Thursday, 15 August 2019

ICYMI: Some Happy Things

Things are still a bit chaotic around here, so no real updates from me. The horses are happy and well, of news is good news :)

Proof of life. Also, not starving :)
 I thought I'd take a moment to share a few blog posts I've really enjoyed in the past bit. They serve as a really great counterpoint to all the negative news in the equestrian world of late. Get ready to smile!

Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken - Fraidy Cat Eventing. Emma and Charlie are inspiration and goals for everyone. Not only do they have a great partnership, it seems like not that long ago he was baby bronto-smashing crossrails. Check out the pictures now! 

TSC Dressage Show: First Level Debut - Two and A Half Horses. How impressive are these two? Cathryn's brought Annie along from green been to solid all around horse (check out their tail riding and jumping posts too!) and I'm always inspired because her equestrian life pretty closely mirrors mine in that we both live in pretty isolated communities  - I know how hard it can be to get everything from vet to hay to training. She's beyond dedicated!

Rated Second: Here We Come - Cob Jockey. Another awesome pair. They're going out and doing the thing and crushing goals, despite setbacks and Jen's hectic schedule.

EmTee Eventures. Just a vlog channel with some besties out eventing in the British countryside. I won't lie, being the grumpy human I can be some days the positive energy from these two is TOO much for me, but they're guaranteed to make you smile.

LWilliams got married! and the pictures are fantastic.

Liz Stout is living the dream, building a new barn and moving her horses home. Check out the progress photos, so cool. Also, her most recent ride recap is fantastic and goals for all of us.

Madigan's First Show. If anyone deserves to have a fantastic baby horse, it's Stephanie.

I'll stop here. I'm not intentionally leaving anyone out, but realistically if I include everyone's posts I've been inspired by even in the last month or two, we'd be here a very, very long time. Originally, I was going to include some articles on mindset and some accomplishments of some real life friends, but we'll stick to you guys, otherwise I'd be writing a novel :)

We'll finish with another ferry scene from last night, for Lytha


Friday, 9 August 2019

If It Helps

In the spirit of Emma's What are we doing about it? post today, here is my small contribution. This might not change anyone's mind, but I'll put it out there anyway, just in case.

Recently, I was discussing how I am a bit of an insomniac and can have quite a bit of trouble sleeping. My husband was tossing out ideas to help and I was like "well you know I think it's because when I was a kid, at night when I was sleeping was when he said he was going to kill me."

Apparently, I tossed that out like it's a perfectly normal thing. Even all these years later.

I did not have a happy childhood. I had an immediate family member with a pretty severe mental illness that resulted in a lot of ups and downs. You really never knew what you were going to get, or even if it was based on an event that actually happened. The bad days were more frequent than the good.

As with all things mental illness at the time, you didn't talk about it. The clues were there for teachers and other adults to see, and looking back it was probably common knowledge. Some tried to intervene but the tools to do something about it were not there.

On the even sadder side, along with the good people trying to help, there are a lot of not so good people out there who are also really good at identifying children who are vulnerable.

The thing I really want to emphasize and think is very important for people to consider is that as a kid I knew I was often unhappy, scared, angry, even suicidal. But if you asked me why, I would have never been able to tell you, because I didn't know what was wrong.

Without any other context, I thought my life was normal. I was sure that my friends with seemingly happy lives were just extra good at hiding things and thought I just needed to be tougher or better to be like them. I thought there was something very wrong with me to be so anxious and unhappy. A direct question asking whether everything was ok at home would have been met with an "It's fine" from me.

It would have never occurred to me that I had any rights, or that I mattered to anyone. I had zero idea about what behaviour in adults was acceptable and what wasn't. I had no clue this wasn't simply my cross to bear for being a bad person. I might have even argued with you if you offered the opinion that things at home weren't safe or acceptable. I truly believed it was all normal.

I was a pretty smart kid in many ways - I managed to look after myself and get honor roll grades throughout school. But still, I DID NOT have the tools or maturity to understand much of what was going on in the adult world or how to deal with it.

I'm not writing this to make anyone feel sorry for me. I AM writing it in the hopes you might consider taking a stronger stance in supporting education and  legislation, (and yes, things like SafeSport) to help provide minors (or really anyone who needs help) with options and rights and positive experiences. Discuss mental illness freely and don't stigmatize it - it is a disease like any other. Consider that sometimes victims might not know they were a victim until well after the fact. Consider that those who said nothing at the time may have simply not had the knowledge, tools, or support to do so.

Lastly, just try to listen and be kind. It matters.

Thank you.


Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Time Out

Just a quick check in. This seems to be the summer of unpredictable things happening and as a result, my riding time and carefully laid plans have suffered.

Short quiet hacks around the neighbourhood are the best I can do right now, and are the best part of my day!
I'll straight up admit I used to be one of those people who believed if you want something bad enough you'll find time for it. Generally speaking I do find that to be true, but this month, not so much...I simply can't prioritize riding right now due to some family things and some unexpected emergencies at my work.

