When your life resumes (sort of)

At least my riding lessons are back on! Yes!

IMG_1362

I ran my shoulder into a telephone pole a few weeks ago. Totally an accident but ouch! 

But with the resuming of some ‘normal’ activities comes roaring back all of my previous concerns/issues. Footing in the indoor.  Horses not being turned out enough. The outdoor is kaput, at least for this season? UGH.

I told my husband that I want to just buy a farm and deal with all this myself, dammit!

IMG_1363

Ian made bagels and they were great! 

Otherwise…Address what I can, and then see what I can manage or not manage. Oats has been great otherwise, we had a return to lessons last week (jumping and dressage!) and I was really able to address our warm-up issues in a way that felt both calming, and productive. Go us! Phew!

I felt rusty as all hell but otherwise? Pretty darned good. Oats is moving great, I’m very pleased with that. I missed my trainers like crazy too. All the drama, angst, moving, rude and horrible boarders and COVID 19 and just…Man. My trip to Argentina  (haaaaaaaaa) not a thing anymore, summer holidays..?? Just. ARGH.

IMG_1368

Oats has enjoyed lots of hand grazing, now that I work from home during this time and I have no commute! 

It still feels like some of my life is on hold, and will remain so.

Ian and I are able to get a lot of cool runs done throughout areas locally, and in the Cowichan Valley and I feel extremely grateful that we are able to do so with ease. Same with riding- at least I can do it? Despite all the ‘should I stay or go’ angst that continues to plague us?

I miss horse shows, friends, races, travel…Happy hours are coming back, and so are hair cuts, but the other stuff? Nope.

Ian and I are forced to be creative with our time, so we do a lot of running, food projects, and some creative projects too- like water colours.

This is a long and strange time, and I didn’t want to blog about it because all I felt was gloom and doom. I don’t really feel that anymore, but I do feel like I’m in this strange limbo where everyone is acting like normal, but behind the act is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.

But since it’s going to be awhile, I might as well come back for now.

My own personal pain journal

So, things are going but also going sideways, haywire, etc. My work is nuts (I am directly involved in public information), and also we are seeing a lot of things shake down, as part of the pandemic.

It’s so stressful- for all. I am not a frontline worker, but I see the effects of this day by day. I am writing a list of fun things I want to do when this blows over/winds down (go travel, go out for a team breakfast! Run! Do a race!), but in the meantime, I vacillate between extreme self-pity,  fear and paranoia, to ‘it’s all okay’. UGH.

IMG_0995

Welcome darkness, my old friend… I REALLY don’t want to do this again. But I might. I guess when you’re going through hell, keep going. 

I also have a recurring stress fracture, so I can’t even run right now. Man, when it rains, it freaking pours eh? I guess the timing is (good? I disbelieve that word even as I write it) now that I can’t race anyways.

Just…Fuck me.

I did have a nice weekend though, believe it or not! I had a riding lesson on Saturday and Oats was great! He was my little superstar~ I rode on Sunday and let too much angst out, and I know I shouldn’t have. I am easily triggered right now, and I want to make it up to Oaty! He is being the best boy he knows how.

It was also like, gale-force windy this weekend, ALLLLLLL weekend. It finally lessened up on Sunday, so I rode and then my husband and I hiked up Mt. Finlayson. There I learned I am a huge chicken, and I was afraid of the steep, rocky bluff ascent. Yikes!

I refused to go back down that way (jesus, no.) in part because I was afraid of it, and also it was smoking busy! I didn’t feel comfortable hiking with so many people swarming around.

We went the long way down, got a bit turned around (thanks to the signs closing the one pathway that actually links back to the parking lot…sheesh), and then we made it home. And we shared a hotdog! Yum! 🙂

I then drank wine, sat in the sun with a blanket – yes it was still chilly- but the sun had some strength that day.

So where does that leave us? Uncertain. Out of my control- even my body is out of my control. My mind? Yeah, that’s gone too. I don’t know anymore. But I can ride, so I will do that now and just …Keep on.

To quote Charles Dickens:

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”

She just likes to fight

So…so.

57104251_423393028444609_4028344363443552256_n

This isn’t happening this year. Man! What a downer. Photo from last year. 

Things are getting shut down, my work is ramping up to a 7-day-a week schedule as well as working 8-7pm each day (except I guess, on weekends??)…And yours truly is reaching a grouch factor that is in the stratosphere.

I guess grouchy, or just wanting to cry. I oscillate between both.

All the races are cancelled, many of my colleagues trips are also gone- to be rescheduled. At least they can reschedule that, phew!! I am wondering what will happen to mine in April.

