"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rest in peace, my dear friend.

Homemade Sin died on February 19, 2012 from an unknown neurologic disease.   

I will write more about it all when I have more energy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

5K? OK!

Odd, right? Crazy, maybe.  Definitely.  Yeah, this is weird.  I want to run a 5K.  

Back in November before Fred's twitch derailed our short term plans, I decided I had to get in shape.  As it turns out, I'm having a bit of a revolution.  Or growth spurt, in lifetime terms.

I like going to the gym in the morning to start the day.  It wasn't easy to make that change.  Now I notice a difference if I don't go to the gym.  I'm probably fitter now than I was in high school.  

Last week I decided I better transition from the treadmill, which I do 2 to 3 miles on 5-6 days a week, to outside.  Eventually I have to run outside if I want to do a 5K race, right?  There's a perfect sidewalk by the hotel that if you go to the end and back it's one mile.  I told myself to go run one mile and prove that I could.  Well, I did and then I ran another one.  ODD!  It gets weirder, the next day I ran 3.3 miles outside.  Proving myself wrong was strangely satisfying.  Now that I know I can do it, I want to find a run to do after we get back from Aiken.  All along I remember my motivation is that I'm doing this so that when Fred can go around a XC course again I will be ready!

Another part of my revolution is learning.  I'm reading a lot about what's good for my health.  Nothing outrageous, just some simple ideas and practices we should all follow and I should have adapted a long time ago.  Little changes and choices everyday DO make a difference.  Nothing is instant and eat your peas/broccoli/green beans. 

The other thing I'm reading about is horse related (surprise!)  Horse people understand horse people.  Non-horse people don't understand us.  How could we spend so much money on the big furry thing? How can we spend so much time with them? Why is it they so important to us?  What I don't understand of horse people is how do we do it all? How do we work, ride, and live?  It's so much to balance!  And I don't think you can ever really balance it all out.  I'm also trying to learn how to be the best at what I'm trying to balance.  I'll never be a great rider, but why not try to be my best?  I want to be a contributor at work.  I want to have a social life which results in great stories.  Apparently I want a lot.  Winning lotto tickets also goes on the want list.  

Here's something I didn't expect out of my revolution.  Exercising gives me the energy to balance.  Odd coincidence? I'd like more energy and I still have to say no to things.  I can now wake up on Thursday morning, go to the gym, work until 4, drive home to PA, and then ride one or two horses without sleeping in the next day.  

I'll keep working out and find a 5K.  There are more books on my Kindle list.  And when Fred is ready to get out there to run and jump, I'll be ready for him. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I couldn't live without my iPhone Calendar.

Busy I have been!  I thought the winter would give me some down time.  Apparently I have been very wrong.

January 29th marked a year of owning Fred.  What a silly horse!  I wouldn't give him up for anything.  He's been on phenobarb since the beginning of January for his twitch.  I've been allowed to put him back into work, too!  Last Friday we saw the twitch for a few minutes at dinner time.  It was gone as soon as it came though and it's the only time we've seen it.  The riding was going very well until he pulled a shoe off this weekend.  His return to full time work will be slower than I'd like and that's all my fault.  Having only 3-4 days a week to ride him limits what we can do.  If Fred can go three months twitch free, we can start the slow process of weaning him off the drugs.

How could you not love this face?

Yes, I did things that weren't completely barn related.  Sorta.  I made a trip to the Farm Show with Amanda for dinner one night.  I hadn't been there in two or three years.  I feasted.  No really, I did.  Beef sandwich, cheese cubes, sweet potato, and of course, a milk shake.  We walked around the place and saw the usual fun attractions.  

Another great weekend was when Jackie visited! We hadn't seen each other in a while.  Sadly, I had to leave her alone for a few hours while it snowed at I was at the barn.  We had a relaxing weekend just handing out and yet again, a feast was included.  The entire family sat down for an awesome seafood dinner.  Jackie is coming back in March for a dinner party!  That reminds me, I need to schedule a dress shopping date.

I didn't think I could convince Jackie to get in the saddle.  St. Patrick toted her around and she had a great time!  She even rocks the eventing helmet.

Saturday mornings have been packed full of riding lessons.  I'm really enjoying teaching and the feedback I get.  Everyone is making progress and I'm really excited for the riders. 

Work keeps me plenty busy.  We had a few Monday to Friday on site weeks.  We're working long hours and making a ton of progress.  

 Replacing our energy source.

There's a lot more everyday stuff to write about, but the most important thing going on right now is preparing for Aiken! We leave on Saturday, February 25 around 4am.  Lauren, Laura, and Alexa and I are making the trek to Sally's for a week.  We're a little over 2 weeks until departure!  The trailer is ready to go and the truck gets checked out this weekend.  The vet stops by Friday to do health certifications and coggins.  

Patrick and I are doing well together.  I feel very comfortable taking him to Aiken.  In fact, let's not lie, I'm thrilled and excited for this opportunity.  Patrick will teach me a lot.  If I can't take Fred, Patrick is working out to be the next best thing.  We had a great lesson with Sarah.  She helped me loosen him up a bit and we had a few snorts as a reward!  We jump around fairly easily together which is a big, big, BIG relief for me.  

I can't finish this post on a happy note unfortunately.  Linus, a wonderful family and barn dog, was lost on January 29.  He was a Bernese Mountain dog who had such a great life and lived to be 10 years old!  His kind soul always made you feel better.  In the almost five years I knew Linus, I never saw a child be afraid of him.  You just knew Linus was a gentle giant.  No matter the weather, Linus always used the Berner ways to sit on your feet and keep you warm.  I always appreciated that Linus never moved when you stepped over him in the tack room.  He will be very much so missed as the big black blob, the watch dog in the back of the truck, and as the happy soul that could make you smile.  His family, both immediate and extended at the farm, miss him terribly.  

We miss you, big dog.  Linus didn't care how you looked.