Thursday, 1 June 2023

Progress Is Progress

 No matter how slow.

The past week hasn't been the friendliest of weeks. A few days ago I wrote out an update that sounded more like an airing of grievances than anything coherent, but as so often happens, a few more days passed that brought lots of positive things and life is feeling a bit more balanced again.

 Lest we forget, here are the (condensed) lowlights:

- Ponies both had their annual teeth and vaccines. Sophie had a nasty reaction to either the sedation or the vaccines and was worryingly unwell for a few days. We're also going to treat her for ulcers. The herd bound thing got worse before it got better and I wonder if the stress of me separating them the week before partly led to Sophie having such a bad reaction and this possible ulcer flare up.

- After waiting 4 months, I finally had my MRI appointment to help determine next steps. Or I mean I should have had my appointment. The ferry was cancelled the morning of and I missed my appointment. It doesn't matter what the reason, if you miss an appointment you are put back at the bottom of the waitlist and wait for another letter via snail mail giving you an appointment time and a hopefully not too far away location. On the day, I'm not sure there were enough words for my feelings on our highways, ferries, and healthcare systems. Another 4 months of waiting feels insurmountable, but it is what it is and we'll explore alternate options if need be. 

The highlights:

Sophie has started to come back to her normal self. The sun's been shining. I've been doing a lot of hiking and finally hit that 100km/month goal I had. Bridget's been feeling good. I've been riding (poorly, but with a smile on my face).  Baby pony is looking fancy and adorable and I can't wait to meet him. I've been adopted by a barn cat and I hope she sticks around. House painting is over halfway complete, move in day gets closer all the time.  I have a tentative plan that means a small show season could be in the works. 

All very good things, both in the now, and to look forward to :)


Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Back at it

 This past week I felt more like myself than I have in months. Husband G and I got a ton of yardwork done, I started the giant task of new exterior paint for the house, and I did a ton of hiking and riding.

She's currently looking a bit shabby

Riding included my first clinic/lesson in months. I'm happy I did it now, but I have to admit in the moment I wasn't feeling it - I was getting pretty frustrated with my body and how poorly I'm riding these days. A terrible attitude to have, when I have so much to be grateful for. I'm back now to feeling motivated to keep progressing and healing and to meet some little goals this summer. It's about 0% productive to give up or beat myself up for things that just are the way they are at the moment, so the pity party was intense but brief ;)

Trailventures to clear out the bad thoughts

Bridget was taken by surprise by being signed up for an actual work day, but was generous with her time and effort (although she was strongly opposed to not bracing through her neck and being locked in her poll on the day, I think she is due for more body work)

This level of activity is more to her liking on a hot sunny day

Is hungry. Always.

Sophie. We weren't going to talk about that because I was just going to sell her and not leave evidence online of her life of chaos. Turns out I like her too much for that, so let's discuss herdbound ponies behaving badly. Keeping her and B together was fine for a while, as they're both OK to go out alone and B is fine to stay home alone too. But recently Sophie's been having a tough time being a mare. Part of that has morphed into her being WAY too obsessed with B, and there have been some serious dramatics over me just taking B out of the paddock, let alone riding a whole 50 feet away from her. 

The busiest pony you'll ever meet

So, I've had to be the mean person and separate the two of them. I know it's so much better for them to have friends they can interact with and touch, but I think on balance the amount of stress and damage caused isn't worth it, especially when it’s so one sided and B is happy to have a fence between her and S.

Assisting in yard maintenance

Looking good tho

Sophie has lived life in her own paddock before and it’s been a benefit to everyone from a management perspective. She’s currently having a tough time transitioning back to it, but since she’s been OK with it in the past, I’m feeling like staying committed to this will eventually pay off. I'm hoping pony #3 will break the dynamic up as well. I'm obviously wanting S to thrive and if this isn’t the set up to allow that long term, we’ll of course explore options. For now, the plan remains to continue getting my riding legs back with B this summer, gradually transitioning to Sophie being the main riding pony as I get fitter and more capable. 

Sneak preview of the new house colors. The main blue/teal part of the siding is done, but I still have approx 2 billion cedar shingles and a seriously big front porch to stain before I can cross this project off the list.

Happy ponies

A little slow on the camera, but there were about 8 ravens loudly admiring themselves in the arena mirrors and generally being chatty and chaotic. Sophie approved as these are also activities she likes to partake in.


