Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon. ~Ellen DeGeneres

So I have recently decided that I need to get fit before show season.  The only way to really get fit to ride, is to ride.  My horses also need some extra training.  The solution is obvious.   So I made a plan.  A really good plan.  That had a reasonable, and possibly even achievable, amount of riding on each day, with all the horses I need to school evenly spread out and their lesson schedules accommodated.  All have days off -- even me occasionally (well, when I give Kirby my horse for the evening *g*).   All good, right?

Ok so Saturday rolls around.  Saturday I only have one horse to ride - Jack.   Sat am I got up, went to the barn, fed, turned out (in the stupidly bitterly cold wind), went to puppy class, came back, taught a couple lessons, turned in (somehow the wind hadn't abated - boooo), and was not even remotely interested in riding.  And the voice in my head was screaming: "to be fit to ride, you have to ride.  To ride well, you have to ride.  A good rider rides anything -- even the ones they don't like."     But the other voice in my head was saying "you're cold and tired and Jack's a lot of work.  Show season's still months away.  He can wait a couple days."

hmmmm yeah, much as it shames me to admit it, the wimpy voice won and I went home.  After killing as much time as it would've taken me to ride him in the first place.   But then on Sunday the guilt started in...   So I taught mounted lessons all morning, then unmounted lessons all afternoon.  Then I was tired and cold.  Do you see the trend?  There's a reason I try to never schedule rides late-afternoon -- my body just wants to SLEEP then.  Am or Pm rides are fine, but in the middle?  hmmmm less good.

However, Sunday has TWO horses on the schedule -- Athena and Lissy.   And several weeks ago I got smart and convinced Chelsea to be groom/exercise rider *g*  So she warms up Lissy while I ride Athena, then she puts Athena away while I school Lissy.   Gets both horses ridden in a fraction of the time.  Sweet eh?   It also gets me to actually *ride* since I'd feel pretty horrible if I told her she could come ride and then backed out.  I remember how excited I was at the same age to get any extra riding directed my way.  And how disappointed whenever it got cancelled.

So ride I did, and both Athena and Lissy got schooled properly.  Athena was actually even going really well; I was quite happy with that :)   Lis is still not sure this whole dressage thing is in her contract, but she still tries hard.

Now you have to understand -- once upon a time riding 3-5 horses/day was totally normal for me.  And the last year 2 was pretty standard.   But since the move -- if I ride one horse 3 days/week, I'm doing well.  Hence the lack of fitness *sigh*   So two horses both doing dressage is actually, sadly, a workout.

And then I was feeling guilty about skipping Jack the day before.  So I took a short break, took excessive care of my horse, cleaned tack, etc.  And the guilty feeling persisted.   So I rode.  Jack.  Have you met Jack?  There's a reason I usually schedule him on a "one horse" day.  He's a workout and a half.  Esp as I *haven't* been riding him lately so he's not nearly as sharp off the aids as he should be.   Riding him after riding two others...   Oh boy.  The only thing that saved me was that he HAD had the day before off so had at least some energy *g*   And he was good, and he tried really hard, and my abs outlasted his (thankfully!), and we both stopped fairly early.  hahaha

So today I woke up, fully expecting to be brutally sore.  And was pleasantly surprised.  A little stiff, esp the lower back, but not really all that bad.  Sweet.  Went and did normal barn chores.  Am - no problem.  Pm - all good till everyone was in and I was sweeping.  Felt a few twinges of sore-abs then.  But still nbd.  Quick tack store run and then taught a few lessons.  All still good.   Those lessons being dressage, their riders might be feeling it tomorrow *g*   Have to share the wealth after all.  hahaha that and we've done nothing but jump for weeks, so seemed about time -- nobody was terribly surprised to come in and see "dressage tack" on the board.   Anyways - end of the last lesson I hopped on Charlie for a few mins.  Not long - maybe 10?  Dressaged him around a bit and mostly just played.   My back was super-stiff -- sitting to the trot was, ummm, less successful *sigh* but other than that ok.   Dismount and go do night feed, not really thinking about it at all.   But after night feed, I sat down while I changed my boots.  And getting back up?  Omg did my abs ever scream at me.  Driving home -- just sitting up in the front seat was a challenge.  And sitting to type this?  Well that's really just stupid.  hahaha

So yes, tomorrow, when Jack is back on my schedule, I expect to be barely able to stand - much less ride.   Should make for an interesting day.  Ah well, to quote one of my former event coaches "get fit or die".   We shall see...

