An Exercise in Happiness

As I mentioned lately I have been stuck in this funk for a few weeks.

I usually would feel comfortable telling people that I handle stress well.  Deadlines keep me sharp, challenges are welcome, and I don’t mind being pushed.  I, at my core, am a people pleaser, and am content to work hard in the hopes of being recognized down the line.  I also admit to being stupidly hopeful that people are generally good.  Lately things, and people, have been letting me down.  I started not sleeping, grinding my teeth, and bickering with my husband.  In his endless wisdom (and ability to not get angry), he volunteered that we should talk about what was really bothering me.

So, I made a list.  Because 1) I love lists.  2) Lists can solve anything.  Specifically this is a process that I’ve gone through before whenever I have to figure out where my head is.  Half the time I stress about things, I already know the answer on how to fix them.  Seeing the answer on paper, written out – with clear directions, is a whole different thing though.  And I need that at times.

Sucky List: All the things that are upsetting me

  • People suck
  • Husband hates my haircut
  • Baby is teething / hence baby is not sleeping
  • I’m not sleeping
  • Got the bill for my little trip to the ER
  • People suck

Once they were out on paper – it looked kind of stupid that I was that worked up over all of this.  But I kept going.  Part 2 in the exercise…

Happy List: Some of the things that make me haIMG_2042ppy

  • Family
  • Horses
  • Wine (or Champagne – I’m not picky)
  • Good food
  • Cooking said good food (with glass of wine)
  • Reading

Sounds simple, but all of the things that make me happy?  They were all action items.  That week I planned a trip to the library to get more books, updated my reading apps on my phone (axis360 is a favorite), went to the grocery store and picked out my favorite recipes.

Besides the obvious, my family, I knew horses would be on my list of positives.  After my list directive, I scheduled a few lessons, grazed Dee, hacked around the farm, galloped around the front yard, and generally just immersed myself in all good things horse related.


Selfie outtake of sorts

On the day of one of my lessons, I actually texted Trainer and told her I wasn’t sure I should ride.  Obviously confused I explained to her that you have to be able to stop angry-crying long enough to get around the arena.  She held her ground, saying that it would help.  Wellllllllllllllllll, I was running almost 30 minutes late by lesson time…I showed up, and promptly melted down…Dee’s owner and I had had a miscommunication and she’d already ridden her.  (COULDN’T HANDLE-NEEDED RIDE SO BAD)  After some texts, we figured out that she had just taken her on a bareback walk and a lesson was definitely a good idea.

I gathered what was left of my brain, and got Dee ready.  When I met the Trainer in the ring, she just said “Get on, let’s go gallop at some fences.”  And so we did.  After a easy warm-up, she set up the fences to a healthy 2’9” and sent us off.  Dee was really into it; I couldn’t stop laughing at her “being wild”.  We had some really lovely jumps, but honestly, I just remember how much fun I was having.  How stupid happy I was; laughing out loud happy.

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Stupid happy.

Anyway, I guess you are always learning to push back on the sucky parts.  But my focus should be on my bottom line – do what makes you happy.

Feeling Green

With envy that is.

I’ve been struggling with jealousy lately.  While I love my current situation with Dee, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being envious of all those horse owners out there.  I felt ashamed of this post for awhile, seeing as I’m quite spoiled.  Yet seeing friends, on and off the internet, out doing all kinds of things, and having adventures has been hard.  Obviously I think it’s great for them.  But it makes me yearn hard for something I cannot have right now.

To cope, I then spend hours trolling and, sometimes Facebook, to find this mystical animal who I suddenly need so badly.  By the time I find something that might work (heavy on the “might”), I’m rooted firmly back in the real world.  It’s not the right time for us to buy.  Too much going on in work, at home, and well everywhere.  And I know that.

Knowing and accepting are two totally different things.



So you’ll have to forgive me for wishing I was out there.  Wishing I had a show season to map out, clinics to go to, and plans to make for the next move up.  Maybe it’s my stupid knee, which still hurts and is keeping me from the saddle, or the fact it’s been raining for almost 3 weeks, but I’m bumming hard over here. Even my husband (happily horseless in KC) seems sympathetic to my funky mood.

I set up a much needed lesson tonight.  I need to clear my mind, as much as Dee needs the workout (probably way more).


Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Naivete

L from Viva Carlos asks: What horse related or equestrian related piece of knowledge did you believe was true for an extended period of time that turned out to not be true?

Teenage me: Wow that horse gets injections?  That means it must be either a big time Grand Prix horse or it’s super broken.

Teenage me: Giving a horse a “cocktail” before their classes wasn’t weird or wrong.  (Obviously I was never the giver of any of these drugs, but saw it happen among the shows in our area).

Teenage me: Riders who didn’t stay in a regular program were not as devoted.

Teenage me: Jumping without a trainer present was punishable by death.

Obviously not super devoted to training here lol

Teenage me: Galloping was something only done between jumps in the medal class. Ha!

Teenage me: Your trainer is always right.

Young adult me: Buying a young prospect will alleviate my fears of health issues versus buying an older horse.

(Joke is on me)

I could go on and on about this.  It’s weird to think back about the things you used to believe.  Some of these seem stupid or crazy, but at the time I could reason with all of them.  Great topic L!  Thanks for be fun content idea!