Things are so far out of my control, I’m not sure what I can control at this point (my emotions?>???). My injuries are flaring up, my work is out of control, my happy future plans are now cancelled or really in question. That seems like minor, petty bullshit, but still- it’s hard.

Oats was sound last night though! Chalk one up to the good guys? 😉 I have a paltry piece of good news and I am going to cling to it with extreme desperation. Ha.

Also I had a doughnut today and it was great. So, the stress eating is going awesome!!

Why do I always feel this way?

Kind of a mixed week- I am not complaining because nothing bad is happening to ME, per se, just…Everyone around me?

31768688_10160379409630603_3978803036670656512_n

Oats’ favourite game. RIP Willie, Oats misses you! 

On Monday Oats was playing bite face with his neighbour horse, Joey. He then proceeded to rip a chunk of Joey’s face off, with blood splattering everywhere! Jesus christ. His owner had the emergency vet out, who did about six inches of stitches. It turns out Oats had ripped some of Joey’s face muscles, along with the skin.

My other friend’s horse is now on stall rest, after 3 weeks of lameness and a vet visit on Tuesday. Diagnosis is still TBD but maybe something with the DDFT tendon? Either way, it blows.

On Thursday morning, my trainer’s father died. It was not unexpected, as he was suffering with a terminal illness, but still- so very hard for their family.

Add these recent incidents on to a winter scarred with tragedies (my friend’s horse breaking his leg and getting put down, my trainer’s dog getting put down due to a terminal illness…) and wow, it’s just.. a lot.

My parents and my in-laws both moved away in Feb.

Can we just…like say bye to February? Maybe to all of 2020? I’m not sure yet. Jeesh.

Anyways, despite Oats turning into freaking Hannibal Lecter, he was a good boy this week. My trainer cancelled lessons on Tuesday (which I didn’t know about, I should have asked, so that was on me for sure), and he didn’t get ridden or his meds, which I was immediately annoyed about. If I had known, I have time to get to the barn on Tues nights to ride and administer meds. ARGH. So, Oats had Tues/Wed off, no lesson yesterday due to the family death, and I have a lesson tonight.

He did get his meds on Thur, and we did a little jump school (set up 3 jumps, trotted the xpole a bunch of times and then cruised the course 1X) and some stretchy trot circles to really round out the focus. He was falling back through his hind end a LOT, which to my suspicious mind is linked to him missing a few days of meds?!! Oh well, I guess not much I can do now.

He was a good boy for jumping though. Phew the arena is so dusty! Gak! We go from flooding, still mushy in some spots, to too dusty. We can’t win!!

So, a good week for me, but an extremely challenging one for everyone else.

Like a child hiding behind your tombstone

Ha, weird title but I liked it- from a song on my Spotify play list last week. As I mentioned earlier, this has just been a tough week for many in my personal life- my friend’s horse being euthanized with a broken leg, my one trainer has to put her beloved dog down on Wednesday as well, and just…. My heart aches for them. I have faced loss before, and I know how horrible and deep it is. Just so challenging.

IMG_1329

From last spring! 

I also had a marathon week of lessons for me and dear Oats! Kind of mixed too. Not like, over the moon amazing at all. But ok! He had a lesson with his beginner rider on Tuesday (he does not have to work that hard), and a jump lesson with me on Wed (we worked on canter-in bounce grid gymnastics, which was HARD work!) and then another jump lesson for me last night- I was sooooooooooo late, I got to the barn as my lesson was supposed to be ending… Great. I got stuck in a huge traffic jam for TWO HOURS. Eff my life. Fortunately my trainer was aware and waited for me, and my friend helped me tack up in a big rush and off we were!

56359322_391530991680989_6553961197085917184_n

Remember this from last spring? SO good! 

I will admit to feeling super frazzled, ha. I was having trouble connecting with Oats, feeling rushed and really tired, and I haven’t been feeling well this week at all either, along with having trouble sleeping. = success?? Ha, no. I ate mane! I disconnected and misjudged a take off spot and just straight up jumped up his neck. At a crosspole. Facepalm.
Oats, while a fabulous teacher, will still make you work for it and he does not really give many freebies. Whoops!

I tried again and since he has a heart of gold, he was like, ah yes why didn’t you say so! Jumped perfectly.

He was however kind of lazy and tired last night, and combined with me being tired and frazzled, led to a lot of miscommunications, disconnects and breaking into trot! Argh!