Grade 1 :)

Grade 1 with Sasha is proving to be entertaining.  She has about a one-hour attention span.  For that period of time, she's a superstar.  At about one-hour-one-second though, her brain falls out her ear.  And is from that point on, gone.  Trying to get her attention after that?  Oh dear...   Let's just say, it wasn't pretty.  And after that was when we had to do her hardest thing - walking on a leash *sigh*.   Now I'd consider saying maybe it wasn't the timing, it was the exercise that fried her, but we also did work on recalls at which (for this level) she's generally brilliant; that was a disaster too.   So I think maybe her attention just doesn't last quite long enough for school.  hahaha ah well - we'll get there.   The first hour though was amazing.  Even the stays with distraction -- now admittedly, being all of week three, she's only staying all of 3 inches in front of me.  hahaha but still, it's a decent start!

Ever have one of those days?

Interesting ride yesterday.  I was ridiculously stiff and sore to begin with - not sure why, potentially several near-wipe-outs on the ice earlier in the am, or something else entirely...   Who knows?  Regardless, I went to get *on* my horse and found it a stretch.  And *that* is not a good sign at all since in general I can pretty much mount in my sleep; it certainly doesn't require muscles or flexibility that I'd have to even think about.

So on the horse and realize that I'm way too stiff to ride.  Problem since my coach will be there in 15 or so.  So alright, let horse trot around long and low and totally focus on relaxing so I have a hope of being able to ride.  Ever try to relax on command?  hahaha not entirely easy, but actually have some experience at it so was making ok progress...  However, 15min is not long enough.  Coach shows up and I'm not there yet, but horse is quite enjoying the non-work.  Coach is not nearly as amused.  *sigh*   Ok so go to work and manage to royally screw up the first three exercises.   Not my horse - she's doing exactly what I'm telling her; I'm just totally misinterpreting the instructions.  And it's not like it's anything new - we do these sorts of exercises all the time.  But neither my brain nor my body were interested in co-operating.  And my coach's frustration level was rapidly reaching scary.

Alright, at least by this point I'm mostly warmed up so I figure it's about time to start participating in the lesson before I get fired as a student *g*  So I told him I needed a "do-over" and before he figured out exactly what I meant I followed it with "Good morning, how's your week going?" -- I almost got a grin.  Definitely got a nod and a "good morning", and we started over on much better terms.

So take two was going much better till he happened to ask how the clinic went.  Just a suggestion - when your coach asks you how a clinic went, the answer is always "good".   Mentioning what exercise your horse had trouble with?  Yeah, not such a good idea.  Unless *I* happen to be your coach >;-P   hahaha but of course I told him, because I do, in-fact, want his help to improve her.  But usually I practice a little first *g*.  Also not always good to ask for trouble on a day that hadn't been going particularly well to begin with...  But then, how often do I do things the easy way?

So yes, I told him that the canter pole circle exercise did not go particularly well...  So he sets *almost* the same exercise -- except his involves full bounces rather than only one side raised.  Oh good.  Harder. For something we're always bad at. *sigh*  But fortunately by this point, I'd clued in a bit.  And while we had some ummmmm awkward moments getting through the gymnastic, in the end we got it together both directions and the success rate was WAY beyond any we've had up till now with that exercise.

And in the end, disaster turned to brilliance.  And the world was good.  But oh my were there ever some scary moments on the trip!

