And pre-Christmas blues

Actually, I had pre-Christmas blues instead of post-Christmas and WOW they were horrible. I wrote a cheery blog post two days before I had time off, I had talked with a counselor and I was feeling pretty darn great!

And then my last day of work, basically everything exploded and it was horrible.

I learned that two of our staff members were leaving, to add to the two who had already left in Dec. I went to the gym for lunch, and came back to work and was called in to my friend and former manager’s office urgently.

I was curious, wondering why she needed to see me so urgently?

Our friend and my former colleague had died that week. šŸ˜¦

I was completely shocked, stunned and heartbroken. She is so young, only in her early thirties. I knew she had been sick, but I had no idea how bad her illness had been, and how long she had been in the hospital for. It was heartbreaking.

I numbly went back to my desk and felt terrible.

I stumbled through work that day, talking with our mutual friends and colleagues. I felt like I was sleepwalking, that this wasn’t happening to her. When I came home, I cried.

I also learned that Oats was lame again, literally three days before I was also supposed to be flying to visit family in Kelowna. WTF.

I collapsed, basically. I didn’t know what to do and it felt like my entire being, not just my brain, was collapsing inward on itself like a dying star.

My dear friend who is a total sweetheart came by and gave me some of her delicious toffee-bark and chocolates (she is the best!!) and she could tell that I was having a terrible time of it. I was.

So there I was, a few days before Christmas and my world imploded.

I know what needs to be done. But why can’t I do it?

I feel extremely ambivalent about everything right now. I know some of the reasons (suffering from horrendous allergies, and now I am allergic to everything, so breathing isn’t really something I can take for granted right now. I started a new medication for endometriosis and I am hoping it freaking levels out soon, because this on top of allergies makes me feel like my body is under some sort of attack, constantly?!!).

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Course marshal

But also, just…Life ambivalent. I feel very sensitive to a lot of the bad stuff happening to my close friends and horse friends. I also am struggling with change, and trying to embrace it as a net positive, but…yeah. I also got approached to change my lesson times to the weekend, and at this point, it’s feeling like a hard no. I like having my weekends free, and my day-to-day is intensely scheduled, so having a free day is just…Mine. You get it? Add in the layers of feeling guilty about not being flexible, on top of my trainer’s father DYING last week, and just..UGh. Can I crawl out of my skin for a month or so, let me get some breathing room?

My counselor says I need a break. Like, a month break.

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Surveying the courseĀ 

I know I can’t do that- my brain would probably melt or something. But at the heart of it, she’s right- I need some space, some time. For it (riding) to be easy, non competitive, non training. I feel like I have lost a bit of the ‘why’ and the drive, to be honest.

Even when I think about competing, and there are so many fun looking events?! But I just feel…Blahhhhh about it right now. So blah. Maybe it’s my allergies talking, but yeah. I can’t get excited, I don’t want to move lesson, I just don’t want to do anything!!

Oats has been good, though our lesson on Friday was outright bad. He bucked, he was pissy, he was angry and tearing around like a deranged llama. Greeeat.. My trainer is newish to us, and said she had never seen him like that before?! Ha. Yeah it has been awhile!

He was fine this weekend though, and my husband and I went up to volunteer at Bear Mountain’s XC Pan Am cup challenge, and it was very neat! A quick ride after, and then I had my friends over for a really fun dinner – fondue!

So like things are fine, but I’m just not feeling it.Ā  At all.

Typical Monday blues

Even took me by surprise, given how nice my weekend was and then BLAM! Shittiest Monday to kick the week off. Nothing really terrible or devastating, just a series of real annoyances that are getting under my freaking skin…All morning.

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I really enjoyed this series…

Drove to work, paid for parking because I have a vet appointment that I mentioned for Oats this afternoon, so I needed my car. It was hammering down rain, lovely…And when I get to work, my phone rings- vet moves my appt to Friday, as there was an emergency. Fair enough, but !@(#% I have to take the car in again on Friday, and pay for more parking. SHit.