Oh well, the exercise we worked on was really cool- lots of slicing jumps, and jumping an ‘arrow’ shape- both into the arrow, and with the arrow. Jumping into the arrow is interesting because it’s one narrow point! Have to be straight,  very straight. Oats had no problems with it 🙂

Dressage lesson tonight, and then Oats has his beginner lesson on Saturday as she had to do a make-up ride from the storm incident last week. Phew Oats! It is good that he is getting out every day though, because of the pretty bad weather we have had this winter the horses are not getting turned out- the paddocks are like slippery swamps.

Alone time

Took last night off from riding, to give Oats a day off, and I got a text from a friend asking if I was heading to the stables. I responded no, and I was immediately wondering what was up…My friends do look to/expect me there on Mondays but won’t text if I’m not, so I knew something was going down.

19250418_10158935648965603_4888093294613932578_o

Willie would let Oats disrobe him, and play bite face all day.

And it was. It was really bad. Our mutual friend’s horse, who had been recovering from a lameness (from a kick or something. X-rayed and everything, which were clear), had a broken leg.

😦

That is every horse person’s worst nightmare, along with colic, or what I had- when Oats choked and went into shock.

I was stunned. This is her horse, who I have known for 8 years. He is Oaty’s best friend, his horse neighbour, his buddy. He is my friend’s competition partner, her friend, her companion. They had their ups and downs- who doesn’t? But to have this happen, oh man.

Apparently he had a hairline fracture that did not show up on the X-rays, took a funny step, and BOOM! A broken leg. Everyone is just devastated. How terrible. Incidents like this really bring it home to me, to every horse person. Life is so fragile, and can change in an instant. Horses are not the everlasting, sturdy pains in the asses that we so often rely on. They break, sometimes forever.

It reminds me that the time I have with Oats is precious. I have been feeling that way more and more lately. A few months ago I would finish a ride or a lesson, take Oats back up to the crossties, and want to cry- not because I felt unhappy, but because this all felt so fleeting, there are no guarantees. And I want a guarantee. I love him so much, and it feels so tenuous, risky, vulnerable. Like wearing your heart outside your body.

I feel sad as a reflection of what is happening to my friend. I feel lucky because I’m not having to face it myself.

What’s life without losers

Last week…Well, let’s wipe it off the map and start over, shall we?

IMG_1092.jpg

Same girl, same.

I spent the majority of the week feeling HORRIBLE. Insane bloating that would come on later in the afternoon, cramping from hell so severe that I couldn’t sleep, was writhing in pain for days, painkillers couldn’t even remotely touch it, I took so many that I got sick… And had what felt like a fever by Thursday. It had gotten THAT bad. Very reminiscent of the episode in May, where I was so sick/cramping that I couldn’t function.

So, that was great (sarcasm)… And anyways, just miserable.

I didn’t have my lesson on Thursday because it was basically a monsoon, and the arenas were closed due to the resurfacing of the outdoor arena- (thank god, because I couldn’t stand up without feeling faint or like I was going to puke), and we are rescheduled for this week.

IMG_1094

Oats: Oh, hey…You’re here early today? 

I’m still injured, just had my last day of shockwave today! The three-week countdown is ON! I also cancelled my marathon. I still have to wait out about three weeks…When my marathon was supposed to be in a month. HAH, life, you really screwed me BUT good this time!!

Fortunately amidst all this bitching, Oats has been a very good boy and a real joy to ride. Love him!!! 🙂 And I had a nice weekend, the weather was not great, but I had time to enjoy a cocktail and dinner with a friend on Friday night at Chorizo & Co., and then time for a nice Tod Creek cider (blueberry! Highly recommend!) with my husband in the afternoon on Saturday. All in all, a quite and pleasant weekend.

Skip to the good part

Wow, so…Last post I read myself I was not doing great. Trouble with Oats, my leg was just feeling horrible thanks to shockwave treatments, and I was struggling.

IMG_0995

Still here. Now with bonus both legs! fuuuck

And how are things now? In a way, better. But not that much better?

I went to horse camping (and it was awesome! Much-needed, and I am going to post about that separately, I have been travelling for work and crazy busy lately). I went straight from horse camping to a work deployment for 8 days in the Interior B.C., and got back last Tuesday, had Wednesday off to do laundry, ride Oats, get groceries and get settled, and then was immediately back to getting shockwave treatment on Thursday morning, and then to work.

69965805_10101143875332686_9079638529637613568_o.jpg

Hiking with a colleague after work up Marriage Mountain.

Fun fun eh?

Work has been busy, and the shockwave continues to be a pain. I injured my left leg during my deployment and now am enjoying the experience of having both legs laid up. Yay?!! Not gonna lie, I was pissed when it happened. WTF is going on? So, I am now having shockwave on both legs. It’s as much fun as you can figure. UGH. FML.

