Well, hi there.
I am not really sure where to begin without making this a word vomit post, so I’m just going to let it happen.
Spring is finally here, and the time in between fall 2018 and now has been a trip. I don’t know how else to put it.
Like a lot of people who live in places that get dark and cold in the winter, my tendency towards depression often rears its ugly head to some extent during those months. This year, my brain decided to be exceptionally bad at dealing with anything and everything. Unfortunately, even when one recognizes there is a problem, what follows is not a linear trajectory of fixing whatever’s wrong, but a messy up and down/back and forth/zig zagging path towards maybe feeling better. Despite having two insurances, the typical paths for treating mental illness (therapy, medication) are still expensive. And then there’s the fact that my issues cropped up during the busiest time of year at work – stepping out for several appointments a week is next to impossible, even with a supportive employer.
But I did it. Or at least I tried. After white knuckling it through trials of medications I hadn’t attempted in the past and realizing the common classes of drugs given to treat depression just do not get along with my body chemistry, I embraced (and am still embracing, but less aggressively so) therapy and some lifestyle changes to pull myself out of it. Other health issues I have still try to get in the way, but I’m working through it. My horse definitely did not suffer during this time, but riding was not a priority. My good barn friends helped me out and Juice had a much easier off-season than planned.
So I’m trying to re-enter the world of riding and it’s… a process. Did you know that in your late thirties you can’t just hop on your horse after ten days off and do an hour long conditioning ride or a quick jump lesson without your legs and most other muscles in your body screaming for days after (don’t worry, the pony has been kept in shape by other riders, I’m not a monster)? Yeah. It’s awesome.
I’ve realized that competing this year really isn’t very important to me. At first I thought it was just because I was down and didn’t want to do anything, but I’ve got a fair amount of travel planned for both work and fun this summer that doesn’t involve horses. And here we are in May and I wouldn’t feel ready to do more than a little schooling show before those plans ramp up in late June. Which is fine. I’m not opposed to looking at showing options in the fall; I have discussed creating a Training freestyle with my dressage trainer just for laughs, and I’ll need a qualifying score for that at some point.
Anyway, what else is going on? Here’s some bullet points.
– Juice got bodyclipped last month, because I never did a second trace clip in December. considering he was basically out of work. Shedding season would’ve been unbearable. He looks like a different horse.
– We got a new jump saddle. After meeting with our local County rep, I happened to come across a gorgeous used saddle that ticked every box (Solution Hunter Jumper, 17.5, medium tree, low forward flap) and I pulled the trigger. The flocking needs to be adjusted to fit perfectly, but the rep will be back out soon to handle that. Even though it isn’t perfect right now I have a forward and happy pony.
– Tailgated at Land Rover again last week and had an amazing time. It was pretty weird to be parked at the combination just before the one where the first three riders fell off.
I guess that’s about it for now. Who knows what the rest of this year will bring, I just hope I’ll continue looking forward to horse stuff and life in general, instead of dreading simply getting through them. If anyone reading this finds themselves in that position, I am here to talk, please reach out.