Tuesday, January 7, 2014

For The Love of Horses

I'm so happy now to be able to share my love of horses with my kids. For years now, it just wasn't possible. Every barn visit was stressful and miserable and ended in tears. Usually mine. But because of the crying and the misery, I had to step back from something that was such an integral part of my life for so long. When I'd meet someone new and they learned what my husband did for a living, it would always make me pause a little when they asked, "And do you ride?" At first I would say I was on a little break since having a child. Then I would say I ride a little. And last year I would say, "I used to."
I USED to?? I couldn't believe I was that person. Back in the day as a young rider in the upper levels, we NEVER wanted to be that person! A big hit to the ol ego here...
So then, this summer, James's health started improving and we received a pony. And, well, someone had to ride it and it probably wasn't going to be my 6'2" husband. Thus began my re-entrance into being a rider again.
I sure was lucky to have this pony to rehab me too! Most of you have seen the pictures of Punky. She's cute as a button and is wonderful with kids. She's also a complete blast to ride and came to us very well trained. It was the perfect way for me to ease back into things and actually become a better rider because of it.
I have time to ride a few horses while the kids are in school now, which is awesome because it's so efficient, but once or twice a week now, they need to come with me. Now, one kid in a barn while working with horses: not too bad. Two kids?? Ages 5 and 2?? Whew. It can be mayhem. And I really don't want them to ever have a bad experience when they are so young, because we need them to be cool with horses. If they want to actually ride, that's great. But we NEED them to be happy there at least. We also NEED to be able to get a lot done. And the kids have been soooo great about it. Especially through these winter months! But it took some planning to figure out the most efficient way for me to school horses and keep the children not only alive, but entertained!
Hence, the creation of The Nook.

Okay so The Nook is just a line of gymnastics I broke down. They aren't allowed outside the poles, but they can do anything they want in there. They have water and snacks and the barrels provide endless fun. AND, as an added bonus, our horses are now EXTREMELY well broke. If you want to come try one of our off the track horses, rest assured they can walk, trot, and canter around The Nook while kids play gladiator games with the barrels without batting an eye.
And then after I'm done on a few of the horses, the kids get their turns!

Riding 4 horses may take ALL DAY now, but we have a lot of fun and pretty much NOBODY cries!!
I can't wait for warm weather.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Another New Year

Happens every year! Same time! I see lots of conflicting posts around the internet...some are happy to see 2013 go and are ready for a fresh start with 2014. And some are reflecting back and thinking 2013 was pretty darn good. Fact is, our good times and bad times don't magically end on Dec 31st. Unfortunately, Jan 1 doesn't begin with a clean slate. More often than not, we all end up feeling pretty bad the morning of the first...hmmmm...
Anyway, you can tell I don't put a ton of stock in the magic of a new year. In the past I just went to work with a hangover, and now I raise kids....usually with a hangover. Except this time. Last night I went to bed at 9. It was magical. But talk to me again Sunday morning after our Saturday makeup New Years celebration...
In the past several years, my problems on Dec 31st (namely James' health) were still my problems on Jan 1st. And they seemed to get progressively worse!
But this year, someone asked (as they always do) how our year was. Tom paused for a minute (I honestly don't think either of us had thought much about New Years besides buying booze) and said, "You know it was good. James stayed out of the hospital all year."
I hadn't even realized....
It wasn't a totally smooth sailing year....
He's not all better....
And last Christmas and New Years, we stayed home last minute because we knew if we rocked the boat, he WOULD end up back in the hospital....
BUT, he didn't. And he's thriving(ish)!
I still have knots in my stomach every day. I still have frequent panic attacks in the middle of the night. But at least I know that they're currently unfounded! I still worry about what and how much he eats. But those feelings are starting to ease up. When I run now, I run purely for exercise and to keep my ass in check. Not to escape that itchy, heart pounding, panicky feeling from all the stress. Now...this means I don't run as much as I used to...so I should probably work on that. Lol!
So anyway, reflecting back, 2013 was pretty darn good. We are rejoining the world a bit, I've been able to do weird stuff, like trapezing (it's a word) and meeting my book girls who have become extremely close friends. I'm riding again and riding well! I have a truly amazing husband whom I not only LOVE, but I like him too. He's my other half and every minute with him I fall more in love. I have 2 hilarious and awesome kids that crack me up and make me wanna poke my eyeballs out alternately. I still have Charlotte AND Jake! That's pretty amazing!!
Yep! 2013 was great! 2014 will have it's ups and downs, but as long as the ups outweigh the downs, I'm good!!!

I also got my drinking buddy back when...

She brought this little gem into the world! Good year!!