Posts Tagged ‘non-horse life’

Rain Is Everywhere!

Today’s Tip: Look for the silver lining in all circumstances. This rain will thaw the frost and bring spring growth. It will. It has to.

Photo by michaelaw

It’s actually only been raining since early this morning, but I am thoroughly sick of it! It was wet already with all the melting rain and too much frost in the ground for it to sink in. Some have said that this rain is good as it will warm the ground and allow all the moisture to be absorbed by the now-frozen soil. At 34*, I doubt it will get very far very fast.

Signs that we’ve had too much rain:

In trying to clean up the barn this morning, I swept up all the horse hair and loose hay chaff from the aisle. Once the aisle was all nice and clean, though wet, I could see it: water was actually flowing into the barn. It was raining rather heavily at that time, and I noticed that it did let up once the rain did. However, it was a little disheartening the that the pull of gravity and the river below was strong enough to cause water to actually flow through a building.

The vet came today. While I was sure he’d have good rubber boots on, I felt guilty making him trudge through over-the-ankle mud to get into the barn. I went out to find some pieces of plywood and laid them down so there was some relief from the gate to the barn door. It wasn’t pretty, but it did cut down on the splashing.

The horses came in last night. It wasn’t raining then, but it was cold (30’s) and quite windy with a forecast for rain during the night. I heard rain and thunder in the early morning hours. It had let up by the time I went out for the morning feeding, so they went out while I cleaned their stalls. It was still cold and windy and the rain had started back up when I finished, so back in they came. While I was cleaning up the hail started. It was only little ice pellets, nothing dangerous, but yet another joy to add to the list.

It wasn’t raining when the vet left, but Pretty had been sedated to have her teeth floated, so I didn’t want her out or to put the others out and risk having her upset when she still wasn’t steady on her feet. An hour later I put them out only  until the rain started yet another hour later. They may be in for a whole day more and two nights – tonight and tomorrow. Then I get to put three frisky equines out into knee-deep mud…like that’s not asking for a leg injury.

And then. The cherry on top. Not an hour ago I heard a sound that sounded like the dog scratching an itch. Only she was sitting right next to me, sound asleep. I went into the kitchen. It was a drip. A drip from the ceiling near the old chimney. There had been a leak there years before we bought the house, but it had been fixed. According to the inspector, it was adequately fixed. This is not what I felt like dealing with tomorrow.

On a drier note – I did body clip the other day. Touch ups still need to be done. Full story and photos to come.

Awesome Day :-)

Today’s Tip: There’s always a reason for a problem. Take the time to figure it, out and the problem may actually be fixed, not just masked.

Today was a great day.

People say things like this all the time. Other people. Not me. Not to say that good things don’t happen to me, but it’s not often that I look back and just feel everything went my way for a whole day. I’m a fan!

It was a gray, cloudy Monday, but I can get over that. I walked into the office this morning to the smell of freshly toasted homemade English muffins. Great smell!

I got our work email working again after almost two weeks without it working at all. Though the problem’s not entirely fixed, it’s functional and it’s a huge load off my shoulders.

I got a work project done more or less on time when it has been a week or more late every month for the last several months.

Then I got home! As I said, it was kind of dreary, but it was nice enough to spend some quality time outside. I finally got the Christmas wreath and tree into the compost pile. The wreath had been sitting, turning fried and brown for months and I just never got around to it! The tree, a real one, got stuck in a snowbank after Christmas. It was too dry (and too Christmasy!) to leave in the house long after Christmas, but it was still pretty great. For a while it looked quite nice in its snowbank, but lately the snowbank has run off to the river, but the tree, in all its brown and crispy glory, was left laying in the mud. Those things just make me feel great!

I also am starting to figure out Pretty’s problems. I’m actually embarrassed and ashamed to admit the biggest one. The other day I mentioned that she wasn’t right and there were a number of possible physical explanations. Teeth was one of them. Last night I noticed she had whole oats in her manure. That’s not like her. I’m pretty sure her teeth are not right. The part that makes me ashamed is that I have owned her for three years and never had her teeth checked. I never asked, but assumed they had been when she had her spring vet appointment. Then I just forgot to have them checked the last two years. Today I semi-confirmed my suspicion. We went for a short ride, but just bareback and with some clip-on reins attached to a rope halter. She had a little bit of head tossing, but it seemed like it was related to the, “What is this strange get-up she’s riding me in?” than pain. She just didn’t know how to react to it as well as her bridle. Not a bad lesson!

Another one of Pretty’s problems, I think, is that her gait is messed up because she’s trying to prance through the puddles! I think she’s afraid if she steps normally she’ll get too wet, so she’s short stepping and messing up her gait. It’s silly, but it’s not worth worrying about! Just another reason to hope the mud dries up – but not too dry – soon 🙂

I’m also about to sit down to a “real” dinner – meatloaf, sweet potatoes, and green beans – for the first time in a while. It may be almost 10 p.m. by the time I eat, but I cooked, my husband’s home for dinner, and I actually accomplished something besides deleting something from the DVR today!