69244682_10101142544115456_9103317534743986176_o.jpg

How cool is this??

My deployment was really cool though. So many neat and unique experiences! LONNG days holy shit, 12 hour days easily. I was exhausted! And no real opportunities to workout, unless you give the shed the firefighters work out of more credit…Hahahah.

I even rode on a helicopter! It was so cool.

IMG_1067.jpg

The ‘gym’

The food was good, my per diem sucked so hard, I was hungry all of the time, and I worked with some truly fun, committed and driven folks. It was hot, I was in a strange environment (working in a trailer, hah), and our water had arsenic in it!

IMG_1050.jpg

They had a lovely winery.

It was a great way for me to ‘step away’ from the insane angst that I was feeling the prior weeks. I still vacillate greatly from ‘ok I can handle this’ and ‘i have a plan’ to ‘WHY AM I STILL FUCKING INJURED AND PAYING A SHIT TON OF MONEY TO BE INJURED’…every day. It’s frustrating, expensive, painful and on I can go on and on and on…

IMG_1068 (1).jpg

They grew heirloom tomatoes too! 

But being away really helped me to not bring that insane useless frustration I feel each day to my horse, Mr. Oats. He needs me to be a better person with him, not an angry or upset one. So I could come home and enjoy riding my horse again!  Yay! I felt like a wet noodle riding, but I had so much fun, and riding him feels like I am riding on a cloud…AH… That’s a great feeling 🙂 He takes care of me.

69232541_10101142096447586_3619950350062059520_o.jpg

It was so beautiful.

Summer-born

This weekend (my birthday weekend) was very much a good news/bad news kind of time.

48333556487_85c26601f3_k

From our successful Sooke Saddle Club show- things were going so well, until they weren’t! Photos are courtesy of Eila Zylak. 

Good news: Oats can be ridden in the indoor and in the field!

Bad news: Lame in the outdoor. And weirdly a total nut in the indoor, afraid of the person door??

Good news: The weather was so great!

Bad news: Still chilly in James Bay.

Good news: LOTS of fun friend interactions!

Bad news: I had lots of fun friend interactions because I couldn’t take my lame horse in the horse show, so I went to watch instead. I felt a bit jealous!

48333559417_abc8c69dcb_k.jpg

Stretchy trot. Good relaxation but could use more stretch?

UGH. Well, oh well. I did a lot of running, some riding, some sweating, some shopping, lots of eating and enjoying time with my friends and family. So that is ok. I miss riding and jumping in the outdoor though, and had some super fun gallops in the field, where Oats seemed completely sound, only to find him head-bobbing lame in the outdoor arena the next day. (Though ok in the indoor?) It really does seem like what the vet said on Wednesday is true- some sort of heel bruise… Ugh. Takes time I guess.

48333559547_39663b3381_k

I was so glad I took an extra day off, to just enjoy myself. That is the biggest and best gift I could give to myself. AND I bought myself a cool Arista Sunstopper long sleeved shirt that I have been wanting for a year! AND my amazing horse friends bought Oats pink brushing boots?! Can you believe it? WOW! How lucky am I?

48333558122_aa94a1b224_k

🙂

Now he just needs to get better so we can waltz around our jump courses flashing pink!

48333558282_d911858c62_o.jpg

Even the weather is against me: A big rant

So, I was ready to write a happy cheerful show report (Oats and I did the Sooke Saddle Club’s Show and Tell on Sunday and had a lovely time!), until it all blew up in my face and now he is dead lame, and I have a big horse show on Saturday, and work is insane, and I am losing perspective and spiralling rapidly. Like, really spiralling.

66801226_490059181757324_7323275043360735232_n.jpg

What happened to my Oats?

I am in a horrendous mood. I went to bed last night because I couldn’t stand the idea of having that day happen to me any more. I woke up feeling angry, pissed off, frustrated, stressed out and terrible. I said to my husband, and my colleagues: I have two modes this week: Asleep or horrible.

So, yeah. That’s how things are. It feels like even the weather is against me, with the World’ s Most Terrible Summer Weather TM happening allllll effing summer. Going swimming in the river, or at Thetis Lake? Not this year LOL!. Its so shitty. I’m pissed. I feel like I’m never going to be happy or reasonable again.

Beware world, I’m walking around with a chip on my shoulder the size of the Empire State Building and I am definitely taking it out on everyone around me. I wish I could sequester myself from everyone, because I know I am not being reasonable, or kind, or anything that should be infected on my (nice, decent people) surrounding me.