Night time is really the best time to work. All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep. ~Catherine O'Hara

I am a creature of the night.  To the best of my recollection, I have always BEEN a creature of the night.   About 10:00 I wake up, by midnight I feel alive, and by 3am inspired.  

I love the night sky -- sitting out in the blackness with an endless blanket of sparkling lights above me, feeling both completely insignificant and as though the whole world is mine all at the same time.  That just doesn't happen during the day.   Or with a brilliant moon, seeing the world lit only subtly, revealing the mystery behind otherwise ordinary objects, and the secrets hidden in the complex.  What would the moonlight reveal about you?   All this in extreme quiet, broken only occasionally by the other nocturnal creatures.   Would you break the silence?

At night I can read or write, dream or plan (and those who know me realize how very closely those two words are related! :), think, study, or even do productive albeit mundane things like clean.  During the daylight hours somehow even IF I had time, these things rarely seem to happen.  And these things being done, I feel much more alive.

The issue?  14h work days mean nights have to be spent primarily asleep.  Boooo.

But tomorrow, for the first time in I have no idea how long, barring anything catastrophic happening, I get a WHOLE DAY OFF.   Woohoo!   Thanks to Stephy and Kirby and the fact that I don't teach on Wed nights, I can sleep in as long as I very well please.  Which means that for this one night I need not set an alarm, and I can spend it as it was meant to be spent :)

May make Thurs a little dodgy since I switch from days to nights significantly faster than I switch from nights to days, but sobeit *g*

And now, I'm going to shut my computer down, and listen to the clock tick as my mind wanders.  Who knows where it may end up?

You get tired from doing nothing because you can't take a break...

So it's the day after the clinic and I am so insanely tired.  Was absolutely dragging doing stalls today.   And yet really - yesterday was technically the easiest day I've had in a long time.   Waylon did all the teaching.  I only rode one horse.  And the girls did the barn for me.  So where's the exhaustion coming from?   One of life's little mysteries I guess.

Feedback from the clinic has been very good, so I'm happy about that.  I was excited by how many students stayed to watch and the general atmosphere of the whole thing.  Makes me look forward to the next one :)   And show season!  hahaha

Also got to see a couple friends the last few days whom I haven't seen in ages, so that always makes life better.  Fun fun fun.

Our first clinic...

(from GRS blog)


SO MUCH FUN!!!!    In fact, fun enough it needs more exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!

hahaha yes the clinic today was excellent.    The excitement and anxiety level over the last week has been pretty high, and there were some pretty nervous riders today -- but Waylon was quick to put everybody at ease.

I showed up at 7:30 to feed and found horses already fed and being turned out thanks to my superstar working student Rebecca (who doesn't officially start till 8 - how impressive is that? :)  -- that gave Steph and I a little more time to bring jumps in and do some last second organizing.  Waylon got here around 8 and we set fences and got everything set while the first group groomed and tacked up.   Vic also came super-early and set up his video equipment -- and then spent the whole day filming for us!  Woohoo!   Thanks Vic :)

The first group is the entry level group -- this level is still learning to put their horses on the bit, and jumping about 2'9.   Most of them will probably be showing this year -- I'm *really* looking forward to that :)  Show season will be a blast!   We had Emily on Bella, Chelsea on Lissy, Rowan on Jack, and Amy on Nick.

