Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tying Loose Ends

Its been a little bit over a month since I said goodbye to the horse who has given me everything and asked nothing in return. One month. 

Its been 3 months since I last blogged.

Blogging was the last thing on my mind then, and honestly still is for the most part, but I know a few of you out there who have “known” him for almost 8 years are asking for the story. Considering I stepped away from writing with the exception of working on my masters degrees, I doubt this will be coherent, but it is something of my last “hurrah”.

For privacy reasons, I won’t lay it all out for the world to see (shocking, I know), but I can say that the lease situation and subsequent events afterwards ended with only slight disdain. A few people have private messaged me on FB or instagram and I have told an edited version of the story a few times, but the whole wide internet doesn't need to hear that bullshit drama. My leaser has since apologized for her behavior and our relationship ended with no real lasting damage at least, but August was a horrendous month for me. Since this will most likely be one of my last posts on this blog though,  if you have an interest in keeping up with Yanks (&Bacardi if/when I get the updates), or seeing some throwback pics here and there, you can follow my Instagram ottb_eventing if you feel so inclined. 

I miss you everyday
The moral of the story though is that I am done. 

It is the last thing I ever wanted in this life, and honestly sometimes selfishly feel like this is worse than the alternate domain where he might have passed on, because he is still alive and thriving without me. Especially since I fought so hard over the last 5 years to stay in the game financially & made some life decisions revolving around my horses, but ultimately it has ended the exact opposite I had always envisioned. Not in any universe did I see myself having to sell my heart horse after the gut-wrenching decision to sell Bacardi and not once in my life did I think I would ever “quit” riding. Yankee has been with me through more than half of my life. 14 years in January, and that is not something I can get over quickly as much as I grasp at trying.

2006 throwback to baby us
He was with me through the high school years, boyfriends, college decisions, Moving to MO, college in its entirety, wallowing around after college, moving to OH, my first real jobs & the beginning of my masters degrees. He has been my rock and solitude for over a decade and almost losing him 2 year ago made me realize how I never wanted to ever let him go....and I had to. I know all of you reading know how much horses mean to us and how they touch our hearts and mine is forever brandished with thoroughbred love. However, I have to remind myself that this is the quintessential “first world problems” scenario and to get over it.



I am struggling to do so though after TWO decades in the saddle. 

The easiest way for me to soften the blow was to quit reading blogs, unfollow almost everything and everyone from Instagram and delete all my horse groups from Facebook before Yankee even left. Heartbroken to the point of numbness, this was the only thing that made sense to my brain at the time. This has helped a little and I think I am finally feeling like dipping my toes back into the Instagram world at least—I did miss hearing from some of you and your ponies after all the friendships made and time spent in your lives.

There is one thing I did NOT miss however, after a long hiatus, and that is the drama. Ya’ll can save that for yo momma’s. I know back in the day I was as involved as anyone in the thick of it and savored a well placed “fuck you” every once in a while regarding a hot topic... but for now, I am very over the equestrian world and the bullshit involved. I have a case of "cant-hold-my-tongue" and watching some people literally ruin their horses and make horrendous ownership decisions is more than I can actively ignore. Unfollowing was easiest. Some people, I cannot. 

Regardless, this blog will be an incredible keepsake for me and I will never regret writing it. I know that if I ever want to relive experiences because I am missing it, I can simply hop on here, re-read posts and savor the memories captured with the photos I have uploaded.  I will always cherish the memories, friends, pictures and experiences that have come from this blog and could never ever forget the people I have met because of it. 



Ultimately though, this came down an incredibly tough decision on my part and it took me a while to forgive myself over what all happened. I am way too trusting of people, and that will be forever changed from this point forward. In the end, my leaser was making some incredibly unsound and irresponsible decisions regarding the safety of my horse and I ended the lease early, despite knowing that I could not afford to keep him if I did so. I simply could not live with myself if he got hurt at the hands of another, with me ultimately “allowing” it to happen. You can’t fix stupid, but you can take away their toys. So I did.  

