Thursday, August 13, 2015

No Words

This is not a post for the faint of heart (like myself) so I will warn you when to cease scrolling.

I would cease about now.

This shit, I cannot. I literally can't even form words right now and for that I'm sorry. Therefore my emotion & story will be poorly explained with gifs.

I walk out this evening to feed and immediately I see blood Like everywhere. Actually everywhere. Bacardi's legs, his hooves, the ground, his stall...fucking massacre.



This can't possible be form the murderous horseflies we've been experiencing. No way. Surely.

In which I see the flapping piece of flesh that is Bacardi's LH heel skin, just dangling, encrusted with mud and dried blood. 


To what universe do I owe this pleasure? Which karma did I displease lately? Yes, that is the OPPOSITE foot of the one that still CURRENTLY has an abcess that I am treating aggressively.



Oh thats not so-AHHHH




WHAT THE FUCK BACARDI WHY




NOPE NOPE NOPE


He was actually quite stoic about it while I cleaned and wrapped him. he was more concerned about food than his foot. I of course was internally freaking the fuck out. So he's incredibly lame, injuries to both hinds and of course I've reached the conclusion his feet are going to fall off and he's going to die. 


All of the work we've done together, gone. He's done. For god knows how long. Bye summer & fall plans. Bye any progress we've made. 

 This has happened to another horse of mine and the vet couldn't even do anything except give me meds- which I already have. I'm obviously concerned with the nature of the injury, but i'm absolutely DEVASTATED our summer is over. And we all know what happens in fall with B---fuckface to the extreme. So there goes an ENTIRE YEAR OF trying, wasted. Gone. 



I know I'm being dramatic, but come the fuck on, horse. Get your shit together. I cannot fucking deal with this flip flopping around and scathing your body every chance you get.




Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Not Wordless Wednesday

ISince I'm stuck on mostly unrelated horse posts for now, I decided to jump on the blog hop train game and give a glimpse into my daily scene at the office.

Sure, she asked like 12 days ago, but whatever. 

Viva Carlos mentioned she has a few friends that work for Google. I for one, am extremely jealous of that fun fact. She also wondered where the rest of us work and asked for pictorial tours of the office. 

Since this is an insurance company and HIPAA laws are weird, I'm not 100% sure what I can "legally" display, & you can never be too careful... so here are some really boring pics of what I stare at daily in order to fund my horse addiction. 

Welcome to Dayton, OH. 


I lovingly refer to Dayton, OH as the "Dirty D" & my distain/ fear for this place far surpass any slight fondness I might actually have for it. Hint, there is none. 


The only slight saving grace in this city is the amount of fuckery that goes on in this fountain on a daily basis. It's right outside my building and provides hours of entertainment.  I've actually seen homeless people bathing in there. Once, I saw a man fully clothed, in a suit, with his shoes and all, walk right in it and across. What even. 

I currently live in a cubicle sea for about 8 hours a day 


Considering I spend most of my day here I decided to spruce my space up with a little love



I have a few paintings I've done, my horsebeast children by my side and my Mizzou representation to keep me company daily. 

I also spend a lot of time when we are slow, drawing. 


Ahhh yes. The life of an OH insurance agent. It's super glamorous. 


Bas much as I kid, hey, it pays the bills & I'm grateful to be gainfully employed 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Transformation Tuesday

Fare warning, this is not a horse post. Considering Bacardi is lame still from his abcess, I have not been riding at all & I have no new news on that front.

This does relate to riding though, in a twisted way.

This is a TT post about me.

I know in blog land there's the great debate over keeping your personal life separate from your horse story, but I fully believe they are intertwined and you can't really get one without the other. That being said, I generally do not reveal many details about myself because I'm not as interesting as my horses and we all know why we are here.

The horses.

And this story does start off with horses and end with horses, but sprinkled around in there is my story too.

Not always the easiest thing to talk about yourself and your struggles and make it interesting without sounding like bragging, but I'm going to try.

Lately though, I've had a few people ask me "how I did it" or "what I do" so I'll get into it for a minute.   And the "it" is lose 40lbs.

If you aren't interested, I won't be offended. But working out is an huge part of my life now & the story behind it is important to me.

So this starts off a long long time ago when I was just a young whippasnappuh in high school, 2 years younger than everyone, had no boobs and was a size 0. And I still thought I was fat. Because I was a teenage girl.

Then, I got boobs, hips and some confidence...but still thought I was "fat" because my hips now made me a size 9.