These riders did an awesome job.  Lissy was *very* concerned about the scary camera in the corner of the ring but Chelsea stayed patient and kept trying and eventually got her going through like her normal self.  hahaha was a ride and a half to get her there though!  Awesome job Chels!   And at the same time, our quiet little Nick decided having an experienced rider on him was a TON of fun and had a great time bucking and playing -- much to Amy's entertainment :)   She rode it out, grinning the whole time, and the two of them worked beautifully together.  Bella and Emily were all-round superstars.  Occasionally a little speedy or cutting the odd corner, but in general very successful at every exercise.  And Jack?   Jack found his big-boy pants and was a complete pro.  Didn't even blink at the scary camera - or anything else really!  I was so proud of him!  And his rider :)

The exercises in the group lessons involved shallow loops, canter cavelletii on a 20m circle, and gymnastics on the center line with a focus on rhythm and straightness.   The exercises changed slightly depending on level of horses and riders, but all succeeded at some variation of them :)

The next group was full of next year's event team :)  They're jumping 2' - 2'6" and working on basic flat work...  We had Rebecca on Louis, Kennedy on Apollo and Kirby on Charlie.  Rebecca did an awesome job with Louis -- she got the challenging left lead on the very first try!   And, better than that, was able to replicate it.  Woohoo.   Louis gave Rebecca a few challenges -- first too slow, then too fast, then all sorts of crooked.   And she dealt with every challenge so by the end she had him jumping calmly and correctly through the gymnastic AND the chute at the end.   Pretty sure that ride had more cantering and jumping than Rebecca's ever done before, so she did a really awesome job.   Kirby and Charlie had very similar challenges -- Charlie's got the great ability to be behind-the-leg AND going too fast.   So there were moments that were in slow motion and moments that were zooming around.   But soon she had him trotting into the line and jumping properly through.  The only remaining challenge was *straight* -- that awful chute again *g*   I loved the focus Waylon put on succeeding in *every* aspect of the exercise.  Just getting through alive wasn't going to be acceptable, it had to be done correctly.  Even if correctly took a few tries :)   And with a completely different type of ride, Kennedy was working on getting Apollo to GO.  hahaha he had his traditional disinterest in the left lead, but she did a great job getting him going and jumping like a pro-star!  He met every distance properly in the canter, even landing on said left lead fairly regularly.   Woohoo!

One of the things that made this class particularly interesting to watch was that Waylon got on BOTH Charlie and Louis.  And while it's always a pleasure to watch a spectacular rider on any horse, what made this even better is that he was good about explaining what he was doing and why.  He got Charlie to relax and go much softer, and started to get Louis travelling straighter :)

Following the two groups was a private lesson -- Steph and Sophie who are preparing for the * down in Florida next month did a lesson focused on improving Sophie's form over fences.  Very cool to see the change in the horse from the start of the lesson to the end.  The exercise involved a two stride combination (small vert to reasonably sized oxer) with a placing pole 9' out of the oxer.  This was to help the rider ride forward and help the horse get in deep to the base of the fence.  And it worked :)

Next we had a lunch break.  Mmmmmm pizza...  hahaha.   I LOVED how many people were there -- riders, friends, family and auditors.  I was *really* happy with the turnout and that everybody stuck around for most or all of the day.   HUGE thanks to my wonderful parents for bringing lunch (and the hours of help preparing yesterday :)   Made life much easier.

So while others were munching, I got Athena ready.  Diane and I rode together and Athena was really good.  Every time I get frustrated by how much work we still have to do, I have to think back to how she started.  She was really a superstar -- the one thing I love about this mare is her attitude; she doesn't always know what she's doing, but she tries hard.  The circle cavelletti were a definite challenge for her, but resulted in a significantly better canter - so that's a plus :)   And I LOVED watching Diane and Ben; they seemed to be having so much fun.

Then the final group of the day was our 2' division.  I was SO impressed by this whole group!  Here we had Charlotte on Louis, Kassidy on Lissy, Emily on Nick, Brena on Bella, and Amy on Flora.  So Amy is a very experienced rider, but Flora's very young and has only ever jumped a couple times.   And it was incredible to watch the difference as Flora's confidence grew!  From not sure how to trot over poles, to cantering calmly through three fences in a row and holding a straight line - brilliant!   The other four riders are fairly novice and for most it was their first ever clinic!  Woohoo!  And they were awesome.   Every one of those girls rode beautifully.  Every one of them managed to get their horses jumping well on the straight line through the gymnastic and into the chute.  Noticing the difference in these riders since the spring pretty much made my day :)

And afterwards - a great girl chat hanging out in the viewing lounge with everybody too tired to go home.  It was an amazing day.  I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard and I was so proud of all my students.  You guys were amazing!   Huge thanks to our awesome clinician Waylon!  And just as importantly to Vic for videoing, Stephy for ring crew/photographing, Chelsea for ring crewing, Rebecca and Brena for taking care of the barn all day, and my incredible parents for all the help getting ready.