This of course, royally fucked me financially, and I unfortunately could literally not afford to keep him if I personally wanted a house to live in and food to eat. I know some people out there will say I took the easy way out, but they can fuck right off. In no way was this decision easy or fun for me. In the end though, I knew I no longer had the passion or means to compete like I once did, and it was asinine to be hemorrhaging money for a hobby. I weighed and lamented over ALL my options, between another lease, dropping him at my parents farm to be retired at 15 (and still paying for him), selling him, donating him to college or giving him away to a riding school. I honestly could not stomach another lease situation or be responsible for vet fees (god knows it would) if something happened, so I consulted every close friend I had, annoyed my roommates, cried my eyes out and listed him for sale. For an insanely cheap price



I wasn’t interested in making money on him, only hoping to pay off some medical & vet bills and possibly afford me a down payment on a new car since mine is on its last leg. Not surprisingly, people are the actual worst and either wanted him for the wrong reasons or didn't want to pay for him at all....WHY do people think they're entitled to anything of worth and should just be GIVEN stuff for free?? So, despite a LOT of interest in him and half a dozen people coming out to ride him, PLUS an actual trial sale period with a down payment, no one wanted to fork up the measly amount of money I was asking for him. I literally had 5 weeks before my bank account was at $0, so I gave him away.

That is basically the story. He now lives at an INCREDIBLE farm, teaching young Pony Clubbers how to ride. He is literally the perfect horse for the job and settled in like he lived there his whole life.





 I was gutted to see him go, but honestly, I am beyond ecstatic over his current situation. I get updates and pictures weekly, and I even get to visit whenever I want. He even made a trip to a show already and won the 2ft CT division! I made the trip see him last week, and my dude is loving life as a wooly mammoth lesson horse.

So that’s that. Both of my beautiful, stunning, sweet, athletic, incredible horses are gone and I am officially unofficially retired from riding. I do hope to get back into it someday, but I honestly don’t know if I could ever get back into jumping or eventing again.

I miss you more than words can describe

 We shall see where life takes me, but for the most part I am letting the last 6 months of school take over my life and diving face first into powerlifting. It has changed my life for the better, given me something of worth to focus on and I may compete in the New Year...but for now I am simply trying to heal my broken heart and move on with my life. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my boys in the past, and for forging friendships I did not think were possible. I will do my best to keep up with your ventures, but please understand why, if I am absent. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

No News is Not Good News

Hello, it me, absent blogger and failed equestrian extraordinaire!

Not really sure how to start this post, so I guess I will get right into it.

Some of these things are for sale; hint; its not the human
I’ve been absent for some time online due to a myriad of reasons, mostly due to the heartbreak of selling Bacardi, zero tolerance for online hags and drama with my lease involving my dearest Yankee.



Now that I ended those shenanigans in the best interest of my horse,  I’ve come here to shamelessly spread news through the interwebs with one of the largest and (generally) supportive horse communities I know- you all!



If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram, this is not news to you, but Yankee is for sale. His lease was not working out, and I unfortunately do not have the time or money with finishing two masters degrees, a full time professional job, needing a new car because  mine is literally dying and a massive influx of medical bills, to keep the OG. Such is life, right?



Some answers to FAQ: yes, I am literally devastated. My heart is fucking broken and nothing will ever fix the tatters. No, I am not OK. Please stop asking me. Yes, I have basically cried every night since I made the decision 2 weeks ago. His lease ended dude to reasons concerning his own safety & well being. Yes, you can DM me about it. He’s priced reasonably for a quick sale BECAUSE I AM BROKE AS SHIT, OK?




In other news, Bacardi is for sale again too, due to no fault of his own (literally) and I am basicallyinshambles over the fact that daddy's money doesn’t pay my bills and I can’t afford this lifestyle & I can't buy him back and keep BOTH of my dream horses. First world problems, amirate.

Kindly fuck off if you have anything rude to say, I’m in mourning and I literally have no time for bullshit. I just want to find the perfect home for my heart horse (and Bacardi, again) so if you or someone you know is looking for LITERALLY the sweetest, most wonderful, honest, badass, trustworthy, hard working TB on the market, send them my way & I'll send them Yankee. Link at bottom of post.






Crawling back in my hole now, TTFN.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Final Decision

Well.

B is sold.

He leaves tomorrow.

Second to last ride on my B
I have no words right now. Still, and they decided days ago.

Just because this is what needed to happen, doesn't mean I wanted it to... :(

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Down to The Wire

You like that racehorse pun?

I do.

Anyways, if you follow my instagram, which hasn't been busy but is still a bit more active than this blog right now, you may have noticed that there is movement on the B front. I have had a serious buyer going through the motion of the sale process (one I am super duper naive about) and the final decision will be made this Sunday.

My gorgeous nugget

This entire process has been incredibly stressful and I literally do not understand how people do this regularly. Granted, B is my baby and not some random horse on the roster that I am trying to flip, but still, I honestly though I was going to implode yesterday. I think I have slept maybe 3 hours a night for the last two weeks, and I usually have my shit under control these days. Advanced apologies if this is incoherent, my brain is actual slop right now.



