I have now moved Echo back to the yard she was at before and am so relieved. I just couldn't get my head around sorting the mess out in my life, as well as having her on DIY livery. The last few weeks have been very tough emotionally, but I am feeling much more philosophical about things now. I am still hurting a lot and I don't think that will go away for a long time, but I am able at least to think straight now, and I realised that the yard she is at now is where she should be. I liked the DIY place, but I just didn't have the emotional energy to devote to her there, and I realised very quickly that I definitely do not want Echo to rule my life.
I met several people at the yard who are all lovely and admirable, but their lives revolve entirely around their horses. They can't go on holiday, they can't go out for a whole day, they can't have a normal job, all because they have to be there at certain times of day to deal with their horse. If this is what makes them happy, then I admire them whole-heartedly for being able to do it. However, all of this has made me realise that I want Echo to be a part of my life, not the centre of it. She is my horse, who I love and enjoy riding and caring for, but I have a life away from her too. Having her on DIY livery was going to distort that unrecognisably.
I am delighted to report that I am now riding her again. While she was at the DIY yard I only rode her twice, as I didn't have the energy to do it. She was never very settled there, and the thought of her being on edge and shying constantly and it all being a battle was just too much to face. Back where we are now, I lunged her on Sunday, then rode her Tuesday and yesterday, and she was brilliant. She is a little rusty (as am I!) but we have not lost anything due to the time off, and this has been a huge relief.
I am being much stricter with myself now. On evenings when I don't plan to ride, I am not going to go down to the yard. I was going every evening before, which was unnecessary. I pay livery so that I don't have to do that. I am also making sure that I don't spend ridiculous amounts of time at the stables - I love being with Echo, but it is also important that I get my work done and that I have a social life too, so I am limiting myself time-wise as much as possible.
I'm going hacking this weekend, which I'm really looking forward to - I have missed it so much! She has lost a fair amount of strength and fitness, so it will only be short, but I so appreciate the facilities that I have now. I (almost) vow to never whinge about anything ever again.