I will tell you, I am not a "tiny" girl. Maybe as a freshman in HS, but after that, its history. I've been told I look sturdy. This is accurate. I'm also not short. At 5'9-almost 5'10, I'm well over 6ft in heels and look awkward on any horse you put me on. I'm also not light. At a healthy weight, I'm 165. Yes, you read that correctly.

But I was always skinny. Always fit. I ran track, rode horses, did barn work and was my parents yard slave. I never had to "work out" to maintain that. 

I always wondered how some women could be 5'8 and like 110...I would look like I was dying. They always say muscle weighs more than fat though.

You know what also weighs a lot? Fat.

I gained a LOT of it my sophomore year in college. 40lbs to be exact. In less than 2 months. Putting me well over 200lbs.

I denied it for a long time. Just wore loose clothes. 

I had an "excuse" but really that was no excuse. (I severed my achilles tendon and was on crutches for 6 moths).

And then I just kept it on...for a long time.

One of my least fav pics
Try like 4 years.

I learned something about myself in that time frame.

I am exceptionally lazy.

Try as I might, I have a really hard time making myself do unpleasant things. Like working out.

I'm also really good at cheating myself.

"Oh just one more bag of chips its fine, one more cookie, you'll run it off tomorrow"

WRONG. So wrong.

If I even made it to the gym in college (generally it would be me going "well I walked to class today and took the stairs, thats at least 1000 cals burned and I rode yankee & did stalls, so I'm good. yep I'm good lets eat Wendy's for dinner because MMM SALTY GOODNESS I DESERVE THIS I EARNED IT") I would generally talk myself out of a workout before I even set foot on a treadmill. Or sometimes I would "run" like 800 ft and be like WHOOO I DID IT BYE. 

I made so many excuses. I told myself I had too many old injuries. Too sore of joints. Too afraid to damage them more. 

And that was me. For 4 years.

And then I moved home and got a boyfriend who did Crossfit. A mother that did crossfit and was a certified coach and a brother who was a motherfuckin monster badass at the crossfit.

The bro

I couldn't escape the crossfit.

I was so against it. Crossfit people are douchebags.

Sexy douchebags.

Hmm..

I want to be sexy again.

(sidebar-- I also wanted to FEEL good again, but didn't know it yet)

And then, the BF (now ex) convinced me to do a Crossfit competition with him. I caved. I signed up for Crossfit. I shelled out well over $100/mo for a box (aka crossfit gym). It sucked. I sucked. I hated it. But I still went. I had a goal. I wasn't going to fail.

I'm fiercely competitive and that helped in this case.

Also, CF boxes have coaches. Everyday. There, in your face. Making you do the workout. I needed that.

And I dropped like 10lbs. I started to see muscles where they never were before. I wasn't dying when I rode my horses for extended periods of time. That fat under my asscheeks was going away. Things were lighter. My boobs were going away!

WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

I was starting to wake up everyday on my own. I was going to the gym. I was putting the work in. And it was showing.



Then I really cleaned up my act. I spent days researching paleo diets. Its all CF people talked about. What was this horseshit they spoke of?

Magic.

After 1 month eating paleo and going to the gym 3 days a week, I dropped 8 more lbs. In general-I dont eat anything processed. I rarely eat sugar. I stay away from anything in bags. I eat whole foods. Fresh. All the veggies I can manage. Lean protein. Good fats. I hate it. But thats what cheat meals are for! ( I LIVE for Friday and saturday nights)

 I was getting STRONGER. I was starting to enjoy it. I felt capable. I felt powerful. I was making progress.

And then the BF got hurt. One week before competition. We didn't go.

Then I got sick. Very sick. I missed the gym for a month.

I lost motivation.

And then the new year dawned.

I didn't make a resolution.

I still wasn't going to the gym.

It was cold AF outside. Couch was comfy. Sweats were warm.

Then I was dumped.

I was devastated. Its because I wan't skinny enough, I knew it. Me, dumped? It had never happened. 

(sidebar--not really, he was a fuck)

In a kind of sick, twisted way, it gave me motivation. FUCK that guy. I would show him. I needed to DO. So I did.


I went back to the gym.


It still sucked, every damn day. But I had sparked something inside me and I wasn't going to give up. Enough was enough! How long had I sat around and felt sorry for myself for my stretch marks? For all the assholes I dated because my confidence was shot? For all the "fat jeans" I had to buy? For all the summers I spent indoors, not at a pool? TOO MANY.

So I did it. I made goals. I wrote them down. I stuck to it.

It was hard.