As to the next one?   Spring -- we'll aim for an outdoor course jumping clinic just before show season starts :)

Are you a ghost?

This is floating around facebook -- found it interesting.  Found it even *more* interesting when I discovered it's actually true...   So what have you missed out on today?  Or better yet, what have you been lucky enough to experience?

----------------

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?



-----------------



Found this line from the actual article fairly disturbing: "Even at this accelerated pace, though, the fiddler's movements remain fluid and graceful; he seems so apart from his audience -- unseen, unheard, otherworldly -- that you find yourself thinking that he's not really there. A ghost.
Only then do you see it: He is the one who is real. They are the ghosts."

Article here: Pearls Before Breakfast

Highs and Lows

(stolen from GRS blog)

Wow, so today was...  interesting.

Let's see -- a few weeks ago Chelsea (one of my students) and I signed up for an indoor xc clinic with Ian Roberts that was to run today.  Sweet.   Expecting normal ride times, I arranged to have somebody in to take care of the horses so we could go play.

Then I found out our ride times -- we didn't even have to leave the barn till 1.  Ok, so plan to leave at noon, meet there at 11.   Which means I *could* actually do the barn myself, but since S had already booked off work to do it for me, I figured I'd A - sleep IN!  Woohoo.  And B - get some stuff done for next weekend's clinic.   Sweet.   Can't remember the last time I slept in, and can't imagine I'll get another chance for a while...

And then I got this wicked ear infection :(   Booo.  And was feeling sick.  And just generally unhappy.  And not sleeping because of all of the above.  So instead I got up and went to a walk-in clinic.  My sleep-in didn't happen and nothing got done for the clinic, but at least they gave me three different sets of drugs.  And since none of them knock you out - I was still good to go.

BUT - I did get to the barn in time.  Chelsea beat me there, but not by an insane amount :)   So we got the truck all packed up and hooked up the trailer.  Then time to load.  Yikes.  But Athena was actually fairly civil about it.  S helped me with her and she got on on about the third try -- I'd say less than 5 minutes.   And Lissy of course loaded like the saint she is.   Good for Chelsea to learn with :)

Despite the weather, the drive up was fine.   Although I have to admit I don't care for driving automatic.   And I kept going for the clutch when I wanted to slow down -- since the break's in the same spot, it had the same effect, just a little harsher than necessary.  *sigh*

We got there in plenty of time and unloaded the horses into their temporary homes.   Being together, both mares settled very quickly.   Chelsea and I went and watched a bit of the group before mine, and then went to get all our gear.

Brought Athena in -- really not sure what I'd get from her;  I don't know her all that well yet AND she hasn't been ridden since Wednesday (whole me not feeling well thing).   We were in a PT group, so I figured the jumps would all be small enough to be a non-issue regardless *g*   She was her usual pushy self on the ground and a little anxious while I was getting ready to mount -- but once I was on she was great.   Warmed up quietly and listening really well.   Focus on controlling horse's stride length through body position.  Since stride length is something we work a *lot* on, it was a good comfort thing for her to practice.  But what I was thrilled with is how much MORE responsive she was than how she is at home.   Totally dialed in to what I was asking her.   Was pretty excited at that.

Was highly amused that the clinician took one look at her and just stopped and stared: "that horse has the longest forearms I've ever seen"....  ummmm yeah, she's a bit conformationally challenged.   "well, it's not necessarily a bad thing..."  hahaha gotta love it.