Thursday, 11 May 2023

May Photo Dump

Not much to say around here - suddenly everything is fresh and green (ponies included). With the long daylight hours, I'm able to ride most days. Work in the yard and on the house has resumed full force and we've got what feels like endless appointments with assorted contractors for all the things. I keep meaning to blog about horsey things, but I'm feeling a little superstitious about stating my plans and how well everything is going, because well, the track record when I do that is not good of late :)

So, I thought I'd just post all the photos I've been taking with the intent of putting them on social media or updating here and then just not. (Spoiler alert, no foal pics this week - I have the world's cutest video but it's long and I'll have to figure out how to edit and load it next time)

S's mind blown that we could ride on the grass...although in retrospect not a wise thing since now she thinks we should just leave the ring and go visit B.

most boring rides ever = the plan for now

brought the fancy camera that one day, B is moving past most boring rides ever and is fit enough to do a little more now

G is not a fan of having his picture on my blog, but how can I not show how cute they are? Sophie just loves him and would probably stand there all day getting scratches.

tried to make it unobtrusive, but the electric fence squares around the house (and frequent ponies in the front yard) probably give away my horse crazy status

She just can't wait to go for a ride?

B's a fan of riding on grass too

that time B got stuck in a box

yep definitely no getting out without help

looking good tho

shh, don't tell anyone

sunshine-y neighbourhood rides


Monday, 1 May 2023

Week in Review

 Part of me is sorry I’m back to the weekly updates - it’s kind of an unexciting way to keep this page active. 

The other part of me is just super happy to back to what feels normal!

Trademark is almost a month old! Teresa suggested Logo as a barn name and I like it.

I’ve been doing well keeping Bridget lightly active and researching and implementing useful exercises for her. I think she’s feeling the best she has in years and I’m getting itchy to step it up further. 

Slandering pony for her fitness but I definitely look like the out of shape one here

But, I’m also a little nervous of pushing too hard, so I think I’m going to keep erring on the side of being super cautious. Hopefully we’ll get back to a reasonable fitness level at some point, but realistically, B’s best is Sophie’s baseline just from existing. I did two canter circles the other night and poor B was huffing and puffing.  I’m aware from our showing days that attempting to keep B ideally fit is a huge time commitment in itself and by far my biggest challenge with any Bridget related goals. This isn’t a knock on Welsh Cobs, either…it’s definitely a Bridget specific thing...she's very much a couch potato if left to her own devices.

Potato pony ready to transport potato rider :D

Sophie’s still permanently in heat this spring, so I’ve got some things on order to try. She’s not horrible about it, thankfully, but I’d love to give her a break from her hormones. 

My newly rebuilt fence, and Sophie looking longingly for her boyfriend. My best horsey friend lives across the road, and that's where we boarded the winter before last. Sophie has not forgotten her crush on Quincy the handsome chestnut gelding.

She’s turning 7 in a few days, which seems absolutely crazy. She’s also finally looking like a mature pony/hony, and I think looking the best she ever has. I’ve definitely had some ups and downs as far as feeding her, so it’s nice to see her looking so well coming out of winter. I’m still being somewhat cautious and tire a lot more easily than normal so to be honest riding her is simply not my priority at this point. If I do, great, if I don’t, that’s OK too for now. I hopped on a couple of times this week for short walk/trot rides and she accompanied Bridget and I on a short hack once. Otherwise she's been hanging out looking pretty :)

In daily life, I hit my hiking/walking goals in April (20hrs/75km for the month). That’s not a crazy goal, but it marks a return to a normal (for me) level of work day lunch break activity and I’m very happy with that.

I’ve been a very busy person this week. I built fences, stained fences, planted gardens, got the grass mowed. I got a few questions about mowing the pony fields rather than leaving it for the ponies to eat. I’m no expert, but I feel like giving them one good mow early in spring and late in fall helps the grass grow better and keeps the weeds from starting. 

Loving morning grazing and growing grass after a rainy and very cold spring.

I found time to audit a riding clinic on Saturday and got tons of good polework exercises and tips to practice at home. I can’t wait to be able to ride in clinics again. This was one of the regular ones I'd normally be excited to participate in so it sucked a little to be sidelined. Soon, I hope.

Trying it out at home

 In other interesting news, we’re committing to building a new barn/garage this summer so I’ve been meeting with the builders. I can add drafting plans for construction and permits to my to do list this week. Somehow that really makes it feel like it's happening, also it's feeling a little like I've gone from zero to over capacity this past month! 