They first came out over two weeks ago to try him and loved him despite us being stuck inside to ride. It was a little bit of a trip for them, but I am glad they made it. They came back out immediately (literally, 2 days later) and rode him again, this time outside. They are legitimately perfect for each other, and despite not wanting to sell to a teenager, this girl is quite capable and a perfect match for him. Despite on being ridden in a hackamore, with no browband thanks to the cut (s) on his face, he was a total rockstar. A down payment was made and I thought that was the worst of the stress.

Strut strut
Then they wanted a PPE.  Cool, no big deal, thats standard OP.

Problem was, they are pretty far away, so they requested my vet come out and do the PPE. I knew this wasn't normal, but since they requested, I called my vet and made the appt for a few days later. He was on hold until the 31st, but obviously we wanted the rest of the process to go quickly and smoothly.



It has not gone quickly and smoothly.

My vets called me literally 25 minutes before my appointment and cancelled, stating "conflict of interest"(If they passed B and later on something happened, say a lameness, they didn't want the buyers to come back and say they hid something from them, since they were his treating vet). Which is fine, I get it and thought that from the start...but WHY DID THEY LET ME SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?? Do they know how hard it is to get a vet around here??? FUCK.

I know there are worse things in life, like cancer, but I had to do some major juggling in order to get that appointment and get off work and all that and I was fucking ANNOYED.



Not to mention, the most available vet I literally cannot stand, so I had to call around and try to get appointments elsewhere. I finally secured one for Tuesday and continued to fret over stupid shit like he would have arthritis or spike a fever the day of...you know, logical thoughts.

Tuesday arrived, I had moved my lunch around, gotten permission for time off, scheduled my day at work accordingly....and I got a text around noon from my vet stating she would have to cancel.


Pretty sure I lost my cool, which again is rare these days, and had a mild panic attack.

The universe was trying to tell me something I KNOW IT.

Then she texted me back, "I have the flu, lets reschedule for tomorrow at 3:30"

Okay, whew. Kinda.

I now had to rearrange my entire Tuesday since I was no longer leaving early AND now Wednesday. I am sure my bosses think I am just trying to get out of work, but little do they know about horses. Also had to cancel a Dr. appointment, which sucks since it wasn't 24 hours, I'll get charged, but whatever I GUESS.


So Wednesday (yesterday) morning I get a text from the vet stating she can't do 3:30 and needs to come at noon.

HAHAHAH FUCK.

COOL YEAH, let me just rearrange my entire day again and make sure my bosses are cool with it and OH yeah I could've gone to my Dr appointment now. #vvannoyed

At this point, I am just straight panicking, because shit feels out of my control and I don't like it, and I'm convinced he will fail and I will spiral into debt trying to pay his board and have to live on the streets with Levi like some vagabond.. It was a fun couple of hours, with me chanting to myself to chill the fuck out because this was not the worst thing in the world.


So I get to the barn and notice that not only does he have a bloody nose, but BOTH his bell boots are missing. Of course, at this point I am just making list of things that are horribly devastating and these obviously are on the list. I was thoroughly convinced that the bloody nose would fail him, but luckily the vets understood that it could be from the rollercoaster temps here or the fact the the idiot bang his head on something literally everyday. 



He was a good lad for everything, despite the fucking freezing cold. It dropped 25* in one day and for the first time ever, I saw my boy shiver. We stuck him on the lunge, and did all the flexion test and he was a wonderful angel face the entire time. They even complimented his trot and how nice it is and I about cried from happiness and the fact that this nightmarish shit was almost over.

Cookie?

He passed with flying colors and the necessary calls were made and I could finally relax. A little.

They still have not made a decision, and his sale is all riding on how well he doe over courses when they come to ride him next. Which is Sunday. I am really hoping the weather holds out on us. Its 20* again today and tomorrow....mid 70s. I do not understand. 

Regardless, this saga is almost over and I am SO ready to be done. I feel like a giant rubber band ball that might snap any second and I cannot deal. This is why I am selling him in the first place...stressing out about money is killing me!!

Fingers crossed for Sunday, that is when we find out officially if he is sold and I can move from being stressed to being depressed. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Riding Sore

It has happened. After multiple people scheduling to come see him and then canceling, I got an offer on B, sight unseen no less and she will be here in two weeks to try him. My fingers are crossed in so many ways. Of course I want him to go to a well-matched, fantastic home...but I also REALLY need home boy off my list of things to spend money on.



Anyways. In preparation for being mostly horse less, hopefully soon, I have taken up a *new* hobby. I say new, because its not really, I've just gotten more serious about it since kicking the pneumonia bug. If you've read my blog for a few years, you may remember that I Crossfit. Or did, a lot. Lately I have been taking a step back from that and shifted more into powerlifting. Not sure if anyone noticed the thickness of my thighs, but uhhh, they thick. And strong AF. Its like I was made for it and I am not really made for CF. Way too much upper body work.