But I learned that I need that push from someone else and I'm not afraid to admit it. Thats why I love crossfit!

Let me tell you a little about the cult...ure of CF.


At first I hated it. Literally, Crossfitters do.not.stop.talking about it. And some really think they are hot shit and above everyone else. I could not get into it. I HATE people watching me work out. I do NOT like being cheered on. I HATE not being as good everyone else. But after a while, you learn that everyone started where you did. They are not judging you and theyre all there to help. Even through the injuries, my coaches helped me around them. Made me stronger. Helped me overcome. 

The key is finding the right box, but when you do, its magic.

I LOVE my CF family. They are my support group, my net, my backbone. They see it all. The success, the failure, the sweat, the blood and the tears. And its ALL there. I've ripped my hands open during a workout, bled all over the floor. I've cried actual tears because it was so hard. Wanted to die, wanted to quit. But they're always there, cheering you on or standing right by you. And I always come out on the other side feeling stronger, and better about it.

My team at the competition 
There's nothing like hitting a PR (personal record) on a lift. I'm addicted. What doesnt challenge you doesnt change you!

Sumo deadlifts
For me, I needed the kick in the ass to make a change. I needed to be told what to do, to see the change to motivate me.

CF by definition is forging elite fitness through constantly varied, high-intensity functional workouts. Its always changing. Its never boring. Ever! Doing the same thing never worked for me; some form of cardio, either a bike or treadmill then leg day, ab day, arms, back. BORING.

Didnt do jack for me.

In CF, theres a million things to do. A million. Box jumps, jump rope, burpees, deadlifts, squats, wall balls, hand stand push ups, muscle ups, rope climbs, sled pushes...goes on and on!

There's some workouts that are only 8 minutes long! And then there are some that take 45 minutes. There are groups WODs (workout of the day) and partner WOD. I love that I can be in and out of the gym in an hour or less and get shredded in that time. Completely destroyed. And then, results are made. Its glorious.



Recently, besides just feeling amazing, I signed up for a competition with my mother. I was terrified to perform in front of a huge crowd. But it motivated me to keep going on the days when I really didnt want to get up.

You'll never know your limits until you push yourself to them

Even on the days I didn't go into my box, I still lifted at home. "Results, or excuses" I always tell myself.

It was a new experience, but I am glad I did it. 1 year ago today I could not have even done half of what I did in that competition. I also hit a Clean & Jerk PR of 118#. Thats 118 pounds over my head and holding it there.

My mother, bloggers. 53 and still bangin

Cleans, my favorite

1 year ago today I couldn't even put up 65#. THATS HUGE. Thats progress.

1 year ago today I couldn't run a mile under 10 minutes. I also couldn't deadlift over 200lbs, and now I can. Push-ups? yeah right. Now I can do 20. Pull-ups? Get real. Try 28 unbroken now. I can climb a rope 6 times. I can flip a tractor tire, by myself!

And you know what? Riding is easier. I'm so much stronger. I'm rarely tired. My joints don't hurt as much. And I've lost every pound of fat I gained.

This is an "old" picture too
A lot of it has to do with my diet, but CF really has changed me. I'll never look back. Someday I would love to get 150# over my head.

So if you're lazy like me, CF might be for you. If nothing else has worked, CF might be for you. If you're just looking for a change, CF might be for you. Either way, I'm just saying thats what worked for me!











Sunday, August 9, 2015

I Pledge

I've always been one of those people that can't be told what to do by mainstream society.

I paint my nails wild colors, I rarely brush my hair, I still wear clothes I had in middle school, I'm loud, I'm peppy, I speak my mind and IDGAF.


Take it or leave it.

In the horse world, I've maintained the same general attitude towards almost anything.

Take an ratchet old, ugly, grey trail horse out of a field and turn him into an eventer? Yep. Ride in the same saddle for 12 years? Yeah I'ma do that. Not start hosing my horses' legs, for 5 min, everytime, because some people think this will cause colic? (it doesn't).Not feed my horses at the exact time everyday? (they haven't died yet) Oh the horror!

I'll take your standard silly practices and stomp all over them!



How dare I!

Perhaps the greatest debate that invokes a lot of emotion and unwarranted sticking of noses in others' business though, would be the great "To Wear A Helmet or Not to Wear a Helmet".

My LEAST favorite thing about horse people is their constant and incessant need to tell others what to do.

I cannot tell you how many times on one picture on FB or a single post on my blog, someone has commented , "Where is your helmet?"