Spring and All It’s Glory

Today’s Tip: Look for the silver lining, even in the muck!

I’ve fully committed to spring now. Today was beautiful. Sunny. 42ish degrees. And mucky. I’m really not a fan of this time of spring other than that I look forward to “real” spring, which doesn’t come until mid to late spring.

I FINALLY got on a horse again. A work project completely hijacked my life for most of the last 3-4 weeks. Normally I have a great job that doesn’t require 24/7 devotion, so I didn’t mind it too much this time, but I did miss the rest of my life.

Come on Mom! Can't we PLEASE go for a walk today?

After getting home from work and a 10 minute stint on the couch decompressing, it was time to get out and enjoy the day and the extra sunshine this whole daylight savings time thing gives us. The dog and I went for a walk because she hasn’t gotten on a good walk really since last fall. Then we hurried home for some pony time.

 

I was running out of daylight, so I did the easy way out and jumped on bareback and just went up and down the driveway. If I could have gone down the road, the saddle would have come out, but I get a little nervous about the time of day when the sun is low and blinds anyone driving west.

Pretty was still being goofy, like she was a few weeks ago. She’s a pretty level-headed horse, but she can still doubt that my ideas about where to go are good ideas. So we spent a lot of time forward and back, up and down the driveway. I took the opportunity to work on our leg pressure cues. She came to me with what I call “point and go” training. Leg pressure, other than “go,” go was pretty foreign to her. It’s a driveway, so not a lot of room for wide turns, so we did a lot of turns on the haunches. Now before you think this is a great idea and try it yourself, don’t forget that they go much better when you’re turning toward “home” (or in this case, friends). So we would sometimes only turn 90 degrees and then turn back. Sometimes we’d turn back away after turning toward home. She obviously didn’t get it as well as it seemed when we’d turn around at the end of the driveway, but she’s getting it. I believe that even those times where it’s mostly her idea, the leg cue will register in her brain. Next time she feels it, she’ll remember she was rewarded for turning. Sure, it’s nice if it’s just my idea, but she’ll catch on, no matter whose idea it was in the beginning.

I’m looking for the silver lining in the muck that this is what causes spring plants to come, and of course it means the snow is disappearing. I also noticed the silver lining in Pretty being goofy – it “forces” me to spend some time on the basics, which is what we should be doing!

Baby Steps

Today’s Tip: Set small goals. They’re easier to achieve and sometimes lead toward achieving even more than the goal!

It’s that time of the year – the time where winter has caught up with everyone’s body, the novelty of new year’s resolutions has worn off, and spring is starting to (maybe, just maybe) come into sight. I’ve heard several people, just in the last few days, mention the need to get serious about losing weight. I mention that “the novelty of new year’s resolutions has worn off” because a lot of people get really excited about their new plans. For me it seems really easy because I have off work between Christmas and New Year’s Day. When you’ve had a week without work in the way, goals seem so much easier! For some, they commit to too much and after a couple weeks, it fails.

A couple of these mentions of the need to lose weight have included requests for sharing tips. Generally speaking, I feel like the last one to provide weight lost tips. I can yo-yo within a range of maybe 20 pounds…no, probably not even that much. I can get up to 10 pounds over where I usually am and sometimes manage to get up to 5 pounds under that average. That 5 under, maybe a couple more, is about where I want to be, so I never feel the need to be too serious about it.

Despite my weight loss goals being different than others’, I have come to realize I do have some tips to share. I do have related goals, including eating healthier and getting more in shape (muscle definition, lung capacity, strength, etc.). I also have other goals to which I have to commit time. Here is my major tip for anyone trying to achieve a goal that requires you to carve out time to achieve.

Just promise yourself you only need to complete one little bit.

If you need to exercise, just commit to 10-20 minutes (depending on how much you started with). It’s more than 0. And guess what. Once you have those first 10 minutes done, you might feel like doing some more! One of my goals is keeping a cleaner house. This morning I came home from church and set out to pick up one little corner. I ended up cleaning for 2 hours because it felt so good! A couple nights this week I promised myself I would take the time to clean one wheelbarrow full of manure out of the paddock a couple of different nights. While I really didn’t give any more time (I did have to move on to other things), I got it done and felt great about it!

So whether it’s 10 minutes or one load of laundry or getting one horse groomed today, just go out and do it!

Business Opportunity

Today’s Tip: Keep some balance in your life. Sometimes activities can “multitask” for things you need to get done, and that’s ok.

Wanted: One self-motivated, entrepreneur-type with creative thinking skills to begin a new business venture with me. This new business will solve problems that have plagued two large sections of the human populations for years, decades even! Apply today!