I was drinking coffee out of my travel mug, and while I was drinking it, it was dripping down the front of my effing WHITE blazer. Yeah…covered in coffee stains. I am now wearing my flimsy camisole (so, not a shirt) with a scarf strategically planned as my cover up. FML.

My work email blew up today and is going freaking bananas. I can’t keep track of the eleventy-billion emails I am getting and the zillions of work pieces I can’t seem to address all of them. Something that has to go out at 10am…doesn’t. JEESH.

I am waiting on some stuff for work and it just doesn’t. seem. to. be. happening. I may have some later nights this week because of it.

My car is going in again on Wednesday for more work.

I’m not really looking forward to my jump lesson (which I had hoped to have the vet appt before it, so I could figure out a strategy for Oats by the next lesson)…Because I don’t know how he is going to be, and I feel unsure about what I am asking of him. ARGHHH.

I am not really excited about jumping, because of this. And let’s face it, IĀ LOVE jumping! And the new program for the horse show series that we go to just came out, and I feel really on the fence about it. The format has changed to a two-day, hunters and then jumpers, and there are now 4 shows, instead of 3. Just..ugh. I’m not interested in jumpers…and I know others in my barn are, if anyone goes with me at all this year…

I just can’t get excited about it. About anything horsey right now. The weirdness is just too prevalent, jumping isn’t fun, and I don’t want to do jumpers, I want to do hunters. GAH! SO whiny right now.

Wah wah wah.

 

Down a well of intensity

Well, not literally down a well, though my husband was a month or so ago!

In a well

In a well

I had a lesson with Karen and Oats yesterday, and MANNNN he was pissy! Fired up! Cranked! Kicking out! Ready to go! (not quite but as much as Oats gets).

I was like…WTF? Pissy, kicking out, etc etc etc. I guess the fall season really agrees with him, hahahahahah. That was the most forward he has been in months. Months!

So, we worked with what we had. Lots of gallops in the indoor, bringing him back, extreme bend, and when he wouldn’t bend, lots of circles to get the bend. Ideally, we wouldn’t ‘take him back’ too much and stifle his newfound energy because for Oats, being fired up is a good thing. So, we circled. Lots of circles.

And we tested his obedience to the bend/aids by getting the bend and his head down, and putting more leg on or a swift tap tap with the crop. Head flies up? NOT obedient to the bend! Get back to it.

Soooo it was a long and busy lesson with Oats charging full speed ahead, which is quite unusual for him. Twice I thought he bucked again but in reality one of those was a very good walk-canter transition, and another was a flying lead change left-right that felt very much like a buck.

The good? Karen doesn’t let me buy into his drama when I’m like ”Oh noooo he’s bucking again!!” she’s like, well that one was a kick out, not a buck, or that was just a good bum-first transition, not a buck…AKA nothing to see here, move along!

He was testing me bigtime with the kick-outs though. He pulled that move last week in my jumping lesson too. She said that is normal, he is trying to see what he can get away with before he gives up and goes ‘okay mom, we’ll do what you want.”

So, I just have to keep at it, and the fun part? The more forward he goes, the less chance he has to really rev up into a big buck. Mostly forward? Can kick out to express himself. VERY forward? No room at all for a buck or a kick out. It’s all in the gallop! Though I was still wimping out a bit when she got me to get after him. In the back of my mind was he’s going to buck you off!! So I wasn’t as strong as I could have been.

So, we worked on maintaining/keeping/controlling his expressive energy into circles instead of stifling him. He hates being stifled and for a slow pony, we have to be very careful we don’t get into that loop.

Very interesting ride. I was pondering it for hours after we finished. Oats was so tired, his lower lip was hanging down. He looked like an old man horse, hahah.

Personally, I’ve been feeling kind of angsty. I know last week I said I needed a ‘win’ and I’m still feeling like this. Usually that feeling goes away after a week, but right now…September just feels like one big long losing streak. Not ‘technically’ but emotionally.

Sigh. I am still in a well of intensity.