Rock Bottom, With Hope

Well, here we are. It’s been the better part of a year since I’ve updated, despite best intentions and all. To be fair, I am doing a better job keeping up with my other blog, Dressage Fundamentals, where I’m writing more training-oriented posts. But this blog deserves an update, and hopefully with some of the recent changes, in the future more updates will be coming more frequently!

So on the plus side, Liam and Remy are doing well! They are fat and happy, and starting to get fuzzy winter coats. On the down side, they’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing besides eating and sleeping lately. I’ve only ridden maybe 3 times in the past month, a record low for close to 2 decades!

This past year has been a year of change for me. Back in December I moved my horses to a new barn, and two of my students ended up there as well, while the rest scattered to different barns so I was teaching in a few places. Then in March, just as the weather was finally improving, my then boyfriend (now fiance!) and I bought a new house (a foreclosure, so we’re hoping it’ll be a great investment, but there are many projects to be done…) and moved, and we actually closed the day before he left for a 3 week out of town training for his job, so I got to do most of the moving and unpacking while he was away (he did help while he was home of course)… so I took a little break from riding for that.

Fat and happy, probably starting to wonder if they are actually retired or not. They won't be disappointed to find out they'll be back to work soon!

Fat and happy, probably starting to wonder if they are actually retired or not. They won’t be disappointed to find out they’ll be back to work soon!

Then in June my sister got married! It was wonderful, but things got a bit crazy leading up to that too. So just when I had a few weeks of decent work back on my horses, I took another little break.  Then in July we had family staying with us for my fiance’s brother’s engagement party, and just last month we were out of town for his wedding.  Oh yeah, and in the middle of all that I got engaged too! And then we finally got our old house sold. And a great opportunity came along to work with my sister, who does freelance back end development (programming databases and such), so I started studying furiously to bring my rusty, outdated html knowledge up to current standards. So I took another little break from riding, then another after that. It’s been sorta the story of the past year…

Oh yeah, and we adopted the cutest puppy this summer! This is Tanner!

Oh yeah, and we adopted the cutest puppy this summer! This is Tanner.

So, it seems like my horses have had a few weeks of consistent rides, followed by a few weeks of inconsistent rides, consistently. To their credit, they are both handling it like pro’s! I can tell we’ve all lost some fitness and muscle tone, but not much else.  Oh, and we’ve all gained a little weight too. Luckily for the boys they needed it. I didn’t. So yeah, I guess I must finally be growing up!

Despite all that, we have made a few break through’s this year… I got a new saddle that Liam is loving (the new Wintec Isabell, love the wider channel and adjustable stirrup bars!), and a new saddle pad (Acavallo gel + memory foam) that Remy just loves, which has also helped tremendously with sitting the trot (my nemesis on him). So both horses are comfortable in their gear, and as a result are moving beautifully and working happily. And really, what more could I ask for than that?

We still did get some good work done! Just not as much as I'd hoped, and not much progress since last winter.

We still did get some good work done! Just not as much as I’d hoped, and not much progress since last winter.

Now looking forward, I’ll be moving them to a new barn on Saturday where a few of my friends ride. It’s also heated! I’m so excited about that. It has a HUGE outdoor arena, and a large indoor arena, and lovely grass pastures.  I’m hoping this will be a change that will help me kick start a new routine, getting back to riding daily, without having to think about the winter weather looming just around the corner (did I mention I’m excited about heat?), so I can slowly get both boys back in shape, and hopefully work consistently through the winter and be ready to show for real this time come spring!

This goes hand in hand with my other big change, to doing some web development work. What I’m hoping to do is find a comfortable combination of steady year-round income from the web work, with less than full time, flexible hours that will still leave me time to teach a few lessons and ride my own horses daily. I’m also going to limit how many other barns I’m travelling to, and not seek out more students.  I’ve realized that my enjoyment of riding and teaching is somewhat lessened when I’m running around like crazy trying to squeeze it all in! I want to continue to work with a few long time students that I enjoy, and get back to riding daily and working towards some of my own riding/training/showing goals. I think I have the worst of the code-learning phase behind me, for the last month plus I’ve been putting 60 hour weeks into studying html, CSS, JavaScript, and BootStrap. I’m sure I’ll always continue to learn and improve my skill, but the crazy hours dedicated to studying should be winding down. Now I’m ready to start to put that learning to work!

So with hope, I’m planning on finding a balance between web development work, riding, teaching, and taking care of house stuff and my man (we have a wedding to plan after all!). If I can successfully balance those things, I think I’ll be in good shape, and with more progress to write updates about!  And I suppose if I find it hard to balance all that, I’m probably normal. I don’t know how people with kids do it, I give you guys major credit!!

liam on walk

One of the best (and only) rides I’ve had lately, a relaxing evening walk around the property after some light arena work with Liam.

So here’s to 2 more days to focus on web stuff, and then the barn move. Then the slow process of getting us all back in shape. A new career. Finding a better work/life/horse balance. And hopefully, success in all areas, and happiness! Stay tuned…

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