Just a Few New Things

Since I don’t have a horse to dress up pretty, or search for tack for, I feel like I haven’t really bought any horse related items for awhile.  But I fixed that now with a few new things!

Bought: my first ever Ogilvy baby pad.  I hope it lives up to the hype!


In action.

Bought: Roeckls, supposedly to be saved for shows or at least summertime…except now I can’t stop using them.  In love.  Need every color.

Bought: more Riding Warehouse tees–because they are so comfortable!

Bought: Blue/Gold (barn colors) attachable reins. Halter hacks-here we go.

This was right about the time I realized I didn’t have my helmet and got back off.

In the works: Rainbow reins.  Because rainbows.  And practicing for gifts!


 Nothing major going down, it’s been nasty and cold lately so just kind of moseying along.  Hopefully lessons will be back in action later this week!   



Moving Right Along

We’ve got a horse show tomorrow, but I’m still riding the high from some great lessons lately.  So regardless of what happens, I’m feeling like the improvement is there.  Here’s some little clips of lessons lately…keep an eye out for:

  • Staying down and soft on the backside of the jumps.
  • Keeping Dee’s shoulders up on approach.
  • Attempting to keep my elbows in, less “chicken dance”.
  • Making a decision on distances and sticking with it.

Here we go.

I struggled at first (and struggle at the end of the other clip) with getting to this single at an odd stride.  But this one was my best ride, and really using my outside rein to keep her body straight.  Yay!


She is adorbs.


Full course, complete with ugly last jump (you can see the second I waffle on my choice & pull).  Also-enjoy Dee’s pre-jump grunting! Ha!


Eating these bigger oxers up lately. 

So there we are!  Happy with our overall picture and excited for what’s next.  Wish us luck!


One Year Horseless 

Facebook reminded me today that a year ago, I watched my little bay mare walk on to someone else trailer and head off to her new family.  What I remember now is that as she pulled away is I thought that I had failed her completely and that my dreams were over.

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Getting ready to leave.

Things are easier when you know they are the right decision.  Easier.  Not easy.  I still miss her, and I’m lucky enough to have been able to reach out to her family a few times in the past 12 months and can report that she’s doing really great.

In the past year, I have ridden schoolies who gave me my strength back, Dee who gave me my guts back, and have found myself even more grateful for the support system I have now.  It honestly has seemed like a very, very long time since I’ve owned.  And while I appreciate and know the set up I have going now is working…I still miss that connection.  I constantly find myself looking at sale ads, or drooling over friends’ new shiny 4-legged babies.


Cute DeeDee

I know that in the past year (and maybe more), I have accepted that I really would like my next purchase to be an all around citizen.  I loved that O was a neat little jumper.  But you couldn’t trail ride her without risking life/limb.  I loved that she would wear a western saddle and look adorable.  But I want to try it all; life is too short to not try.  I hope to find something that I can trail ride on, maybe foxhunt on, take to a hunter or jumper class, let my kid climb on, etc.  I don’t need a hack winner at this point in my life, and I’m cool with that.  Who knows what I’ll end up with, but I feel like I’m much more open to a variety of horses down the road.

So I’m celebrating my one year of horselessness with a lesson, and drinks with friends.  It has been a great year, regardless of how I felt that day O left.  And yes, dreams come back, even if they are a bit different than you pictured.  That’s not a bad thing at all.  God, I’m such a sap.  Cheers ya’ll.

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Treating Yourself

I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one spends far more time and money on taking care of everyone else (horses, family, etc.) before treating themselves.  This year, in 2017 I’m trying to focus more on taking a minute to take care of myself too.  My husband is the best, and while supporting this idea, he bought me an all day spa outing to get me started.

I loved the steam, I loved the facial, but what really got to me was the massage.  The massues talked to me beforehand out any concerns or points I wanted to make.  I told her I was naturally a bit crooked, and since getting back on post baby, I feel even more so.  By an awesome coincidence, she had grown up riding, and immediately got to work.  When I stood up once she was finished, I was shocked how much more evenly distributed I felt, just walking around the difference was marked.  I had a lesson that evening and while I was sore, I could actually feel the difference in my seat and core.  I was so impressed, and I already have plans to make this happen more often.

On the home front, I like to keep a neat house.  Sparkling clean?  Ehhhh, probably not.  Sorry Mom, but it’s never perfect.  Now with my entire first floor being hardwoods, and a baby constantly hurling her cheerios/crackers everywhere…  I was over it.  So I bought myself a new toy.

Seriously, some of the best $200 I’ve ever spent.  He’s an ILife A4, and it has completely changed how I take care of my house.  He sucks up leftover baby food, chunk of horse mud, and whatever else I drag through on carpet and hardwood.  It might seem dumb, but that buys me time each day that I don’t have to be stressing or cleaning.  Worth it.

There’s other little things too, like actually buying nice skin care products, or getting my annual physical.  But the basis is that after my 20-odd years on earth I’ve decided to take better care of myself.  They say no hoof no horse right? Well no health, no horse either.  It feels good to do something nice for yourself!  We deserve it!


More riding time is always good too!