Regardless, my powerlifting sessions have absolutely been mangling my body. Some days I LITERALLY roll out of bed because I can''t even sit up. Its hilarious. But it does not make for a body that rides well; discovered this on Sunday.

B has had some time off (surprise to absolutely no one) due to his face wound, and has been kept in and on a strict regime of meds, just in case. The swelling finally went down enough on Sunday that he wasn't in pain anymore and was basically running me down to get outside. It was then I decided he was well enough to be ridden again.



Obviously though, a browband was out of the question. I got a good laugh out of it, and hoped that the browband wasn't actually a super essential part of the bridle and we went outside to ride, since it was basically 70* in February.

Considering we were both sore AF, I wondered how it would go, especially after a few days inside and about a week off.

The answer is great

He was super. Like, really great.

He minded well on the lunge after a buck or two and was a pleasure to ride. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, despite flopping around like a total goon. My abs felt like they might break and obviously it was easier to fold in half than hold myself upright and ride like a normal person, but he was still fantastic.



A bit hyped for the flying changes, but I didn't mind at all. He came right back to me and was completely relaxed and soft for the most part. He could have been a bit more engaged, but honestly, I was riding like dog shit and I let it slide. I was pleased overall, and luckily snagged a girl who was walking by to video a few minutes for me, hahaha.



My abs have since recovered and tonight I plan to get out there and do some jump work. V rode him yesterday for me, bless her, since I had a small issue to handle after work.

Mostly my goal from here on out is just to keep him in work until the girl comes to try him and hope she likes his cute butt.



Fingers crossed. Please buy him.






Monday, February 20, 2017

Anniversary of Life

I was going to write about my ride with B yesterday (which was great btw) and was then reminded by FB that the anniversary of the worst day of my life was yesterday/today.

Thanks FB, this is why I keep you around.

For real though, it was such a horrendous, stressful, god awful day, I legit forgot the actual date. I knew it was coming up but couldn't remember the exact day and truly did not want to look it up.

Whew, the feels are coming back strong.

cookie plz?
Despite wanting to take  step back from showing and riding, I still love horses fiercely and it gives me no greater joy than to walk in the barn and see my pretty boys staring at me, begging for cookies. Nothing is better than that.

yesterday at the show

To think that colic almost took my boy away is almost too much to think about sometimes, so I usually don't. Instead, I celebrate every single day I get to see his cute face and watch V work with him and kill it at shows (like yesterday with a 26 in USEA training level dressage and 67% USDF 1st level test 2).

I try to not freak out about the weather, but its been pretty wild in rollercoaster temps.

last week
I sincerely hope no one ever has to go through that ordeal with their horses and I implore all of you, despite any of our differences, to go hug your ponies and give them extra treats because you never know when the worst can happen!

< 3



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Proud and Not Proud

UPDATE TIME

It has *mostly* been quiet on this front, with two exceptions. Life is trucking along, I moved houses, grad school is half over and riding is happening.

We did end up going to that dressage show last weekend, but they wouldn't let me bring B, which was freaking annoying because NC's have been allowed before. Whatever. I don't even like that venue anyways because they MAKE you get a $40 stall even if you're just showing in one class. WHY.

Anyways, V and Yanks were there to slay. She has been working so hard lately and it gives me the feels to see her doing so well with my favorite old man.


She signed up for 3 tests; first level, Novice USEA and Training USEA.

First level test was alright, but Yanks was uncharacteristically spooky at the judges stand and just a little tense. Not a shabby score with a 66%, but I knew she could've done better and they ended up 4th in the division (the division was SUPER close, like by hundredths of points). We discussed the test and she watched the video on lunch and came back to crush the USEA tests.

[if you don't have 15 minutes to watch dressage tests, I recommend skipping to the training test]


She ended up taking the top two spots in the USEA division with her Novice and Training tests. I think the Novice test was a 32 ( I can't remember, whoops) and was ridden quite well. Free walk could've been better, but overall I loved what I watched in comparison to last year.


THEN, her Training test. I honestly though this was the best they've looked together, despite it (possibly) being the first time they've done the test in a show (also can't remember). Truly was wonderful, especially in comparison to last year and I was literally crying by the end of it. Yes, they know the extensions need work, but she's just starting to learn them with him and he possibly could've had more trot but I was SO pleased with the cadence and relaxation. The other shit will come with practice and I am so so excited. Witnessing the blooming partnership with her and my best boy is seriously so overwhelming for me, I just love it. I think this is the closest to "motherly" that I might ever feel.


