It’s the perfect storm. The adrenaline rush. The fast lane. The highs and lows. The risk. The urgency. The vibrancy. The gamble. The concussions.
I found myself and still do sometimes saying, “Oh, I’ll be all right because I have that horse running Saturday. If he wins, it’ll make everything OK.”
I’m sure you can insert your horse’s name in that spot.
That type of thinking leads to more instability. I used to like myself when I was winning, hate myself when I was losing. More instability. Gradually, I came out the other side, but it’s always there, lingering.
The most important thing is to talk about it, talk about depression, talk about what’s bothering you. I’ve had several intense and informative conversations with steeplechase jockey Tom Garner, who lost two of his friends, jockeys James Banks and Liam Treadwell, to suicide last year. Tom and I chatted for my weekly segment on HRRN. We talked about everything from winning races to losing friends.