We started jumping with a very basic gymnastic - trot poles to an x, that eventually became a 1-stride.   Athena considered the poles carefully a couple times (to say she's not a fan of trot poles or cavelletti would be like saying a giraffe on crack is possibly not the epitomic dressage mount) but she managed it nicely each time.

Then we moved on to xc -- first trotting, then cantering over a little brush fence.  Was a couple strides off a square turn, so accuracy counted.   He also had us land both directions.  I was super proud of Athena here because in each case she kept her balanced canter, landed and came back to me within two strides.   That's pretty much a record for her *g*   Leads are a non-issue, so the both directions wasn't a challenge.  But I wasn't sure how the square turn in the canter would work.  She impressed me though.

This was followed up with a basic control exercise.  Two little coups - about 6 (?) strides apart (sorry - tired, memory failing...)   Jump one, circle around some stuff, jump the second one.   Athena was an absolute pro-star the first time.  Like text-book perfect.  Yeah, I'm still stunned.   The second time was way less good :(   Rider error in that I didn't create the correct quality of canter before approaching the first fence, so she landed discombobulated, swapped leads, broke to trot...  all sorts of ugly really.   Got it back together in time for the second fence, but I was disappointed in my ride to that one.   However, it did reassure me that my thinking that she'll be an awesome schoolie once she has a few more miles under her is probably valid since her brain stayed put through that whole thing.   hahaha she may be the first horse I've ridden since hs who'd tolerate a mistake like that >;-P

Then we introduced the ditch - which actually looked remarkably like a ditch, although in reality it was a black tarp framed with two logs.   Athena couldn't care less -- this I was reasonably certain about since she showed me that when I schooled her at Grandview last summer.  If anything, she doesn't have *enough* respect for them.   But then, I don't intend her ever to go past training, so I'm not terribly concerned *g*

From the ditch we worked our way up to the coffin, which we had one true xc-get-er-done ride and all the rest were more traditional eq rides.  hahaha I felt the get-er-done ride made up for the pathetic coups earlier.  That was all kinds of "dealing with bad situations" riding.   And it worked, because all the other efforts were no problem.

Then it was just a matter of putting several courses together.   By the end Athena was *tired*.  Like not willing to move tired.  Poor girl.   We sat out the last course because on the second last one she was telling me quite clearly she was done and she'd been so very amazing.

Now the jumps were all small -- it's possible one or two were pt height, but I'm not even convinced of that.  But even still, I was really thrilled just with the simple fact that we could canter several courses, under control, balanced, hitting every stride, and holding reasonably straight lines.   And that when she got tired and started to say no and I told her she had to do it anyways - she did it.   Important to know what kind of heart your partner has when you're setting out on xc.   And I was pretty happy with what I learned :)

So then it was Chelsea's turn.  She and Lissy were doing PE, and it was their first outing together (possibly Chelsea's first outing ever?  Not sure about that, def first with me though...)   And you know what?  They were absolute superstars.  Properly turned out and ready on time.  Stayed focused, paid attention, and rode well.   I was really proud of them!   As for what they did and how it felt and the lesson itself...  Well that's Chelsea's story to tell :)

Then time to go home.  Chelsea, who's loaded all of one horse ever on a trailer, is the only person available to help me load Athena.  So I was a *little* concerned about how that might go...   Remember that first time loading last summer?  TWO HOURS later...?   I certainly was.  And now it was dark and bitterly cold to add to it.  So my mare who doesn't load took one look at the trailer, hesitated for about half a second, and walked on perfectly straight, absolutely no problem.   Did I mention how happy I was with her today?   That was pretty well the perfect ending.   Bring Lissy on and we were off.

Had a minor detour on the way home since I have no idea what Guelph Line is called way up north >;-P   But I just picked a random road heading south and when we got to 7, was able to relocate us :)   The rest of the drive was completely uneventful.  Sweet.

