Chaos by invitation?

Some good, some bad. I was celebrating on Friday (I can still drink sparkling wine, so that was on tap!) about Oats having his first riding lessons (though with trepidation), my leg was feeling better and things were looking up!

They still kind of are, but I am struggling with my leg injury again. ARGH. It was actively hurting today at the walk, which it hasn’t been since I got injured so good-byeeeee progress…. I had to go back to walking. Love it. Five weeks and counting, and I have not made measurable progress?? Things were looking up last week and then boom! Hurting again.

At least Oats is doing ok (watch I say that and then god only knows…). We had our lesson on Thursday, he had Friday off, then we did a lighter day on Saturday and he was pretty bad. Spooky, jumping out of his skin, etc etc. Our canter was nightmarish. Sunday he was worse- much spookier, and we were able to bump up the canter to three circles and they were all terrible, ha. Monday was another light day (we are doing it one day with more work, one day back off, much like what I was doing with my leg rehab until it got fucked up again). He was quite nice on Monday! Edgy and spooky, but his canter (only 1 circle) was quite lovely and his trot did get smoother, though I did feel resistance at first and it wasn’t amazing- just better.

And the weather, well I guess I can’t complain THAT much but can we get some spring weather?? Soon? Anytime? It feels like Feb. every single day. Some rain, but otherwise quite a dry March- just cold, unseasonably cold. Struggling to get to 10 deg, lows of 1 or -1 every night. What gives??? I have gone back to wearing my winter coats, because I have been so cold.

I guess the Year of my Discontent will just continue??? Or something? Good things are happening, just not very quickly and not very much good I guess.

At this point, food has been my only friend and companion!!

It’s a wonderful life

I abandoned the blog because things got too depressing, for a very long time. They still kind of are, but I figured I might jump back in for a few minor updates.

Very chilly Xmas eve morning when we did our rehab SO early!

Oats had his second ultrasound and the vet was not promising about his recovery. That hurt, a lot. But there were silver linings- he trotted sound, and we were grudgingly cleared to begin trot rehab. We are now entering month six of his injury, and week 8 of trot rehab. We got to trot AROUND A CORNER this week! Guys, this is big. Huge even.

It’s still depressing as hell, and every time I let myself feel hope, I regret it.

I am running, and my shoes hurt my arthrits bump on my foot, unfortunately. I have new great shoes courtesy of my husband for Xmas, and I’m looking forward to having that fix it!!

I’ve relied very heavily on my friends and husband as a support network this year, to make sure I don’t find the highest building and jump off of it. They have been so amazing and kind and generous- when I think about how much they have helped me, heard me out, it makes me want to cry! I am truly fortunate to have these kind and generous people in my life. More so than my so called family, anyways!!

Faith in our jump lessons!

And I am taking jump lessons again too! That makes Tuesdays (ok, today, haha) a very long marathon day but you know what? Screw it. You only live once, so LIVE IT FOR ONCE! The trainer is very reasonably priced so I can afford to do that while Oats is laid up and the owner is not charging me a lease fee so even better! The mare is green with mild navicular, so we are limited in height/technical capability, but I am still enjoying the feeling of ‘riding’ and ‘jumping’ after six month of…walking. It’s a soul killer.

So, that’s that. I don’t have a lot to be thankful for, and I mostly mark time to pass. Some days are even ok, or close to good? But they are not great, and I don’t know, during a pandemic that I have to work in, when great will happen ever again.

Goals? What goals?

I feel like I have kind of abandoned the idea of riding goals for myself and Oats, chiefly because our progress has always felt very…tenuous and shaky. I was doing fantastic last spring, and it completely FELL APART in a very dramatic and miserable way in the summer. Cue falling off three-four times in a week, every single time I jumped. And falling off at every freaking horse show. Wow.


Funny enough I did meet a lot of my goals though? I was cruising around a 2’6” hunter course, I went in a jump derby and PLACED>! And this year I even entered in a clinic and *gasp* rode in it without having a complete and total meltdown, it was productive and even fun?

Who is this girl?

I guess it all taught me that goals are fine, but it’s more important to be flexible, because life and horses can completely bite you in the ass and turn things sideways so fast your head will spin.


Do I have more riding goals?

  • Sure, why not. I’d like to show some more, maybe do some more –dressage- ? Hahah.
  • Also I would like to school cross-country again, it was really fun, and ride in more hunter shows.
  • I am thinking I might also make the effort to go to more two-day shows.
  • Enjoy my horse.
  • Go on a trail ride? Only one though. That will be it for me, it’s too frightening with the traffic on the road at our barn!
  • Confidently school 2’6” in lessons again with the occasional foray up to 2’9”.
  • Develop counter canter.
  • Work on lead changes.
  • Have fun!!

And I have some running goals too! I didn’t meet my goal last year- achieve a sub-45 minute 10k, but I do have hopes for that this year.

  • Achieve a sub-45 minute 10k
  • Run all of the races I signed up for (winter series)
  • Don’t race all of the races I signed up for. Be canny about where to spend your efforts, and use those ‘in between races’ aka MEC races, as good training efforts instead.
  • Achieve a 1:40 half marathon- stretch goal for sure. maybe not gonna happen.
  • Ramp up my mileage- I am enjoying running a lot so make sure to get out more and work it!
  • Try my hand at the track series again. I really liked it and found it super challenging.
  • Be positive about progress and lack of progress particularly with regards to injuries.

Insulating yourself

My husband shared this with me recently, and it really resonated with me: Courtesy of Seth Godin’s blog.

Losing the election by ten votes or by a million–which is worse?

“Missed it by that much,” is a way to amplify how we feel when we don’t succeed. So, when we miss the bus by just a few seconds, or finish a math proof just behind the competition–we can beat ourselves up about this for years.

Much rarer, it seems, is the opposite. It’s hard to find people still congratulating themselves after winning an election by just a few votes or making a plane by a step or two. Nice that it happened, but we ask what’s next, where’s the next crisis?

We have a name for someone who expects the worst in the future. Pessimism is a choice. But we don’t seem to have a name for someone who describes the past with the same negative cast.

It’s a dangerous trap, the regular reminders of how we’ve failed, but how close we’ve come to winning. It rarely leads us to prepare more, to be more adroit or dedicated. Instead, it’s a form of hiding, a way to insulate ourselves from the next, apparently inevitable failure.

The universe is not laughing at us. It doesn’t even know we exist.

Go ahead and celebrate the wins, then get back to work. Same for mourning the losses. All we can do is go forward.

I do this ALL the time. “Oh I just got lucky.” “They liked me for some reason.” And the failures- whichever they are – stick around to beat me up at 3 a.m. when I can’t sleep. I wish this wasn’t true.


Cute chestnuts all in a row.

And when I was asking for a win yesterday? I got one! So, why can’t I just celebrate that? Instead of reminding myself at night, again restless, about the zillions of things at work that are left hanging, the multiple events that I don’t have wrapped up yet…ARGH.

Anyways- I had a challenging lesson with Oats yesterday. A good one, but not one that left me singing in the clouds. It was working on straightness and forward, and it was tough for Oaty. We worked and he’d hop into canter, and it was the lightest, loveliest canter, and SO wrong. I wanted trot! Not canter! He was also confused and trying to swap his leads when I was asking for the big trot, as this was tough for him to move his body around.

He wasn’t being a jerk, he was just confused and having a hard time trying to decipher what I was asking- so he would try what was easiest first- canter, swap leads, etc.

It was definitely a lot of work, but I’m glad we are getting to the point where I can really get ‘into’ him and do it, or at least try it. Good pony for trying. You get points for that!