...Probably in my barn, sitting on my shelf because its obviously not on my fucking head ya helmet nazi, thanks for commenting on my decisions and my life.


Sure, this is a law in some states. Yes, it protects your noggin when you fall. Yes, its silly to not wear one. But guess what? I'm a muthafuckin adult and if I don't want to wear a helmet, I don't have to, and I would invite everyone to have more chill, not waste their time typing out those idiotic, judgmental words on the keyboard and mind their own business.

If I choose to not wear a helmet and risk my own life for a majestic fucking picture of my black beauty in a flower field, I would like the freedom to do so please and thank you. This is America.

But you know what guys?

I'm not going to do that anymore.

And all you self-righteous, helmet preaching lecturers can step off your high horse right now. No. You did not "influence me". No you did not "convince" me of anything.

I am not a dumbass for one. I am well aware of the risks of going sans helmet. I've parted ways with horses a good amount of times to know this. I actually, in general, always wear my helmet.

But sometimes you just don't want to. Like on a super safe, dead broke gelding on a hot summers trail ride. Or out in a flower field with the calmest mare alive, with a majestic setting behind you and you want your hair blowing in the breeze.

But then I think about it...is flowing hair and a nice picture really worth it?

What if...just what if something horrible were to happen?

My come to jesus moment was last week.

Not only have I been thinking (like actually thinking) about life and how precious it is, but I read the post from Eventer79 about why she wants everyone to wear helmets. With all the hate, sadness, and loss of life going around recently, I just can't step away from the fact that life is fleeting. Why would I want to risk that precious gift for a photo?

What really sealed the deal for me was when I got a text that my beautiful best friend was in the hospital after falling from a horse she was riding.

It was a total freak accident and nothing could've seen it coming.

They were simply riding around in a field and the horse slipped on the slippery dry grass and they went tumbling. HARD.

I choked back tears reading the text explaining that she had zero memory of the accident and was being scanned for brain injuries.

I was absolutely terrified.

I can't lose this
I'm 500 miles from the the most amazing person in my life, and I can't even be there for her. I couldn't bear it. The thought of possibly losing the one person I loved more than anything else was soul crushing. All from a riding accident.

Thankfully, she was okay. Very banged up with a concussion and some minor muscle strains, but all together, alive and safe.

Her helmet had to be replaced. Totally damaged.

It fucking saved her, guys. I owe it to that helmet.

It can happen. People have died falling from horses at a walk. At a standstill. Horses are unpredictable. Dangerous even (wait, so why do we do this?)

It got me thinking about my horses. Bacardi can be dangerous. This past winter I was frustrated, sure. But I tossed aside his downright dangerous behavior as  a vice. He could've killed me in an instant. But he didn't, so I felt invincible. It wouldn't happen to me. Never. I always wore a helmet with him, but still, the thought applies.



And then there's Lilly. She's the calmest horse I've ever ridden. But she could fall. She could spook. Anything, and I would be dead if I decided to forego my brain bucket.



Even Yankee, the horse I trust more than any other...same thing.



We get lulled into a false sense of security with familiarity. We forget that in a split second our lives could change.

And then I see a video on Facebook of a little girl barrel racing. Shes strapped into her saddle with VELCRO. Galloping this massive horse around the barrels. With no helmet. I couldn't help but thinkg "Where are her parents and why is she not wearing a helmet??" because guess what, shes FOUR. She did not "choose" to not wear a helmet like an adult could. How dare those parents! We are educated! We KNOW riding is dangerous now! How could they choose to let their precious child ride a thousand pound animal, strap her in with velcro, and still NOT think about how a helmet could save her life. Blows my mind. Put a helmet on her, please.

Wait. Did I just become one of those people?


Maybe
I now refuse to risk my life unnecessarily when I have the tools to protect it. I think about my life. I kind of love it. I love the people in it. I love waking up everyday. I love my legs. I like walking. I love sunsets. I love french fries. I love horses. I love water parks. I love hugs. I love weighlifting. I love all of it. Why would I risk that, why?

I also implore you all to take a hard think about your life & the people in it. They would miss the fuck out of you if you were gone. A lot of you have spouses. Children. Maybe even grandchildren.

I'm not telling anyone to do anything. I'm telling myself, enough is enough. Just think about it like I did. Is it worth it?

So I pledge. I pledge to never get on the back of a horse without a helmet, ever again.

And to all of you preachy mofo's out there, you can still fuck off--stop telling people what to do. We're all adults here. If they choose to not wear one. So be it.

I wont though.



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