It's a case of nothing really going right, suddenly and all at once! Not to mention just keeping up with the day to day horse chores where I board is more time consuming and difficult in the summer (The summer fields are typically far from a water tap, plus picking poo out of long grass is...frustrating). My saddle is broken and had to be sent back to the manufacturere for repairs, so that puts a damper on things too. Being the proactive person I am, I'm researching plans and building and zoning bylaws to build a barn at home to keep things simpler, also I'm perusing the job ads hard. But, of course that also has been adding time and stress.

At least both ponies are looking great!

I promise, I'm not whining. I'm lucky to have the life I do. But for my own sanity, I'm just going to get the horses out when I can for the remainder of the month and not stress too hard about it. I've extended my summer schedule through September and my plan is to return to 5-6 day a week rides and outings then. My goals remain the same and I want to be back to lessons and showing next spring, hopefully with Sophie.

Add mane pulling to my to do list :)

I feel like this has been the most boring blog ever lately, but I have to ask you to bear with me a little further, while we take a small break to organize and regroup.

See you soon!

Friday, 2 August 2019

A Bedtime Story

When we last visited our favorite princess pony she was in the grip of an evil spell. Her Prince Charming had betrayed her and put her under his control. Winter had overtaken the land, and there was much sorrow.

Thankfully, there was still hope shining on the horizon.

In the nick of time, our intrepid blogger rescued the princess and separated her from her not so charming prince. Despite his best efforts to keep her under his spell, the distance was too great and by the very next day she forgot his charms. Happiness and calm reigned once more, and peace returned to the farm.

Even Mother Nature rejoiced, as the rains receded, summer resumed, and the pasture lands were restored to the ponies.

And everyone lived happily ever after. The end :)


Thursday, 1 August 2019


We're currently experiencing a crazy amount of rain! I'm actually a weird person who likes rain, so I don't mind at all, especially given how dry it's been and all the associated water shortages and fire danger that goes with that.

The horses seem to be loving it too and last I checked were still standing out there getting pressure washed by mother nature.

Sophie had a rather large amount of burrs in her forelock this afternoon, so I thought I'd be a good owner and get some detangler on that and give her her daily vitamins and minerals at the same time.

Pictures obviously not from today - unless you have underwater gear its not camera or phone appropriate weather out there.

Except, sorry T, that is the wrong thing to do according to Miss Sophie. You see, she still can.not.function if she's not immediately next to and in sight of her boyfriend. He loses his mind, she loses hers.

I know, I know, this could be a great learning opportunity. But, well, I was kind of just over it. So, off we went and I tied her at the barn to groom her rather than mess around with a frantic pony on the loose in her paddock. And the screaming and dramatics were pretty intense. Interestingly, her boyfriend is actually the worse of the two, but she's a bit of a drama queen and feeds off whatever energy is around her so she's guilty of playing the part of silly herdbound horse too!

Not sure what was so interesting about the wall :)

It's no excuse, but I'd had a tough day until that point and was rapidly losing patience with the screaming and dancing around. Normally, I'm very patient, but not so much today. Of course, see above about S feeding off whatever energy is available... so mine was only making it worse. At that point, the barn owner's husband came to chat. He's a mechanic and I have an old car and truck, and so we got to looking at my car and planning the remaining work on the truck and generally chatting.....

And, about an hour later I was like "Oh sh*t! I'm the worst horse person ever, I walked away and forgot I left my horse tied out in the rain! Gotta go!"

It was suspiciously quiet, and since S was historically fairly good at breaking ties and halters when I got her (now she just unties herself - small win?), I assumed she'd got loose and was probably visiting her boyfriend.

But, when I walked out of the shop to look,  Sophie was quietly standing at the rail, right where I left her, one leg cocked, dozing in the rain.

Kind of like this, but wet.

Lesson of the day: Walking away and ignoring your horse isn't a bad thing, sometimes. Probably don't forget them out in the rain if you can help it though.

Lesson 2 of the day: Sometimes you need to give yourself an easy win. Instead of putting Sophie back in her paddock, I moved her to a different one away from her lover. Yes, she needs to learn to be less herdbound, but so does he and maybe having the two of them next to each other just isn't fair at this point in time. She's back next to the minis and the old draft horse, none of which she's particularly fond of, and that's maybe just what everyone's sanity needs right now.

S was upset to find that she's not able to hang out with her friend anymore and some frustration was expressed over that. Hormones are hard. She settled down after a bit though, and I am hopeful that my next visit to the barn will be peaceful!

Last week. I put her next to her buddy 5 days ago and I can see shes lost weight since this picture. She was too obsessed over him to eat her hay. So crazy.

I put Bridget next to S's lover, so he still has a friend to obsess over. Of course, Bridget doesn't care about that, so it's all good.

I know from reading your blogs that some of you have similar horsey pairs that it's best to not trailer or stable with. It's interesting how the dynamics work. S is very brave and calm with me alone or with Bridget or another quiet horse, but the insecure, high energy buddy was definitely not doing her any favors!

Fingers crossed we'll get back on track this weekend. I think a part of the recent pony drama is that I have been busy and Sophie is the kind of pony who will do best with a regular schedule and plenty to keep her busy. Once she's under saddle, that will be a bit easier to accomplish.

A final misty picture from yesterdays ferry ride, just for Lytha