She is absolutely moving up to training this year, we just aren;t sure when simply due to XC. XC is the most dangerous part of Eventing (duh) and I want her to be absolutely certain that they know what they are doing. Its crazy of me to worry because its Yanks favorite thing in this world and V loves his gusto. But I can't help it! We don't have many chances to school XC, so I am erring on the side of caution, despite her killing it over fences this winter.

ALSO, his one year anniversary of surgery is coming up and its just giving me all the feelings and I cannot.

ALSO ALSO, a random aside, I FINALLY got the tattoo I've been wanting for ages but couldn't decide where to put it. This is #5, but it might be my new fav....

always
Then there's B. The other child of mine, who I fondly call "fucking dingus", "idiot" and "dum dum", has been intent on committing suicide apparently with two pretty ridiculous injuries in the last two weeks. OF COURSE right before people come to try him out.

Luckily, they have been understanding of this, but c'mon B.

Last week his cut  his leg up in turnout on god knows what and it BALLOONED. Luckily, it wasn't deep or too horribly bad, and went down after 2 days of cold hosing and was never actually lame.

Tuesday though, I had asked the workers to keep him on limited turnout (read; small dry lot for a few hours instead of 30 acre pasture with mud for 7 hours) to ensure his shoes stay put since someone was coming to try him Friday.

Oh, yeah, I put shoes back on per the suggestion of wise horsemen, stating it looks good for sale and shows he stands for shoes but also...



Anyways, I get a text at 3PM stating "B cut his face"

Um, cool thanks? He does it all the time bc he's a fucking dingus, so I wrote it off and put it away UNTIL I got the photo....



NOPE, was not. You could see the muscle in his face and a pretty good puncture wound to boot, so I promptly and reluctantly called the vet for stitches while also proceeding to have a mild anxiety/anger/fuck you horse panic attack in my car on the way to the barn.



The vet was rather humorous about it all and came in saying "what did he do this time", which I didn't laugh at, but should have because LOL. He was a good lad for the procedure and mostly just seemed tired and in pain, for good reason. We put him to bed and slathered ointment on the wound in addition to antibiotics and meds.


Yesterday when I showed up to tend to him, the swelling was even more extensive, which worries me, but I know its normal...

You poor idiot

Poor dude is acting like he's dying but allowing me to cold compress his dum dum head and begging for cuddles (which he never does). I honestly feel bad for the dude, despite him costing me another vet bill. He should be fine in a few days at least but damn.

SIGH.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Seller/Buyer Etiquette

I haven't sold a horse (besides Lily, who was taken by the first person who tried her) in literal years. Like maybe ten full years. Back then it was a project horse I worked with and my trainer did all the dirty work for me regarding contacting sellers and setting up appointments, so this is one aspect of horse ownership I am actually incredibly not familiar with.

So of course, who do I ask?

THE INTERNET!

Specifically bloggers, because thats my favorite avenue for help when I am in need.



I know I have been pushing/advertising him terribly, which isn't conducive to getting him sold by March, but I can only do so much when I'm not riding. Now that I am healthy again and can ride everyday its another story, but I felt bad advertising a horse for sale who actually wasn't really in work.

My level of advertising
However, I do have THREE people interested in him and two are coming to see him this weekend. One of them is scheduled to come out in March (she lives out of state), which is of course kind of far but whatever works.

My question is, do I tell them ahead of time that there are others coming to look at him or do I say it afterwards like, "Just let me know your decision as soon as possible, I have two others interested and would like to keep them updated"?

I need help. I don't want to fuck it up/create drama where its not needed.

Regardless, he's been a total gem of a chesnugget and its simultaneously making me so so happy and incredibly sad. I will miss him. It still doesn't seem real that (hopefully) he won't be mine for much longer.

He really floored me the other day when we rode inside due to frozen outdoor and the lighting technician guy was there fixing the lights. He had his motorized ladder thing and was making a total racket. I decided to ride anyways because he needs to desensitization and advised the guy to ignore any antics. He told me that most people were completely unable to ride while he was in there and apologized in advance for ruining my ride.

I tossed B on the lunge just to let him look at it for a minute and I shit you not he barely even batted at eye.

none given

This is huge guys.

I think a year ago he totally would have lost him damn mind and made it impossible to focus. But yesterday we had a gorgeous ride full of beautiful transitions, 10m circles and flying changes. He hasn't even touched the standing in about a week, so I can probably take that off completely for now. I was jazzed.



Knowing he's finally a solid equine citizen makes this process a little easier, but still. This definitely sucks.

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