Unload horses - all good.   Bring them in the barn and someone's coughing.  Like really coughing.  Bella.   Unload truck.  Bella still coughing.  Respiration way up.  Looking at water but not drinking it.   Very unhappy and lethargic.  Very not good.   And the way she's coughing and chewing as though she were eating but with never taking a bite had me very worried she was choking.   Suddenly all the fun of the clinic is overshadowed.  :(  

Called the vet -- by the time he got there she wasn't coughing nearly as much but all the rest of the signs were still there.  He tells me not choking but still a good thing I called as some weird respiratory issue.  A couple signs didn't fit exactly as they should so he drew blood to have it tested.  In the interim she got quite the cocktail of drugs...  Antibiotics, broncodilator, and...  I don't even recall what the third one was at the moment.  Is that bad of me?   Put it down to a very long day and trusting my vet.   Have to say I did appreciate him telling me it WAS worth calling him though -- after-hours calls are always something I struggle with; I never want to disturb somebody's time off for what could well be my over-active imagination.  And I was wrong - she wasn't choking.  That she still needed his help, made it ok but it wasn't actually what I thought I was calling him for.   Ah well.   There's no way I could've left her there like that and there was nothing I could do for her at all, sooo...   He'll be back to check on her tomorrow and let me know what, if anything, the blood test shows.   Poor pony :(   I really hope she's feeling better soon!

So yeah, started out the day with a people-doctor, ended with a pony-doctor.   But the in-between was pretty amazing!

What's in your bubble?

So my alarm didn't go off this am.   Not that I hit snooze, which I'm definitely often guilty of, it just didn't go off.   Woke up in a mad panic - not sure even which day it was, and once I figured it out the panic grew greatly.   But turns out while I was very late, was still early enough to get to the barn to feed in time.   And panic does great things for waking you up faster :)

I've managed to go out to dinner with friends a few times in the last couple of weeks (yeah!) -- a tricky thing to organize since their lives tend to be as chaotic as mine.  Had a blast both times, but the one thing I've discovered is my *entire* world has disintegrated to horses.   Not that I don't love them - but I used to be able to carry on normal adult conversations on a variety of topics.   I'm very much afraid of losing that skill.   One of the very few down sides to my current career: for better or for worse, it's all encompassing.  I swear I can actually feel my IQ dropping :(   Booo.   It's like my entire world has shrunk to a tiny bubble and I'm completely oblivious to everything outside it.   Now admittedly, most of the time I *love* my bubble -- but I have to admit I do miss being a little more well-rounded.   And everything I would generally do to fix this scenario takes time; the one thing I really don't have these days.   I even got a university course to take -- but it came on dvd.  So I can't ipod it while I'm doing stalls - I need my computer.  Fail.  Not even really writing much any more.  Blog is sporadic at best and flash has disappeared almost entirely, at least partially because I've been fairly disappointed in my last couple...  I read ridiculously fast, yet these days it takes forever to read a book -- cause I rarely have more than about 3 minutes to read (usually while my dinner heats up!) and news?  hahaha yeah right.  What's that?  Unless it appears in my FB feed, I don't know about it...   Thankfully I have fairly socially-conscious friends, so lots of relevant info *does* in-fact appear on my FB feed, but still - that's a very sad and fairly dodgy way of staying current.

Now that being said -- when I worked in the office, particularly the office I was working in, I got to work with tons of truly intelligent people in all different fields and was very up-to-date on the status of the world in general.  Had regular academic type debates and all the usual PM business challenges and quite enjoyed doing so.   AND I had evenings and weekends off.   Well - theoretically anyways.   And despite all that I have not even the *slightest* interest in going back.  I miss the people and the conversations and the challenges, but I LOVE my bubble.  I just sometimes wish it were a little bigger.  

But someday the business will be just enough bigger that I can hire staff...  And then maybe my bubble can re-inflate to a normal size :)