House renos haven't been forgotten either. I had to put it all on hold for a bit there, but lets hope we're moved in by summer.

The camellia is now a tree growing over the roof and I want to leave it, so repairing and staining siding has been voted my job lol. 


Monday, 24 April 2023

All of The Updates


It’s been a bit since I updated with how I’m doing. Walking is probably the thing that’s helping the most, both from a mental standpoint as well as a physical one. I can’t wait to see the elevation change stats this month for my walks/hikes. There have been a lot of hills climbed in an effort to keep getting stronger and fitter. I feel really lucky that something so simple and that I already enjoy doing is also proving beneficial. It seems to be such an individual journey and I’m just grateful mine has been best case scenario, outcome wise. I have regained almost all my mobility in a relatively short time. I still get tired really easily and some days are tougher than others, but I’m feeling very optimistic life will go on as normal and this will be a manageable injury in the long term.

This little guy is the cutest


Both girls had a bit of a tough week, for different reasons.

Remains unimpressed with my agenda

B has been feeling GREAT. Maybe too great! She’s been working a little harder than I would have liked, simply because she’s too wild to do slow and easy suppling and stretchy rides on a regular schedule. Her day off was supposed to be an easy leg stretch around the neighbourhood, but there were airs above the ground and much ridiculousness. Once B commits to her own agenda, good luck to you. We’re continuing with all the recommended physio exercises but I’ve upped the trot poles, transitions, changes of direction and other diversions to keep her thinking and on task without needing to argue about things - I’m totally using the let-the-exercises-do-the-work-for-you prescription. Honestly, she’s been a little menace and I should be embarrassed about how horribly she is currently behaving, but I can’t help but absolutely love that she’s feeling this good and excited to work. She’s still got all the moves and training hiding in there so it’s a real treat to ride her on a good day. It motivates me to put the same effort into Sophie. 

Is ready to party

Sophie has been struggling a little with spring hormones. It’s also been way colder than normal and she’s not been loving the big temperature swings. Her hind legs have been more active than is polite, and she’s been alternating between wanting all the attention and snuggles, and then taking great offence that I touched her “wrong”. I have a cat who she’s been compared to a few times this week. So, we’ve had reminders that waving your feet and teeth around isn’t what nice ponies do, even if the curry comb is suddenly not to your liking. In true Sophie fashion she says that’s fine, but when I leave the paddock or stall she lets loose on the air around her to let us all know the feelings were still being felt. If this persists I’ll explore options with the vet, but in previous years she’s been OK once we get the first bad cycle out of the way. I’m not super worried, but also I am slightly relieved that my next pony is a boy, lol.

Riding wise, she’s been sharp but has been an angel compared to B. Who would have ever thought that day would ever come?!

Is still cute

Baby Trademark needs a barn name, but otherwise he’s halfway across the country and busy growing and being cute.  Not much to update you on there. I get more excited to meet him every week. 


Every day has felt like an inside day this week

It’s been super cold and really wet, so the grass turnout situation isn’t where I’d hoped. The girls get about an hour morning and night, otherwise they’re in their paddock, which needs resurfacing. So, that’s not been helping the above energy levels. They really don’t have access to non slippy ground to run around on at the moment. My improvement projects were put on hold when I wasn’t feeling good, but I’m gradually getting back to it and am hopeful we’ll get some of the final bits of fencing and landscaping finished soon. Maybe we’ll even finally move in to the house. I am so far behind in everything.

House with a backyard pony fulfilling 10 year old me’s dream

I’ve recognized my limitations slightly and am getting a contractor in to build the second run in shed. It was already in the works, but with new pony needing a bachelor pad when he arrives I’ve moved it up the priority list again. 


Is happening at home. I’ve had a couple of really fun late spring travel and show opportunities floated past me, but I’m feeling like it’s too soon to commit. I have some fuzzy mid summer plans but for now we’re going to stay local and just focus on getting myself and the ponies back in shape and feeling good. My at home ring is getting the sand added when we redo the paddock footing and at that point beyond trailering out for the odd clinic or lesson I’ll probably be pretty happy to appreciate what I’ve got at home. 

Current “footing” is actually the gravel base…pony feet allow this to be a thing.

One of my hiking routes passes the pit the sand is coming from. Tempted to ask if I can trailer B in for a test run first ;)