other disciplines. I will probably pattern a couple on barrels (I’ve never really left that thrill behind!) but two other upcoming events interest me – Extreme Cowboy and Western Dressage. I think I will try them both. After all, I have two extremely talented stallions that are ready for something new. Running With Wolves, with his reining training and wonderful, quiet disposition, is going to be introduced to Extreme Cowboy. Walking With Wolves, the gorgeous bay brimming with athleticism, is a natural for Western Dressage. That should keep me busy (and challenged) for a couple of years.

Running With Wolves

Walking With Wolves
Thanks Merle and Willie, even though we're talking about two entirely different things. I guess my “reasons to quit don’t outnumber the reasons why” either. 


  1. Verna

    Here we go again. Yesterday, yes yesterday, we went to see Marty Haggard and his "tribute to Merle Haggard, MY DAD". Can you believe we are still on the same wavelength?!!!!

  1. Sharon

    I think we're just going to have to go with it, Verna! The distance apart doesn't separate our thoughts that much!

  1. Gail Erickson

    Enjoy reading your writings Sharon. Time does take its tole. I do admire you for what you have done for the horse world for so many years. You are one tough Lady. I have not ridden hardly at all in the last 25 years.
    There was a time I never missed a day.