Technically I stole this photo just cause I liked it, but now that I realize I should be worried about getting hemorrhoids from stacking hay, maybe you should follow the link to read more yourself! Just watching out for you 🙂

Seriously, every time I get knee-deep in a physically-involved horse care activity (think “unloading hay”) I wonder how in the world we have to PAY people to help us with these tasks while others are paying excessive amounts of money for exercise equipment, gym memberships, etc. There is just something wrong with this picture. I want to figure out some way to set up some kind of “boot camp” for people wanting to lose weight and/or get in shape. The week will feature weight lifting (stacking hay), interval training (cleaning stalls), aerobic workouts (catching herds of horses – have you ever seen a person try to get a whole group to go somewhere they don’t want to? it can look an awful lot like jumping jacks and other aerobic moves!), stretching (trying to get bridles on tall horses), and more! There has to be an idea in here somewhere…

Last night I had several things in mind to do. One included exercise. The “critical” things to do, though, included unloading the hay I bought this weekend, cleaning up the manure that the horses insisted on leaving near the doorway to the barn as they’ve been huddling out of the wind lately (at least clean it up as best I can in below freezing weather, some “poopcicles” just won’t budge!), and un-thawing one of my automatic waterers that froze in last weekends -20* weather. All of those missions were successful, and I also talked myself into creating some balance in my goals. I wanted to exercise, but realized that those things gave me the workout I needed while accomplishing something practical! I wanted to spend some quality horse time. I can’t say that these things qualified as time with the horses, but it did make me feel good that I did some good things for my friends, so I called it good and went inside to try and get some other things done.

Of course I’m still not perfect. The plan was to go inside and work on my thesis revisions – I’m trying to get this wrapped up so I have one less excuse! – but that didn’t get very far. I guess I have a goal for tonight!

So whether you want to help me with my new business venture, want to sign up to participate, or want to help me with my thesis, just let me know!

Needed Some Time Off

Today’s Tip: Sometimes you need to force yourself to get out there because you’re just being lazy. Sometimes you need to listen to yourself and take some time off.

One of my goals over the last few weeks was to stop making excuses (it’s hot, I need to get the house cleaned, I’m tired, the flies are too bad, etc.) and just get out and ride. I always felt much better once I did and realized my excuses were dumb. Last week, though, I took out Classy one night and Pretty the next. Nothing went terribly wrong, but I got very frustrated. I took Classy out right at dusk and was riding bareback, so I didn’t want to deal with shenanigans. That time of day, however, is always terrible for him, and it was that day too. I just kept getting angry that he wouldn’t even go over to the part of the paddock where he eats every day. That seems like an unreasonable fear to me. The next day I tried to canter Pretty. I thought we’d been making progress, but I had a terrible time with her right lead. That’s the one that she had been picking up at least sometimes. I couldn’t get anything, only a left lead front, right lead behind. I didn’t want to stop because I wanted to make her get it, but I also knew that she was tired, didn’t understand, and was not likely to get it that night.

After two frustrating rides and muggy weather (which makes me crabby anyway), I just gave up for the rest of the week. I’m hoping that this week, with lower humidity predicted and a clean house, I can get back to some horsey time. Last week I just needed a few days off or I think I was going to have a mental breakdown! I’m always trying to find the balance of taking time “for myself” and staying motivated. It’s a tough line to walk and I don’t think I do a very good job, but I’ll keep trying!

Finding Direction

Today’s Tip: Life takes work. It’s helpful to know what kind of work you want to do. I’m not sure I do.

This recent heat spell must be getting to me. I’ve had a serious lack of motivation, enthusiasm, and even happiness over the last week or so. It’s been mid-80s to mid-90s most days with 75% or higher humidity. And our house doesn’t have air conditioning. Normally I don’t complain about that, but you can’t keep the humidity out. At all.

Oddly enough, I think the most enjoyable time for me was at the horse show I was at yesterday. Yes, I was having the most fun wearing a three-piece polyester suit, hat, black boots, and gloves and putting in extra effort to get my horses to try to maintain some semblance of consistency in the 4″ deep muck that was the ring (it had poured there overnight).

Today I’m trying to get some work done in the office. I’m desperately behind, but really not as bad as usual. I’m not sure if the weather and my overload of work are all that are dragging me down or not. I say “all” because those things are changeable. Ok, not the weather, but it WILL change. Having to go to work every day really isn’t going to change, at least not any time in the foreseeable future.

So my question for myself today is, “Would I be happier doing something else?” Am I annoyed sitting in this office because it’s not where am meant to be? Or maybe I’m just crabby?

Some days I think I want to be a trainer. Lessons are not my thing, I want to actually work with horses. However, I fear that my frequent lapses in motivation would lead me to fail at that. Sometimes, though, I think that it would be more fun and I would be able to “force” myself to stay dedicated.

I guess I don’t really have any inspiring insight, but just wanted to vent today! If you by chance do have some brilliant idea of where I can get the money for a training facility, let me know. Maybe I’ll consider it fate and explore other options 🙂